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Notre Dame Basketball

WBB | ND Delivered A Solid One-Two Punch To Beat FSU 97-70

February 10, 2019
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Arike Ogunbowale and Jessica Shepard combined for 53 points to help the Irish to a comfortable 97-70 win against #24 Florida State at Purcell Pavilion.  Ogunbowale made her first four shots from the field and her hot start resulted in 27 points to lead all scorers.  Ogunbowale was 9 for 16  from the field including 5 for 7 from three.  She also went 4 for 4 from the line, and added 5 assists and two steals with zero turnovers. After ND surrendered 21 offensive rebounds in last Thursday’s game against Miami, Ogunbowale grabbed eight defensive rebounds (and 9 total).

“I think she looked like she was enjoying herself out there, and we did some things at practice yesterday to try to get her the ball earlier,” explained head coach Muffet McGraw of her star guard’s hot start.  “I think we've been remiss in not really trying to set her up early enough in the game. So, we got her some touches early. She was able to finish, and she got some really good looks, and so I think that definitely set the tone for the rest of the day.”

Meanwhile, Shepard was dominant in the paint, scoring 26 points on 12 for 22 from the field.  She had 8 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal.  She made her only two free throws of the game, which improves her performance from the line to 81.0% in conference play (34 - 42).

Shepard had 10 and Ogunbowale 9 points in the first quarter to stake the Irish to a 28 to 22 lead after the first ten minutes. The Seminoles kept the game close by hitting 4 of 8 three-point baskets in the quarter and 8 of 16 overall.

Notre Dame kept up the offensive pressure in the second quarter outscoring FSU 24 to 16 to grab a 14 point halftime lead (53-38).  Ogunbowale went 2 for 2 from three-point range and scored 10 in the quarter.  FSU only hit 5 of 15 second quarter attempts (33.3%).  By halftime, ND had 13 assists on 20 made baskets and just 4 turnovers.

“I was really happy with the offense,” said McGraw. I thought we had a lot more movement today, and we got into a little bit of rhythm. We were able to get the break going because we rebounded better. And I was overall pleased with, with pretty much everything that happened on the offensive end.”

Florida State came into the game ranked in the AP poll and in a four-way tie for second place in the ACC with Notre Dame, Miami and NC State.  Head coach Sue Semrau has a young squad that has been hit with a number of injuries.  They played hard, but had difficulty with Notre Dame’s transition game.

“I think they're the best transition team in the country because you've got all three guards that can push it hard,” explained Semrau. “All three of them are great ball handlers and then the bigs run so well.  They're a really good offensive team, but they're great transition offensive team.”

Junior guard, Nicki Ekhomu played a stellar game for the Seminoles.  She led the team with 26 points including 3 of the team’s 9 three-point baskets for the game. She went 11 for 11 from the free throw line, and had 6 assists and just one turnover. Leading scorer Kiah Gillespie added 17 points and 11 rebounds, but only made 7 of her 22 attempts from the field.  The Seminoles only connected on 34.3% of their shots, while Notre Dame ended up at 52.9% for the game.

Brianna Turner added 13 points for the Irish to go with 6 rebounds, 4 assists and just 1 turnover.  Jackie Young scored 10 and Marina Mabrey added 9.  Mabrey had 6 assists and 1 turnover.  Freshman Abby Prohaska added 6 points (3-4 from the field) and chipped in with 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals in 23 minutes.

Dani Patterson and Jordan Nixon each made 3 of 4 field goal attempts for three points each.

The Irish ended with a total of 25 assists on 36 made baskets.  ND won the rebounding battle 43 to 36.  

Mikayla Vaughn suffered a head injury in the first half and left the game.  McGraw said she suffered a concussion and will miss the next game.

The Irish are back on the road for their next two games — the first, a repeat match with Boston College in Chestnut Hill. The Irish topped the Eagles 92 - 63 at home three weeks ago.

“Boston College is a much-improved team,” noted McGraw. We played them here. It's always tougher to play them at home first and then go there. We've historically not played well in that arena. So we, we really need to get ready.”  

After the rematch with BC, the last two regular season road games will be against ranked teams — NC State next Monday and then Syracuse one week later.

Today’s win improves Notre Dame’s record to 22-3, 9-2 in the ACC.  Florida State drops to 21-4, 8-3 in conference.  
 

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