Freshman Jackie Young flashes potential during Notre Dame rout of Valpo

Ken Klimek
Tribune Correspondent

SOUTH BEND – It was a day for a tribute and a milestone — along with a day for the starters to get some much needed rest.

It started with an emotional salute when 2001 star and current Notre Dame coach Niele Ivey was inducted into the Ring of Honor, continued with a blistering 26-0 run to start the game and ended with an Irish victory Sunday, 114-54, over Valparaiso (4-4).

The 8-0, No. 1-ranked Irish led 72-23 at the half, tying a women’s record for most points in a half. That output equaled the 72 the Irish put on the board in a victory over Mercer in 2011.

Notre Dame shot 71.4 percent in those first two quarters, registered 21 assists and came up with 14 steals. It was a fitting tuneup for Wednesday, when old nemesis and No. 2 ranked Connecticut will play the Irish at Purcell Pavilion.

“Lindsay (Allen) I thought was spectacular today,” said Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw, whose club totaled 31 turnovers. “I thought she set the tone today and Arike (Ogunbowale) was very good.''

Ogunbowale scored 18 points and Allen had eight, but they played only 18 and 19 minutes, respectively.

Before practice Saturday morning, McGraw said her two freshmen could have breakout games at any time. That time came Sunday when Jackie Young led the Irish with 20 points and six steals, and Erin Boley added 15 points.

“For Jackie today it was the offensive output people were used to seeing from her in high school,'' McGraw said of Indiana's all-time leading scorer. "And I think she is more than capable of doing that for us on a daily basis.”

Young hit eight of nine shots from the floor, and Boley was five of eight.

“For Erin, I think getting comfortable was big for her,'' McGraw said. "She shoots well in practice and I think just getting in the game long enough to feel comfortable has helped. We are trying to get her minutes in longer stretches.''

The outcome was decided only a few minutes into the game. There was some thought Notre Dame could approach the women’s record at Purcell Pavilion (128), but McGraw was more concerned with her team’s execution.

“We just want to get 88 points (when Notre Dame scores 88 all the fans get a free Big Mac sandwich). We want to keep the fans happy – that’s it,” said.

Crusaders coach Tracey Dorrow was very complimentary in her remarks after the game.

“They came out on a mission,'' Darrow said. "They put us on our heels and really dominated the first half. The size and speed of their players and the name on the uniform intimidated use.”

Dorrow, whose club got 18 points from Dani Franklin and 10 from Georgi Donchetz, was not bothered by the Irish offensive outburst.

“I feel like coach McGraw is very classy and handled the whole game with a lot of class. They could have run the score up on us and I don’t think they did.”

“These young women (Notre Dame's players) are setting the bar high right now,'' Darrow said. "Obviously, UConn has set the bar for many seasons. It’s nice to see someone else doing it.”

Six Irish players scored in double figures. Sophomore Marina Mabrey had 16 points, juniors Brianna Turner and Kathryn Westbeld added 13 and 10, respectively. Only Mabrey (26 minutes) and Westbeld (21) played more than half the game.

“It was good when the other team played some zone and did not press. We could work some other people at the point and give Allen some rest.” McGraw said.

It was the 35th consecutive home victory for Notre Dame and their 70th in the last 71 home contests. Only a defeat at the hands of Connecticut in 2014 interrupted that long streak. Attendance again topped the 8,000 mark at 8,132.

• Notes: The Irish played with only nine suited up. Ali Patberg is recovering from walking pneumonia and McGraw does not expect her back in action until after Christmas. Senior Diamond Thompson was ill the last two days, but McGraw expects her back at practice on Monday or Tuesday.

Notre Dame (8-0): Jackie Young 8-9 1-1 20, Arike Ogunbowale 8-12 1-1 18, Marina Mabrey 7-11 1-2 16, Erin Boley 5-8 2-2 15, Brianna Turner 6-11 1-2 13, Kathryn Westbeld 5-9 0-0 10, Lindsay Allen 3-5 2-2 8, Kristina Nelson 4-6 0-0 8, Mychal Johnson 2-4 0-0 6, Totals 48-75 8-10 114.

Valparaiso (4-4): Dani Franklin 7-15 0-0 18, Georgi Donchetz 4-8 1-1 10,Allison Schofield 3-10 0-0 8, Meredith Hamlet 3-7 0-0 7, Haylee Thompson 3-8 0-0 6, Caitlin Morrison 1-6 0-0 3, Amber Lindfors 1-1 0-0 2, Grace Hales 0-1 0-0 0, Maya Meredith 0-2 0-0 0, Hannah Schaub 0-0 0-0 0, Totals 22-58 1-1 54.

Notre Dame 34 38 27 15 —114

Valparaiso 7 16 19 12 —54

3-Point Goals--Notre Dame 10-22 (Boley 3-5, Young 3-4, Johnson 2-4, Mabrey 1-4, Ogunbowale 1-4, Westbeld 0-1), Valparaiso 9-26 (Franklin 4-5, Schofield 2-6, Donchetz 1-2, Hamlet 1-5, Morrison 1-6, Hales 0-1, Meredith 0-1). Assists--Notre Dame 29 (Allen 6), Valparaiso 15 (Donchetz 5). Fouled Out--None. Rebounds--Notre Dame 38 (Johnson 6), Valparaiso 25 (Franklin 4). Total Fouls--Notre Dame 10, Valparaiso 12. A--8,132.

Notre Dame freshman Jackie Young (5) drives downcourt after stealing the ball from Valparaiso's Maya Meredith (0) during ND's 114-54 romp Sunday at Purcell Pavilion. (Tribune Photo/ROBERT FRANKLIN)