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Notre Dame Basketball

WBB | Notre Dame Dominates #17 Syracuse 98-68

February 25, 2019

Notre Dame remains on track for the top seed in the ACC tournament with a 30 point win at #17 Syracuse Monday night.  After the Orange scored the first basket of the second quarter to narrow the score to 24 to 21, the Irish went on a 40 to 13 scoring run over the next 15 minutes of game action to take a 30 point lead, 64 to 34, with 4:32 remaining in the third quarter.  

"I thought we did a really good job, particularly in the first half, of looking inside," Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw said. "We were trying to find Brianna Turner and we had an opportunity to go to her quite often. I thought that was quite effective."

The Irish used 8 steals to force 12 Syracuse turnovers in the first half helping ND take a 19 point lead at the break, 46-27.  

After the Irish stretched the lead to 30 a little over halfway through the third quarter, Syracuse answered with a 10-0 run helped by 5 Irish turnovers in just over two minutes to cut the lead to 20 before the Irish regained control to take a 22 point lead into the fourth quarter.

The Irish went back on the attack to start the final quarter and kept the Orange at bay.  Notre Dame made 11 of 13 field goal attempts in the final quarter including two three-pointers from Marina Mabrey and one from Arike Ogunbowale in outscoring Syracuse 29 to 21.

Ogunbowale led all scorers with 24 points.  She made 4 of 7 three-point attempts, added 5 rebounds and 4 steals.

Brianna Turner was unstoppable inside.  She made 9 of 12 field goal attempts on her way to 22 points.  Turner had 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks.  

Jess Shepard and Mabrey each scored 17 points with Mabrey making 3 threes, handing out 8 assists and collecting 2 steals.  Mabrey needs just seven more made three-point baskets to tie Alicia Ratay for the most in a career. Shepard led the Irish with 13 rebounds for her fifth double-double over the last six games.  She also had 5 assists and steal.

Jackie Young scored 10 and flirted with a triple-double.  She had 12 assists and 8 rebounds.

Mikki Vaughn gave the Irish a solid 16 minutes off the bench and went 4-4 from the field in scoring 8. She had 3 rebounds and a block.

Syracuse leading scorer and ACC assist leader, Tiana Mangakahia, was scoreless in the first half and only had 3 assists.  She did spark the third quarter run by the Orange and finished the game with 17 points and 7 assists.

Syracuse, which had averaged nearly 10 made three-point baskets for the season, only hit 6 of 20 behind the arc — part of an overall 28-72 shooting night (38.9%).  The Orange also missed 9 of 15 free throw attempts on the night.

The Irish shot 38 of 67 (56.7%) from the field, 7 for 16 (43.8%) from three and 15 for 18 (83.3%) from the line.  The Irish assisted on 29 of 38 field goals.

The Irish scored 60 points in the paint to 40 for Syracuse.  The Irish out-rebounded the Orange 46 to 34.
Notre Dame has been dominating opponents since losing at Miami on February 7th.  Over the five games since then, the Irish are averaging 95.2 points vs. 63.6 for their opponents — a 31.6 margin of victory.  The five wins include three against conference opponents ranked in the top-25 with two of the wins over ranked teams on the road.  

Now the Irish return home for the regular season finale Sunday afternoon against Virginia.  With a win, the Irish can secure the top seed in the ACC tournament regardless of what other teams do over the last week of the regular season.  Notre Dame is now 13-2 in the ACC and 26-3 overall.  Syracuse drops to 20-7 overall and 9-5 in the ACC.

The Irish moved to #4 in the latest AP poll out earlier Monday and are projected as a number one seed in the NCAA tournament for now.

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