Cable steals the show as Notre Dame women rout Wake
SOUTH BEND – With Mother Nature making a mess of things outside the Purcell Pavilion, Notre Dame senior Madison Cable cleaned up inside.
The heady, steady senior came off the bench and delivered what she usually delivers to coach Muffet McGraw and the Irish – a quality performance – as fourth-ranked Notre Dame (21-2) rolled to a 92-63 victory over Wake Forest (10-13).
In 22 minutes, the 5-foot-11 senior from Mt. Lebanon, Pa., had 12 points, three rebounds and a career-high six steals as Notre Dame, with five players scoring in double figures, broke away from a scrappy Wake team on the annual Pink Zone game that brings awareness to breast cancer.
The win helped the Irish maintain their piece of the Atlantic Coast Conference lead with an 8-1 mark. Wake is 1-8 in the league.
Junior All-American Jewell Loyd led the Irish with 20 points, sophomore point guard Lindsay Allen had 18 points and eight assists and freshmen forwards Brianna Turner and Kathryn Westbeld had 10 each.
“I thought Madison played as well as she has played all year long,” McGraw said after her team, won its seventh straight game to improve its league-leading mark to 8-1, a victory better than idle Florida State and Louisville who both play Monday night.
“That was a phenomenal game (by Cable),” McGraw said. “Defensively, with five steals at halftime, she did a great job in the passing lanes and she was good on the press. But she was really good at half-court and took a couple of charges that really saved us.”
All in a day’s work for Cable, whose effort never changes, whether she’s starting as she did when posts Brianna Turner and Taya Reimer weren’t available, or coming off the bench.
“It’s the same every game,” Cable said. “They want me to go in and give some energy and be aggressive and help the team offensively and defensively … whatever I have to do.”
Cable’s work rarely goes unnoticed. In fact, it can be downright inspiring to others. Markisha Wright, who had eight points and five rebounds herself, has enjoyed a front-row seat watching Cable for four seasons.
“Maddy was great today and I salute her,” Wright said after playing 14 key minutes as McGraw’s “Plan B” option in trying to put a handle on Wake Forest’s remarkable handful, 6-foot-3 senior forward Dearica Hamby, who finished with her 13th double-double of the season – 23 points and 10 rebounds. Milan Quinn added nine points for the Demon Deacons.
Hamby had 15 of her points in the first half, including 11 of Wake Forest’s first 22 points as the Irish managed only a 23-22 lead with 8:47 remaining. But a 14-0 run over the next 4:30 with Cable on the floor and Hamby getting a rest gave the Irish breathing room. It started with Cable making a steal and feeding Allen, who was fouled and made two free throws. The half ended with Notre Dame ahead 47-30.
Wake Forest coach Jen Hoover, who liked everything about her young team’s performance except its 30 turnovers, the most Notre Dame has forced in a game since the 35 Connecticut had in a 96-87 triple-overtime victory on March 4, 2013, acknowledged that Hamby’s first-half rest was needed but inopportune. The Irish converted the 30 turnovers, many coming against Notre Dame’s 1-2-2 full-court press with the 6-foot-3 Turner at its point, into 42 points.
“We did a pretty good job taking away some of their ‘A’ options but they scored so much in transition,” Hoover lamented. “When (Hamby) gets tired sometimes, it gets a little more difficult.”
It got a lot more difficult in the second half for Hamby, who was guarded by sophomore Taya Reimer (seven points, five rebounds, two blocked shots) and Turner. Still, Wake Forest made a run in the second half, closing to 63-53 with 10:39 remaining on a pair of Quinn free throws.
But a Wright layup, off a feed from Loyd, got the Irish some breathing room, and Cable then provided some poison with a four-point play when she nailed the second of her three successful 3-point attempts, was fouled by Kelila Atkinson and made the free throw for a 69-53 lead with 9:51 remaining. The Demon Deacons finally were exorcized for good by back-to-back successful 3-pointers by Cable and Michaela Mabrey that highlighted a 23-10 finish.
“(Markisha) was our ‘Plan B’ for guarding Hamby,” said McGraw whose club now turns its attention to Thursday’s visit from Virginia. “We thought she could guard her away from the basket and be physical with her inside and we would be able to bring the double team. Markisha played well. She’s always ready.”
Just like her teammate.
• NOTRE DAME 92, WAKE FOREST 63
At Purcell Pavilion, South Bend, Ind.
WAKE FOREST (63): Dearica Hamby 8-13 7-9 23, Milan Quinn 5-7 4-4 14, Amber Campbell 4-12 0-1 9, Ataijah Taylor 1-3 2-3 4, Kelilia Atkinson 3-8 0-0 6, Mykia Jones 0-2 0-0 0, Taylor Gordon 0-0 0-0 0, Millesa Calicott 3-8 0-0 7, Nicole Floyd 0-0 0-0 0, Kandice Ball 0-0 0-0 0, TOTALS 24-53 13-17 63.
NOTRE DAME (92): Brianna Turner 4-6 2-2 10, Taya Reimer 3-9 1-3 7, Lindsay Allen 7-10 4-5 18, Michaela Mabrey 1-3 0-0 3, Jewell Loyd 7-17 5-6 20, Madison Cable 4-6 1-1 12, Kathryn Westbeld 4-5 2-2 10, Markisha Wright 3-6 2-2 8, Mychal Johnson 1-3 0-0 3, Hannah Huffman 0-0 0-0 0, Diamond Thompson 0-0 1-2 1, TOTALS 34-65 18-23 92.
Halftime: Notre Dame 47, Wake Forest 30.
Shooting: Wake Forest 24 of 53 for 45.3 percent; Notre Dame 34 of 65 for 52.3 percent. 3-point shooting: Wake Forest 2 of 11 (Calicott 1-3, Campbell 1-4, Hamby 0-1, Taylor 0-1, Jones 0-2) for 18.2 percent; Notre Dame 6 of 15 (Cable 3-3, Johnson 1-3, Mabrey 1-3, Loyd 1-5, Allen 0-1) for 40 percent. Rebounds: Wake Forest 27 (Hamby 10, Quinn 6, Campbell 4); Notre Dame 38 (Turner 7, Wright 5, Reimer 5, Loyd 4). Assists: Wake Forest 9 (Taylor 3, Hamby 2); Notre Dame 19 (Allen 8, Mabrey 4, Loyd 3). Turnovers: Wake Forest 30 (Taylor 7, Hamby 5, Quinn 5, Calicott 4); Notre Dame 19 (Turner 5, Westbeld 3, Allen 3, Loyd 3). Blocked shots: Wake Forest 1 (Ball 1); Notre Dame 5 (Reimer 2, Turner 1, Loyd 1, Thompson 1). Steals: Wake Forest 10 (Hamby 3, Quinn 2, Ball 2); Notre Dame 17 (Cable 6, Allen 4, Mabrey 3, Turner 2). Total fouls (fouled out): Wake Forest 21 (Atkinson, 9:51; Quinn); Notre Dame 17 (none).
Officials: Mark Berger, Kevin Dillard, Timothy Bryant.
Records: Notre Dame 21-2 (8-1 ACC), Wake Forest 10-13 (1-8 ACC).