Notre Dame handles Duke
SOUTH BEND — There’s no way that anybody but Arike Ogunbowale was going to steal the show — in fact, own the show — Thursday night at Purcell Pavilion, but her hawking Irish teammates did add plenty of stealing of the ball.
With Ogunbowale passing Skylar Diggins as Notre Dame’s all-time leading women’s basketball scorer, and with Jessica Shepard and Brianna Turner adding overpowering performances of their own, the Irish rolled to an 89-61 victory over Duke.
Ogunbowale ended the suspense over the record quickly, to the delight of a near-full-house crowd, getting her 12th point of the night just 1:11 into the second quarter.
That put the senior sensation at 2,358 career points, to 2,357 for Diggins, who completed her four-time All-American ND career in 2013.
Ogunbowale finished the evening with 25 points, including 19 in the first half, to bring her tally to 2,371 for the time being.
Shepard added 24 points, 10 rebounds and matched a career high with seven assists as No. 5-ranked Notre Dame (25-3, 12-2) stayed in control of its own destiny for at least a share of the Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season crown.
The Irish, fittingly on a celebratory night, also regained the inside track for the No. 1 seed in the ACC Tourney thanks to Miami’s loss at Virginia Tech.
That dropped the No. 14 Hurricanes, who would hold seeding tiebreakers over both ND and Louisville, to 10-3 in the league.
The No. 4 Cardinals won their game Thursday to move to 11-2 in the ACC, but the Irish own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Cardinals.
Turner chewed up the Devils (11-14, 3-10) inside with 21 points, a season-high 15 rebounds and three blocked shots. The ND center hit 9-of-10 from the field and 3-of-4 at the line.
Notre Dame, in an aggressive 2-3 zone, matched a season high with 17 steals — and 15 of those came by midway through the third quarter as the Irish roared to a 62-32 lead.
Marina Mabrey made five of the night’s swipes — she also tied a career high with 10 assists — and Jackie Young recorded four takeaways to go with seven points and seven rebounds.
Notre Dame effectively put the game away with a 22-0 spree over the final 4:43 of the first half and first 3:21 of the second half for a 58-25 spread.
Shepard collected 14 points, seven rebounds and four assists by halftime.
Turner notched her double-double by the break with 13 points and 10 boards, going 5-of-5 from the field.
Mabrey netted just two points over the first two quarters, but dealt six assists and made four steals by the intermission.
All but one of Duke’s 13 first-half turnovers came on Irish steals. That fueled an 18-3 advantage on points off turnovers for ND, which committed just five turnovers of its own during the first two quarters.
The Irish piled up 13 offensive rebounds by the halfway point to key a 23-14 glass edge through the first two periods, and cashed in 17 multi-chance points to five by the Devils in those initial pair of quarters.
ND had just two fouls at the half, to 11 by Duke.
Miela Goodchild erupted in the second half for the Devils, pouring in 21 of her game-high 26 points. She set a Duke freshman record with eight 3-pointers, finishing 8-of-14 outside the arc.
The Devils also pulled off the first double-digit run that the Irish have allowed all season — ND has 36 such runs of its own — scoring 12 straight points late in the third quarter to close to 62-44.
Ogunbowale ended the streak with a putback basket just before the third-period buzzer.
On her magical night, Ogunbowale notched buckets in the final 2.8 seconds of all of the first three quarters.
Notre Dame wraps up the road portion of its regular season Monday when it visits No. 19 Syracuse (20-6, 9-4) for a 6 p.m. ESPN2 game.
That’s followed by Senior Day and the regular-season home finale against Virginia (10-16, 4-9) at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 3.