Women's basketball: Notre Dame holds on for win over No. 16 Oregon State
A freshman almost single-handedly flipped Notre Dame’s evening from an encouraging bounce-back display into a disastrous defeat, before the Irish escaped with a 64-62 women’s basketball win Saturday at the Daytona Beach Invitational.
Oregon State guard Talia von Oelhoffen poured in 20 fourth-quarter points to lead the No. 16-ranked Beavers’ nearly all the way back from a 60-42 deficit at 7:39 remaining.
“Whew, that was (an escape),” Notre Dame coach Niele Ivey said afterwards.
► One game at a time:A journey through Notre Dame's 2021-22 women’s basketball season
OSU (3-2), which never drew even, had three chances to tie the game in the closing seconds, including Kennedy Brown going to the line at 0.7 remaining off her offensive board and Maddy Westbeld’s foul.
Brown, though, missed both free throws before ND’s Maya Dodson cradled her team-high ninth rebound, to go with her team-high 14 points, as time expired.
The Irish (6-1), in control much of the way, led by a high of 56-34 in the closing minute of the third quarter before the Beavers began their rally.
OSU became ND’s highest-ranked victim since the Irish downed No. 2 Connecticut at the 2019 national semifinals.
Von Oelhoffen finished with 25 points.
► While von Oelhoffen was heating, the Irish were cooling, substantially.
Rather than the more common issue of turnovers over the last couple years on occasions that ND has seen large leads slip away, this time it was shooting.
Outscored 26-8 in the fourth quarter, the Irish missed 13 of their 16 shots from the field and never hit a 3-pointer. Over the first three periods, they had made 45% of their fielders with a trio of treys.
“I thought we kind of relaxed,” Ivey said. “I don’t think we put our foot on the gas in the fourth quarter, so that was a difference, and then I think we got tight because they were making their run. I thought that’s why we missed some clutch free throws, some clutch (shots) down the stretch.”
Westbeld clanked two freebies at 19.2 seconds to go with the Irish up 64-62.
Meanwhile, the huge cutdown on turnovers from 25 the night before during a 71-67 overtime loss to No. 21 Georgia to merely eight Saturday — including just three in the second half — was a monster improvement, even if accompanied by going against a club that didn’t apply nearly the kind of pressure that the Bulldogs had.
► Von Oelhoffen’s fourth-quarter display was a stunning about-face given that she’d scored only five points across the first three periods on 2-of-10 from the field.
In the final 10 minutes, she hit 6-of-11, including 3-of-4 outside the arc, to go with 5-of-6 at the line.
“We have to do a better job of not letting one player get to their spots,” Ivey said, “but she does it all for their team.”
While classified as a true freshman, the 5-foot-11 von Oelhoffen did notch 13 games of collegiate experience last winter when she became an early enrollee during the pandemic-altered season.
Still, Saturday’s show was a career high in points for the player ranked No. 25 in the high school class of 2021 by ESPN.
“She can get to the rim, she’s great off the ball screen and she got hot from the perimeter,” Ivey said of why she caused ND fits. “She’s got great vision, so she can do a lot of different things.”
► While the play of von Oelhoffen and the slump by the Irish in the fourth quarter were captivating on their own, it was nonetheless strong play by ND over the first three periods that put the game in position to come out the way it did.
“I thought we had a great first three quarters,” Ivey said. “I thought we were focused, we responded to the loss yesterday, and I thought we played great collectively. I thought our defense was really good (with the Beavers making just 15-of-48 field goals over those initial three periods).”
Irish contributions came from many directions.
Besides Dodson getting 14 points and nine rebounds, Westbeld scored 11 points with six boards.
Six other players scored between four and nine points apiece.
That included freshman Sonia Citron, who had eight points and a game-high four steals, and Anaya Peoples, who added six points and three steals.
That duo’s defense helped force 21 OSU turnovers.
Abby Prohaska may not have had a flashy statistical line, but her five points and four rebounds came in 17 minutes, and more stirring for Irish momentum, the always scrappy senior coaxed a pair of charging fouls against the Beavers.
Westbeld missed 10-of-15 from the field to go with those nearly costly missed free throws at 19 seconds left, but don’t think for an instant the sophomore won’t remain ND’s go-to going forward.
She entered the night shooting 57% from the field overall, and she’s and even 7-of-14 on 3-pointers after making her lone such try Saturday.
A night after freshman point guard Olivia Miles scored a career-high 24 points, she matched her season low of 21 minutes.
“It’s a combination,” Ivey said of whether Miles’ somewhat limited time — including eight minutes in the second half — was more about being in a bit of foul trouble or about others playing well. “I’m kind of a coach that goes on feel, and I felt like (other combos were) playing really well, and she happened to be on the bench.”
Dara Mabrey, who typically orchestrated the offense when Miles was out, finished with nine points, three assists and two turnovers in 30 minutes.
“Dara’s doing a good job running the point,” Ivey said. “We have a lot of ball-handlers that can help within our offense, so every game just depends on who’s hot.”
Miles closed at seven points, two assists and one turnover.
The Irish play the third of five consecutive games away from home when they visit Michigan State on Thursday for a 6 p.m. tip as part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
Then it’s on to No. 2-ranked Connecticut on Sunday for a noon contest.
That matchup will be televised on FS1 and Thursday’s on the Big Ten Network.
NOTRE DAME 64, No. 16 OREGON STATE 62
NOTRE DAME (6-1): Dodson 6-17 2-2 14, Westbeld 5-15 0-2 11, Mabrey 3-9 2-4 9, Miles 2-6 2-2 7, Peoples 3-6 0-0 6, Brunelle 2-4 0-0 4, Citron 3-5 2-2 8, Prohaska 2-4 1-1 5, Marshall 0-1 0-0 0, Team 0-0 0-0 0, Totals 26-67 9-13 64
OREGON ST. (3-2): Brown 2-6 0-4 4, Corosdale 2-5 0-0 5, Jones 5-9 4-4 14, Kampschroeder 0-1 2-2 2, Von Oelhoffen 8-21 5-6 25, Mack 1-4 2-2 4, Mitrovic 0-1 0-0 0, Adams 1-4 0-0 2, Codding 0-1 0-0 0, Mannen 1-1 0-0 2, Marotte 2-7 0-0 4, Team 0-0 0-0 0, Totals 22-60 13-18 62
Notre Dame | 19 | 11 | 26 | 8 — 64
Oregon St. | 12 | 6 | 18 | 26 — 62
3-Point Goals_Notre Dame 3-7 (Westbeld 1-1, Mabrey 1-3, Miles 1-2, Brunelle 0-1), Oregon St. 5-19 (Corosdale 1-4, Von Oelhoffen 4-8, Mack 0-1, Adams 0-2, Codding 0-1, Marotte 0-3). Assists_Notre Dame 11 (Mabrey 3), Oregon St. 9 (Brown 3). Fouled Out_None. Rebounds_Notre Dame 36 (Team 6-6), Oregon St. 48 (Brown 4-14). Total Fouls_Notre Dame 18, Oregon St. 18. Technical Fouls_None. A_0.