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Notre Dame Basketball

WBB | Irish Hit the Road for a Rematch with BC

February 13, 2019

Notre Dame jumped out to an early lead in beating Boston College by 29 points, 92-63, last month.  The Irish will be in Chestnut Hill Wednesday night looking to improve to 23-3 for the season and 10-2 in the ACC.  BC comes into this week’s rematch at 14-10 overall and just 3-8 in the ACC.  

In the first game, the Irish hit 75% of their first quarter field goal attempts in outscoring the Eagles 32 to 19.  The young BC squad held its own through the second and third quarters losing each by just two points before ND added 12 points to the final margin in the fourth.

Notre Dame shot 54.7% from the field for the game and all five starters scored in double figures led by Arike Ogunbowale, who tallied 24.  The Irish turned 24 BC turnovers into 34 points and used 15 offensive rebounds to score 25.

BC’s top scorer, junior Emma Guy, was limited to 8 points as she was saddled with foul trouble for much of the game.  For the season, Guy is averaging 14.0 points and 7.1 rebounds. Guy scored 30, her season high, in BC’s last game, a 96-69 thumping at Syracuse.

Freshman guard Taylor Soule, who averages 7.7 points, led the Eagles against ND with 18 points, her highest scoring game of the season.  She made 5 of her 6 shots and went 10 for 12 from the line.  Fellow freshman guard Makayla Dickens added 12 points as the only other Eagle to hit double figures.  Over the past four games, Dickens has topped 20 points each game and has averaged 22.5 points.

BC has dropped 4 of 5 games since playing at Notre Dame — losing at Miami by 3, to Virginia Tech by 9, Virginia by 2, and at Syracuse by 27. Their lone win was against Duke by 2 in double overtime.

For the season, the Eagles average 77.1 points per game, shoot 44.1% from the field and average 8.3 made threes per game.  For the season, BC is the 4th highest scoring team in the ACC behind ND, Louisville and Syracuse, and the Eagles’ shooting percentage is 5th best.  In ACC play only, the Eagles average 72.7, fifth best, and shoot 42.9%, 4th best.  ND leads in both categories in ACC play at 84.9 points and 50.5%.  BC gives up an average of 82.2 points per game — the most of all ACC teams in conference play.

Irish Notes: Notre Dame’s loss at Miami dropped the Irish to #6 in the AP top 25 this week behind Baylor, Louisville, Oregon, UConn and Mississippi State.  

The initial top 16 tournament pairings were unveiled on ESPN Monday night.  The Irish were slotted as a two seed going to Greensboro with Baylor as the top seed, Maryland as the third seed, and South Carolina fourth.  The other top seeds were Louisville, Oregon and Mississippi State.  The ACC had a team in each region with NC State (ND’s opponent next Monday night) a two seed in Oregon’s region and Miami a four seed in Mississippi State’s. The ACC leads all conferences with four teams in the top 16 reveal, followed by the Pac 12 with 3, and the Big 10, Big 12 and SEC with two each.

ND will have played 8 of the 16 teams slotted into the top four seeds in the four regions by the end of the regular season -- a number with the potential to go up in the ACC tournament. Right now, ND is 5-2 against the eight (W: Louisville, Oregon State, Iowa, Gonzaga, Marquette, L: UConn, Miami) with a road game remaining at NC State. So, a potential to go 6-2 vs. the top 16 before the ACC tournament starts. 

Louisville is currently 2-1 (W: UConn, Arizona State, L: ND) against these 16 teams -- with home games yet to be played against Miami and NC State -- they have the potential to go 4-1. Louisville will also have the chance to solidify its position in the ACC tournament against at least one and perhaps two of the current top 16. 

Oregon is currently 3-0 (Arizona State, Stanford and Mississippi State) against this field with three regular-season games remaining -- a home and home with Oregon State and at Arizona State. The Ducks could well go 6-0 against the top 16 in the regular season). And, they have the potential for more quality wins in the Pac 12 tournament. 

Mississippi State stands at 2-1 (W: Marquette and South Carolina, L: Oregon) with one game left at South Carolina -- so a max of 3-1. 

Baylor is 4-1 (W: UConn, Arizona State, South Carolina and at home vs. Iowa State, L: Stanford) with a game at Iowa State remaining. 

UConn is 2-2 (W: ND and South Carolina, L: Baylor and Louisville) against the 16 -- and no possibility to go higher. They have one fairly tough game remaining at UCF this weekend -- and after that, their strength of schedule will drop quite a bit given the weakness of their remaining conference opponents. The Huskies remaining games are against teams with current RPI's of 14 (UCF), 101, 146, 149, 230, 246. 

Here are the current strength of schedules on Realtime RPI for ND and the five teams ahead of the Irish: 1) ND, 5) Baylor, 7) Louisville, 15) Oregon, 26) UConn, 41) Mississippi State. 

The Irish are third in the NCAA in scoring average at 87.3 points per game — behind Mississippi State at 88.2 and Oregon at 89.6.  The Irish are third in field goal percentage at 51.3% — behind Iowa at 52.2% and Oregon at 52.5%.

In ACC play, ND leads the conference in scoring (84.9 ppg), field goal percentage (50.5%), 3 point field goal percentage (41.0%), margin of victory (24.7 points), free throws made (181), free throws taken (255), assists per game (20.5), assist to turnover ratio (1.32), and blocked shots (6.2 per game).  The next highest scoring team in conference is Louisville at 74.3 points per game. 

ND is second among conference teams in rebounds (42.5 per game) behind Miami, steals (9.6 per game) behind Clemson, and field goal percentage defense (34.5%) behind Louisville. 

The Irish make 5.2 three-point shots per game in the ACC, which is 9th of the 15 teams.  Upcoming opponent, Syracuse, leads with 9.8 made threes per game.  As noted above, ND leads the conference in 3 point field goal percentage (41.0%).  Syracuse is seventh at 33.5%.  

Marina Mabrey leads the conference in three-point percentage at 52.2% — the only player above 50%.  Her younger sister, Dara, is second at 48.3%.  Boston College has two players in the top 10 — Makayla Dickens is third (44.7%) and Taylor Ortlepp is fifth (37.3%). 

Jessica Shepard leads the conference in field goal percentage at 59.6%.  She’s at 60.2% for the full season. She’s also third in the conference in rebounding at 9.5 per game.  Shepard has made 81% of her free throws in ACC play — tops for the Irish and seventh in the conference.  

Brianna Turner leads the ACC in blocks per game with 3.3.  In spite of her limited minutes, Mikayla Vaughn is 11th in the conference in blocks at 1.1 per game.  

The three Irish guards are all in the top 10 in the ACC in assists per game.  Ogunbowale is third with 4.7, Mabrey sixth with 4.4, and Jackie Young tenth with 3.6.  They’re also in the top ten in assist to turnover ratio in conference play — Ogunbowale fourth (2.0), Young fifth (1.8), and Mabrey eighth (1.6).  

All five Notre Dame starters are among the 30 players across the nation named this week to the 2019 Citizen Naismith Trophy Women's Player of the Year award watch list.  Oregon and UConn placed three players each on the watch list, while top-ranked Baylor and Mississippi State have two each.  Among the Power Five conferences, the ACC has the most players on the list with eight, followed by the Pac 12 with seven, the SEC with five, the Big 12 with four, and the Big Ten with two.  

Boston College in-game updates will be posted below.

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