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Notre Dame Basketball

WBB  |  Notre Dame Races by NC State to win 95-72

February 18, 2019

Notre Dame blew open a tight game in the third quarter to score a 95-72 top 10 road win against #9 NC State.  ND poured it in and on by making 14 of 21 shots to score 34 points in the quarter.  NC State hit five three-point shots in the quarter to score 22.  The Wolfpack made three threes in a row — including a banked in 30 footer as the shot clock expired — to tie the score at 47 as they started the quarter on an 11-6 run.  The Irish answered with a 12-0 run and outscored NC State 28-12 over the last 7 minutes of the quarter.  The Irish had 15 fast break points in the decisive quarter.

"We played together defensively, we rebounded, we got the break going, and I think when we get going in transition, we can score,” head coach Muffet McGraw said. "It was the team effort on defense that I was really impressed with."

The Irish stretched the lead to 29 points — 93 to 64 — with just over three minutes remaining in the game as ND emptied the bench.  

For the game, the Irish ran off 29 defensive rebounds and 15 NC State turnovers to score 37 fast break points against just 2 for NC State.  Notre Dame scored 24 points off turnovers to just 7 for NC State.  

All Irish starters scored in double figures — led by Arike Ogunbowale with 22 and Marina Mabrey with 21.  Ogunbowale was just 4 for 12 from the field at the half and she was only 3 for 9 in the second half, but she made 7 of 7 from the line, passed out 8 assists against just 1 turnover and also chipped in with 8 rebounds.   Mabrey was 3 for 5 from beyond the arc to improve her ACC-leading three-point percentage to 51.9%. 

Jess Shepard had another double-double with 18 points (8-11 shooting) and 13 rebounds.  She also had 3 assists, 3 steals, and 1 turnover. She’s now shooting 60.9% for the season and 61.4% in the ACC.

Jackie Young tallied 16 points with 12 rebounds, 6 assists, 4 steals and a block.  She was an efficient 8-13 from the field including 6-7 in the second half.  

"We really focused on our defense in the second half," Young said. "It was important to get stops and get boards. Jess is a great outlet, so every time she gets it, she gives us a head start and we're able to get going in transition."

The Irish dominated the boards winning the rebounding battle 45 to 28 against the ACC’s third-best rebounding team.  NC State only had 6 offensive rebounds, while ND collected 16 leading to 18 second-chance points vs. 7 for the Wolfpack.  The Irish had 24 assists against just 10 turnovers.  

Elisa Cunane, the Wolfpack’s 6’5” freshman center, was sensational and kept her team in the game until the Irish went on the third quarter run.  She led all scorers with 28 points making 10 of 19 from the field, 1 of 2 from three, and 7 for 7 from the line.  NC State’s leading scorer, Kiera Leslie, added 17 points as the only other player in double figures for the Wolfpack.  

Despite Cunane’s heroics, the Irish dominated scoring in the paint 62 to 30.  

The Irish now own wins against 6 teams in the AP top 25 — more than any other team.  The Irish schedule is considered the toughest in the nation with another ranked team ahead on the road next Monday as the Irish travel to Syracuse. 

Tonight’s win moves the Irish to 24-3 on the season and 11-2 in the ACC, which moves them a half game ahead of Miami and Louisville for now.  NC State drops to 22-3 and 9-3. 

Notre Dame will be home this Thursday night against Duke.  Ogunbowale is likely to become ND’s all-time scoring leader in that game.  With her 22 point effort against NC State, she needs just 11 more points to tie Skylar Diggins-Smith and 12 to score the most career points in Irish history.

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