Jan. 8, 2017
By Leigh Torbin
CORAL GABLES, Fla. - No. 7/6 Notre Dame (15-2, 3-1 ACC) opened the fourth quarter on an 8-0 run and used that cushion to pull away from the Watsco Center at No. 14 Miami with a 67-55 win on Sunday afternoon.
Marina Mabrey led all Irish scorers with 15 points while Kathryn Westbeld chipped in 14 and Arike Ogunbowale scored 11. Brianna Turner grabbed 10 rebounds but had a quiet offensive night, attempting just four shots (hitting three of them) and scoring seven points. Mabrey added five rebounds, four assists and four steals while Lindsay Allen assisted on seven baskets in just 29 minutes of action due to first half foul trouble.
Notre Dame held Miami to a season-low 55 points. The Hurricanes shot just 37.5% from the floor and turned the ball over 18 times with 10 of them coming off of Irish steals. Notre Dame turned those 18 turnovers into 23 points.
Fit To be Ra-tied
Today's game marked the 129th start of Lindsay Allen's Irish career, tying Alicia Ratay (1999-03) for the second most starts in school history. Skylar Diggins started 144 contests from 2009-13. Allen has long since held the school record for consecutive games started, having yet to miss a single one in her 129-game Notre Dame career. Jacqueline Batteast had previously held that record at just 97 games.
Allen also stands seventh in school history with her 3,833 career minutes played. Allen's value during her 29 minutes on Sunday could be evidenced in her plus-minus rating. When she was in the game, Notre Dame outscored Miami by 14 points. With Allen on the bench, the Hurricanes outscored the Irish by two points. Allen's +315 rating on the season is topped among her teammates only by Brianna Turner's +319.
Fourth Quarter Run Seals Things
Notre Dame led Miami by just four points, 46-42, with 3:00 left in the third quarter but took some momentum into the break by going on a 5-2 spurt to close out the penultimate stanza. Notre Dame took that seven-point lead and put its foot down coming out of the break. The Irish went on an 8-0 run to open the fourth quarter and, with its lead extended to 15 points, never looked back.
Kathryn Westbeld played a good role in this spurt. She blocked a 3-point try by Adrienne Motley with 9:08 to go in the game with Brianna Turner pocketing the rebound. Westbeld ran the floor and converted a layup off of a Jackie Young pass to give Notre Dame its first double-digit lead of the night at 55-44. Westbeld followed that layup with a short jumper from Lindsay Allen on the next offensive possession and then she sunk two free throws. Westbeld had six points in the game's first 30:59 of action and then matched it with six points in 1:10.
The Hurricanes would not cut their deficit to single digits again for the remainder of the game.
Notre Dame will return home to play host to Pittsburgh at 7 p.m. on Thursday night at Purcell Pavilion. The game will be streamed live via ACC Network Extra.
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.