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Notre Dame Basketball

WBB | On A Record Setting Night, The Irish Dispatch Duke 89-61

February 21, 2019
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Arike Ogunbowale became Notre Dame’s all-time leading scorer with a basket 90 seconds into the second quarter against the Duke Blue Devils Thursday night. The star of last season’s Final Four came into the game needing 11 to tie and 12 points to surpass the career scoring mark of Skylar Diggins-Smith.  She netted points 11 and 12 with a mid-range jumper to score the first Irish points of the second quarter.  

“It's just really a blessing, especially with all the great players that have come through this school to be at the top of that list is just an honor,” said Ogunbowale after the game. 

"I'm really happy for Arike. She didn't waste any time and didn't keep us in suspense too long. What a momentous day," Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw said. "Offensively, we were really on point today."

Ogunbowale finished the night with a team-leading 25 point effort.  She made 11 of her 19 shots including 2 of 4 three-pointers.  Ogunbowale was one of three Irish players to top 20 points in the game.  

“She's the face of our program,” noted McGraw. “I think she’s left her mark on the program that will last forever. She'll be up in the rafters one day soon, and I couldn't be prouder of what she's accomplished here.”

The Irish led by 12 at the end of the first quarter and then used a 16-0 run just before the half to pull away to a 52 to 25 lead at the break. The Irish had 12 of their game total 17 steals by halftime and limited the Blue Devils to just 10 second quarter points.

After the Irish scored the first six points in the third quarter to extend their run to 22-0, Duke stepped up its play on defense, blocked three shots and forced five Irish turnovers to outscore the Irish 19-12.  The Blue Devils fashioned a 12-0 run primarily on the hot three-point shooting of freshman Miela Goodchild who canned four of Duke’s five three-pointers in the quarter.  Duke made seven baskets in the quarter — five were threes.  Duke’s run was the first run of at least ten points against the Irish all season.

For the night, Goodchild, from Australia, made 8 of 14 from beyond the arc and Duke was 10 for 20 overall. They had been averaging 5.5 made threes per game.  Goodchild’s eight made threes tied the Duke single-game record and set a new record for freshmen, as did her 14 three-point attempts on the night.

Duke head coach Joanne P. McCallie praised her freshman point guard and her young and injury-plagued team. She also sees a difference in Notre Dame’s play since the Irish lost at Miami earlier this month.

“They've been a different team in my opinion from what I've observed on film,” note McCallie. “They've really gone back to basics and are utilizing the strengths that they have. I think that they are dominant at a very critical time. Watching the loss at Miami and then the response from that, they look different to me in terms of the patience in using their posts more, using everybody a little bit more, and obviously, they're a terrific team.” 

Notre Dame’s inside skills and experience were too much for Duke’s young forwards to handle as Jess Shepard scored 24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds and Brianna Turner added 21 and 15.  Turner was 9 for 10 from the field and 3 for 4 from the line.  She also had three blocks and two steals.  Shepard added two steals and 7 assists.  The rebounding of Turner and Shepard helped the Irish win the battle of the boards 45 to 25.  The Irish scored 58 points in the paint to just 20 for Duke.

For the night, the Irish turned 21 Duke turnovers into 29 points.  The Irish had 13 giveaways leading to 13 Duke points.  The Irish limited Haley Gorecki, Duke’s leading scorer to just six points.  She had been averaging 18 points per game on the season and 19.5 per game to lead all ACC scorers in conference play.

With three twenty point scorers, Marina Mabrey and Jackie Young didn’t need to do much scoring.  Young finished with 7 points, 4 assists and 4 steals. Mabrey only scored 4 points and was 0-4 from three.  But she did have 10 assists and 5 steals against just one turnover.  After the game, McGraw said that Mabrey was sick and she was thankful that she was able to play.  

Abby Prohaska played 23 minutes off the bench and scored 4 points, had 2 assists, a steal and 4 rebounds.  

With the win, the Irish move to 25-3 and 12-2 in the ACC.  The win keeps the Irish a half game ahead of Louisville.  However, Miami has now dropped a game and half back after Virginia Tech handed the Canes their third conference loss, 73 to 65.  Had the Canes remained undefeated the rest of the regular season, they would have secured the top seed in the ACC tournament.  The Miami loss moves Notre Dame back to the inside position for the top seed because of the Irish win against Louisville.

The Cardinals overcame a three-point halftime deficit to pick up a road win at Virginia Thursday night, outscoring the Cavaliers 46 to 21 in the second half.   Louisville still has three games to play (Boston College, NC State and Pitt), while the Irish have just two games left — on the road next Monday night against #18 Syracuse and then a Sunday afternoon home game against Virginia, March 3rd.  If the Irish win both games, they can do no worse than share the regular season title with Louisville and head into the ACC tournament as the top seed.

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