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Notre Dame Basketball

ND WBB |ND Glides by Syracuse to Advance to the ACC Championship Game

March 9, 2019

For the first time in eight games, Arike Ogunbowale didn’t lead Notre Dame in scoring and failed to reach twenty points.  The Irish still topped 90 points — for the ninth time in the last eleven games — and rolled by Syracuse 91 to 66 in the semi-finals of the ACC Tournament.

The win advances the Irish to tomorrow’s championship game for the sixth straight year since Notre Dame joined the ACC.

With Ogunbowale having an off day offensively — just 5 for 18 from the field and 12 points — the Irish only shot 46.6% from the field.  The Irish had topped 50% in each game over the last seven.  

Once the Irish built a working lead toward the end of the first quarter, head coach Muffet McGraw gave the starters as many minutes of rest as possible to keep them fresh for the Sunday championship game.  Only two starters played 28 minutes — Ogunbowale and Jackie Young.  Jess Shepard and Marina Mabrey played 26 and Brianna Turner just 21.

Abby Prohaska and Dani Patterson both played 22 minutes and entered the game in the first quarter.  Patterson scored six points on 3 for 4 shooting.  Prohaska made a three-pointer for her only points, but she scrapped her way to 4 rebounds, one assist and one steal.  

All Irish starters scored in double figures led by Young, who was the game’s higher scorer with 18, and Shepard, who tallied 16.  Both players had double-doubles.  Young had 13 rebounds and five assists, while Shepard grabbed 12 boards.

Mabrey scored 16 — the last three on her fourth three-pointer of the game.  That last basket gave her 263 made threes for her career-topping Alicia Ratay as the leader in three-point baskets made in a Notre Dame career.

In her limited minutes, Turner added 14 points — she was 4 for 7 from the field and 6 for 6 from the line.  For the game, the Irish made 17 of 19 free throw attempts (89.5%).  The Irish went to the line 12 times in the third quarter. 

The Irish dominated in a number of areas of the game including 50 points in the paint to 28 for Syracuse, 18 fast break points to 5, and 17 second-chance points to 12.  Notre Dame out-scored Syracuse in every quarter, and was especially strong in the first and third quarters when the Irish scored a combined 57 points to 36 for Syracuse.  

Syracuse was the second highest scoring team in ACC conference play. The Irish held them 10 points below their season average.  After starting hot with five made three-pointers in the first quarter, the Orange only managed three more the rest of the game and made just 8 of 23.  Syracuse was playing its third game in as many days, and fatigue may have played a role in its offensive production after the hot start.

Notre Dame collected 47 rebounds to just 32 for the Orange.  The Irish had 17 assists and 12 turnovers to 11 assists and 13 turnovers for Syracuse.  

All ACC player, Tiana Mangakahia, led Syracuse with 14 points.  She only made 5 of 16 shots from the field.  The ACC’s assist leader was limited to 6 against the Irish before leaving the game early in the fourth quarter after tweaking her knee on a drive to the basket.

Today’s win essentially nails down a number one seed in the NCAA tournament for Notre Dame.  The only remaining question is to which regional the Irish will be sent.  A win in Sunday’s championship game should secure a spot in the Chicago regional for ND.

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


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