Dec. 28, 2017
NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- The No. 2 University of Notre Dame women's basketball team (12-1, 1-0) opened Atlantic Coast Conference play with an 87-72 victory over No. 23 Syracuse (12-2, 0-1) on Thursday night inside Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center.
Jessica Shepard registered her third straight double-double with team highs, 24 points and 12 rebounds, while Jackie Young secured her fourth game of 20+ points this season with a career-high tying 23 points.
"We were sharing the ball, and we did a really good job of finding people," Karen and Kevin Keyes Head Women's Basketball Coach Muffet McGraw said. "Jackie [Young] turned it on. She got really aggressive and I thought was incredibly effective. She really played well."
How It Happened
Notre Dame opened the game with a 13-4 run, during which the Irish shot 5-for-5 from the field. Young led Notre Dame's scoring drive, burying two three-point field goals and totaling eight points in the period.
The Irish entered the second quarter with a 20-15 advantage and used seven points from Arike Ogunbowale to extend its lead to 33-27, before finishing the half up 42-38. Jessica Shepard was the first Irish player to reach double-digits, reaching 11 points at the midway point.
A jumper from Young at the 3:25 mark of the third quarter sparked a 11-0 Irish run, which included seven straight points from Shepard. Shepard and Young combined to score 16 points in the period, and Notre Dame led, 64-58, after the third.
The Irish started the fourth quarter with eight straight points, extending their run to 21-6 from the 3:25 mark of the third to the 7:23 mark of the fourth period. Kathryn Westbeld, who came one point shy of equaling her career-high 17 points, combined with Young to score 14 points in the quarter and help the Irish to an 87-72 victory over the Orange.
Co-Players of the Game
Jackie Young rattled off eight points in the fourth quarter en route to matching her career high with 23 points in the game. Young collected her fourth game of 20-plus points.
Jessica Shepard recorded her third straight double-double, finishing the game with 24 points and 12 rebounds. Shepard becomes the first Irish player to collect three straight double-doubles since Natalie Achonwa did so at Iowa (11/14), versus Kansas (17/10) and versus Duke (17/13) from March 26, 2013 to April 2, 2013.
Over her last three games, Shepard has averaged 25.3 points and 11.7 rebounds.
Stat of the Game
The Irish equaled a season-high seven three-point field goals in the game. Notre Dame's Kathryn Westbeld led the team in makes from beyond the arc, connecting on a career best 3-for-3, and helping the Irish to the high water mark this season.
- Notre Dame leads the all-time series 32-2, with a perfect 16-0 mark at home.
- Irish extend its all-time ACC record to 63-2, including an unblemished 33-0 at home.
- Arike Ogunbowale totaled 12 points with six rebounds and now has 13 straight games with double-digit points this season.
- Marina Mabrey tallied nine points and has averaged 14.0 points per game in her last four.
- With a season high 16 points tonight, Kathryn Westbeld is averaging 13.0 points per game over the last three games. It marked the second straight game in which Westbeld has achieved a season high in points.
- Irish have now won 15 straight games at home.
- Irish shot 51.4 percent (18-35 FG) in the second half. Notre Dame has now shot over 50 percent in the second half in three straight games.
Notre Dame hits the hardwood once again in a New Year's Eve showdown at Wake Forest. Tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET on ACCN Extra.