Jan. 5, 2017
By Leigh Torbin
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - No. 7/6 Notre Dame (14-2, 2-1 ACC) returned to its home court for the first time in a month and enjoyed the comforts of Purcell Pavilion as a crowd of 8,691 cheered the Irish to a 92-72 win over Wake Forest (9-5, 0-1) on Thursday night.
Notre Dame's Karen and Kevin Keyes Family Head Women's Basketball Coach Muffet McGraw credited the floor with her team's offensive success tonight.
"Just being at home," she said when asked about why the team shot the ball well. "It's the comfort of being here. We've got a lot of work in (here) shooting the ball. There's no place like home."
Arike Ogunbowale recorded her third career 20-point game, finishing with 22 to lead all scorers. Brianna Turner tossed in 15, Marina Mabrey 14 and Lindsay Allen 12 to round out the Notre Dame double-figure scorers. The Irish shot an impressive 60% on the night (39-65) and went a step further from downtown, connecting on 62.5% (10-16) from 3-point land. Kristina Nelson stuffed her stat line nicely, led by a career-high five assists. She also scored six points and added six rebounds.
Second Quarter Surge
Notre Dame took command of the game with a scintillating second quarter in which the Irish shot 88.2% from the floor, connecting on 15 of their 17 shots. The stanza opened with a 10-0 run by the Irish over the first 1:59, forcing a Demon Deacon timeout. The Irish connected on each of their first six field goals of the quarter, not missing until the 5:42 mark.
Notre Dame led by just six points after the first quarter, 21-15, but outscoring the Demon Deacons by 17 in the second quarter allowed Notre Dame to breathe much easier at halftime, possessing a 23-point lead at 55-32. Arike Ogunbowale had nine points in the 10-minute quarter alone while Brianna Turner tallied eight.
Allen Recognized For Her CLASS
Shortly prior to the game, the candidate list for the Senior CLASS Awards was unveiled and Lindsay Allen's name is one of 30 to appear on it.
A member of several on-court preseason watch lists, including the Nancy Lieberman, Wade, Naismith and Wooden awards, this one includes even more of her non-basketball attributes. The 30 candidates for the Senior CLASS Awards are considered on equal parts of four areas of excellence: community, classroom, character and competition.
Allen entered the night ranked third nationally in assists and seventh in assist-to-turnover ratio. She stands fourth in Notre Dame history for the most career assists and fifth in ACC lore in that category. Allen has never missed a start for Notre Dame with tonight being the 128th of her career. The Irish are 120-8 with Allen in the starting lineup.
Bri on Scoring Chart
Brianna Turner tallied 15 points on the night, bumping her up two more places on Notre Dame's career scoring chart. Now boasting 1,157 career points, during the game, Turner surpassed the 1,148 of Becca Bruszewski and the 1,150 of Courtney LaVere to ascend to 27th place all-time in Irish lore. With her two blocks tonight, Turner now claims 211 and broke a tie with former Florida State's Brooke Wyckoff for sole possession of 14th place in ACC history.
Coach McGraw Says
On the offense tonight: "Our transition game was really on today. I thought we did a really good job of making the extra pass and seeing the open man. I was really happy with the offense. I'd like to see that same flow - same rhythm. That's what we've been missing the last couple of games. It was really great to get that back."
Notre Dame heads back on the road to face No. 14 Miami at 3 p.m. on Sunday in Coral Gables, Florida. ESPN2 will broadcast the game nationally with Beth Mowins and Debbie Antonelli on the call.
Leigh Torbin, athletics communications associate director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 2013 and coordinates all media efforts for Notre Dame's women's basketball and men's golf teams. A native of Framingham, Massachusetts, Torbin graduated from the University of Massachusetts in 1998 with a bachelor's degree in sports management. He has previously worked full-time on the athletic communications staffs at Vanderbilt, Florida, Connecticut and UCF.