Turner, Mabrey help No. 2 Notre Dame pass road test at Toledo

the Associated Press
ND Insider

TOLEDO, Ohio — Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw figured Brianna Turner gave her a huge size edge the Irish could exploit against Toledo.

She was right.

Turner had 26 points and eight rebounds to lead No. 2 Notre Dame to an 85-68 victory over Toledo on Sunday.

The 6-foot-3 junior forward shot 11-for-13 from the field as the Irish outscored Toledo 44-28 in the paint.

"We thought we had an advantage inside," McGraw said. "We didn't think they could guard her, so we really wanted to go in as much as possible.

"It was great to see her have kind of a breakout game offensively."

Marina Mabrey added 19 points on 8-for-11 shooting for the Irish (10-1).

Jay-Ann Bravo-Harriott scored 23 points to lead the Rockets (8-2), and Kaayla McIntyre added 13 points.

ND quarterback DeShone Kizer, who recently declared for the NFL Draft, took in the Irish victory in his hometown.

Toledo coach Tricia Cullop admitted that Turner's length and athleticism gave her team all sorts of difficulty.

"Turner is one of the best centers in the country, and she's a handful," Cullop said. "She got us in some foul trouble early on."

In a bid to slow down Turner, Cullop inserted 6-3 Sophie Reecher 3:41 into the game to guard the Notre Dame forward. Reecher had two fouls within 45 seconds and was back on the bench.

Notre Dame's only loss this season was a 72-61 defeat against No. 1 Connecticut on Dec. 7. The Irish have now won 13 consecutive games on the road, while the Rockets dropped to 4-1 at home this season.

Toledo scored the first five points of the game on Bravo-Harriott's 3-pointer and Mikaela Boyd's field goal, but it was all Irish after that. Notre Dame scored the next eight points, taking the lead on Lindsay Allen's layup with 6:31 remaining, and never trailed again.

"They're very skilled, very talented and definitely athletic," Bravo-Harriott said. "You just have to have a lot of grit to play with them because they've got some of the best players in the nation."

When Mabrey hit a jumper with 1:26 left in the opening quarter, the Irish led 17-7 and Toledo never pulled within single digits again.

"The story of the game was really the first quarter," Cullop said. "We let things kind of get away from us. We learned a lot about ourselves in this game. We guarded some pretty incredible players."

The Irish won the turnover battle 28-17.

"To stay even as close as we did with 28 turnovers was pretty incredible," Cullop said. "We've got to take better care of the basketball against great teams. That would have helped us tremendously."

Both of the Rockets' losses this season have come against top-10 opposition, though the first setback was much closer — 75-73 to then-No. 8 UCLA in the final of the Cancun Challenge on Nov. 25.

Injured Irish

Notre Dame freshman Jackie Young was out of the lineup for the second straight game due to an ankle injury suffered when the Irish lost to Connecticut. Erin Boley, who picked up some of Young's minutes, scored nine points.


• The Irish stay in the area, heading to the Breslin Center Tuesday to meet Michigan State, the third game in a six-game road trip. Notre Dame doesn't play at home again until Jan. 5 against Wake Forest.

• The Rockets, off to their best start since opening 12-1 in 2012-13, host Detroit Mercy on Wednesday.

Notre Dame (10-1): Turner 11-13 4-7 26, Mabrey 8-12 1-1 19, Boley 4-7 1-1 12, Allen 4-7 2-3 10, Westbeld 2-5 4-5 8, Ogunbowale 2-11 2-4 6, Johnson 1-3 0-0 2, Nelson 0-2 2-4 2, Patberg 0-0 0-0 0, Totals 32-60 16-25 85.

Toledo (8-2): Bravo-Harriott 8-16 2-2 23, McIntyre 6-9 1-2 13, Cunningham 4-7 2-3 10, Monakana 3-9 2-2 9, Woody 2-2 0-0 6, Boyd 2-6 0-0 4, Santucci 1-7 1-1 3, Printz 0-0 0-0 0, Rasmussen 0-1 0-0 0, Reecher 0-1 0-2 0, Rokkanen 0-0 0-0 0, St-Fort 0-1 0-0 0, Totals 26-59 8-12 68.

Notre Dame 25 19 20 21 —85

Toledo 11 21 17 19 —68

3-Point Goals--Notre Dame 5-12 (Boley 3-5, Mabrey 2-3, Ogunbowale 0-4), Toledo 8-20 (Bravo-Harriott 5-10, Woody 2-2, Monakana 1-4, Cunningham 0-1, Santucci 0-3). Assists--Notre Dame 25 (Allen 8), Toledo 21 (Boyd 6). Fouled Out--None. Rebounds--Notre Dame 27 (Turner 8), Toledo 40 (McIntyre 6). Total Fouls--Notre Dame 18, Toledo 23. A--5,697.

Notre Dame guard Marina Mabrey (3) dribbles past Toledo guard Mikaela Boyd (2) in ND's 85-68 win Sunday at Toledo, Ohio. (AP Photo/RICK OSENTOSKI)