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Notre Dame Basketball

WBB | ND Advances in ACC Tournament with 95-77 Win Over UNC

March 8, 2019

Notre Dame moves to the semi-finals of the ACC Tournament with an 18 point win over the resilient North Carolina Tar Heels, who kept battling back throughout the game.  In the end, though, the Heels couldn’t match the nation’s best scoring team.  This was the eighth time in the last ten games that ND has scored 90 points or more — and the 17th time out of 31 games the Irish have played this season.

Leading scorer Arike Ogunbowale led the way again with 28 points.  She was 5 for 9 from three and added 4 assists, 3 steals and 3 rebounds.  

Brianna Turner was unstoppable inside.  The ACC’s best percentage shooter made 11 of 15 field goal attempts (73.3%) and grabbed 10 rebounds to go with 24 points.  

Jackie Young played another all-around game with 19 points (7-11 from the field), 9 assists and 7 rebounds.  

Jess Shepard added 14 points (7-9) from the field.  She had 6 rebounds and 4 assists.  Only Marina Mabrey failed to reach double figures.  She ended with 7 points and 5 assists.  Mabrey did make one three (out of 5 attempts) to pull within three makes of tying Alica Ratay for most career three-point baskets.

Both teams had strong starts to the game, but after the Heels took a 12-10 lead on a corner three-point basket, the Irish outscored UNC 15-4 for the rest of the quarter to take a 25-16 lead at the first break.  Brianna Turner was 5 for 5 from the field to lead the Irish with 10 points and Jackie Young was 4 for 5 for 8.  The Irish made 12 of 19 field goal attempts in the opening quarter (63.2%).  

The Irish built the lead to 13 early in the second quarter only to see North Carolina scratch back to within 4.  The Tar Heels made 9 of 14 field goal attempts (64.3%) in the second quarter and out-rebounded the Irish 9 to 5.  ND had one more spurt before halftime to take a 45 to 37 lead at the break.  Ogunbowale led the Irish in the first half with 13 points followed by Turner with 12 and Young with 11.

Notre Dame started the third quarter hot and stretched the lead to 19.  UNC closed the margin to 11 at the end of the quarter — 70-59.  A putback by Turner at the buzzer was disallowed after the referees checked the video and determined she did not release the shot in time.

The Irish were too much for North Carolina in the final quarter and built a 23 point lead, 93-70 before the starters were pulled with over four minutes remaining.  

Notre Dame shot 58% from the field and 46.7% from three.  ND won the rebounding battle 37 to 25 and collected 22 in the second half to just 10 for UNC.  The Irish assisted on 23 of 40 made baskets.  In the upset loss at Chapel Hill in January, the Irish committed 20 turnovers — they had 11 today.  

North Carolina’s All-ACC first team guard, Paris Kea, had another strong game.  After torching the Irish for 30 points in January, she had 27 today (10-19 from the field and 5-10 from three).  She only managed two assists today vs. 10 in the regular season match-up.  Janelle Bailey added 19 points and Shayla Bennett scored 17.  Overall the Tar Heels shot a solid 49.2% from the field and 42.1% from three — but they were only 6 of 17 (35.3%) in the final quarter.

Irish coach Muffett McGraw worked substitutes in throughout the game in an effort to keep players fresh for the weekend.  Ogunbowale played 34 minutes, Young 32, Turner 31, and Mabrey and Shepard 30 each.  Bennett played all 40 minutes for UNC, Kea 39 and Bailey 38.

The win improves Notre Dame’s season record to 28-3, while the Tar Heels finish at 18-14, and will sweat out selection Sunday in two weeks.

The Irish will play 16-ranked (Coaches’ poll) Syracuse in Saturday’s noon semi-final game.  The Orange upset Miami in the day’s first game, 92 to 85.  Point guard Tiana Mangakahia scored 25 points and had 13 assists.  The Orange had three other double-figure scorers topped by Miranda Drummond’s 19.  Three Syracuse starters played over 30 minutes against the Canes with Mangakahia logging 39.  The Orange will play their third game in as many days against the Irish.

Notre Dame took down Syracuse by 30 points in the Carrier Dome less than two weeks ago - 98 to 68.  The Irish led by 19 points at the half (46 to 27) and kept scoring with 52 points after the break.   ND shot 56.7% against the Orange with all starters in double figures led by Ogunbowale with 24 and Turner with 22.  Mabrey and Shepard scored 17 each and Young had 10 points, 12 assists and 8 rebounds.  Over the last three games, including today, Young has had 32 assists and just 5 turnovers for an A/TO ratio of 6.4.

Mangakahia was saddled with first half foul trouble against the Irish and didn’t score until the second half.  After the break, she tallied 17 points to lead her team.  Syracuse only made 28 of 72 field goal attempts (38.9%).   Syracuse is a dangerous team when they hit from outside — they average nearly 10 made threes per game.  They only managed 6 for 20 against the Irish, but they made 14 of 31 in taking down Miami today.

Syracuse has won four straight since losing to the Irish — their last two regular season games and two games in the tournament — improving the season record to 24-7.  The Orange is well positioned to be named one of the top 16 teams and host the first two games of the NCAA tournament regardless of what happens on Saturday.

The Notre Dame - Syracuse game will be televised on ESPNU starting at noon.  In-game, updates will be posted below.

Irish Sports Daily
Final Box Score
Irish Sports Daily
Final Notre Dame Stats 


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