Blue and Gold Illustrated

BGI April 2019

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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Page 44 of 55 APRIL 2019 45 WOMEN'S BASKETBALL • The 95-77 win versus North Carolina in the quarterfinals helped rinse out the bitter taste from Jan- uary, with Ogunbowale scoring a game-high 28 points and Young, present this time versus the Tar Heels, adding 19 points, nine assists and seven rebounds. • In the 91-66 romp versus No. 18 Syracuse in the semifinals, all five Fighting Irish starters achieved dou- ble-figure scoring, led by Young (18 points, 13 rebounds and five assists) and senior forward Jessica Shepard (16 points and 12 rebounds), while senior guard Marina Mabrey's four three-pointers set a new career stan- dard at the school. • In the championship game, which the Irish lost 74-72 to Louis- ville last year, the twin tower tandem of Jessica Shepard (a season-high 30 points with 13 rebounds and four as- sists) and Brianna Turner (20 points, seven rebounds and three blocks) overpowered the smaller four-guard look of the No. 3-ranked Cardinals, who had lost top post player Sam Fuehring to an ankle injury. Shepard and Turner converted 22 of 29 field goals between them in the contest, while Young (21 points and 10 rebounds) — who plays much big- ger than her 6-0 size — drove aggres- sively into the lane repeatedly and set the tone early for Notre Dame's inside dominance. This victory marked the eighth time this season Shepard and Young posted double- doubles in the same game. The Fighting Irish outscored Lou- isville 72-40 in the paint and crushed the Cardinals on the glass with 23 offensive rebounds. All five Irish starters tallied in double figures for the 13th time, and Shepard joined ACC Tournament MVP Young on the All-Tournament team. While playing the nation's top schedule in the 349-team Division I, Notre Dame finished No. 1 in scoring offense (89.0) and free throws made (525), No. 2 in field goal percentage (51.8), No. 3 in assists (681) and re- bounds (1,438), and No. 6 in rebound margin (9.9). THE FINAL PUSH The victory versus Louisville clinched the eighth straight No. 1 seed for the Irish, who probably will be at the desired Chicago Regional. With all respect to Oregon, Missis- sippi State, Louisville and many oth- ers, the title this season likely will go again to one of the three teams that won six of the last seven champion- ships: UConn, Baylor or the Fighting Irish. The Bears and Huskies may be the lone two teams that could vanquish Notre Dame. UConn already did ear- lier this year, while Baylor has its own twin towers in 6-7 Kalani Brown and 6-4 Lauren Cox, who lead the most dominant defense in the nation. Another ACC championship ban- ner (both regular season and tour- nament) has been added for one "all's well that ends well" finish … but the opportunity for even more remains. ✦ THREE-POINT PLAY 1. Notre Dame No. 1 In RPI — Entering Selection Monday March 18, the Fighting Irish easily had the nation's highest Ratings Percentage Index at .7157, while Baylor (No. 1 in the Associated Press poll) was next at .7047. But Notre Dame's strength of schedule ranking stood out even more at .6501. No other school was even at .6200. To put into context just how strong the schedule was, consider that in the final AP poll prior to the NCAA Tournament, Notre Dame defeated No. 5 Louisville (82-68 and 99-79), No. 8 Iowa (105-71), No. 10 North Carolina State (95-72), No. 11 Oregon State (91-81), No. 12 Gonzaga (81-65), No. 13 Marquette (87-63), No. 15 Syracuse (98-68 and 91-66), No. 21 Drake (82-64) and No. 25 Florida State (97-70). What's more, those 11 victories have been by an average of 21.9 points. 2. Sam Brunelle and Anaya Peoples are McDonald's All-Americans — Both of Notre Dame's incom- ing recruits in 2019 — 6-2 forward Brunelle and 5-10 guard Peoples — will suit up in the 24-person McDonald's All-American Game at State Farm Arena in Atlanta that will be telecast by ESPN2 at 5 p.m., Wednesday, March 27. Despite suffering a broken foot in December that sidelined her two months, Brunelle is ranked as the nation's No. 4 player by ESPN HoopGurlz and No. 5 by Prospects Nation. Peoples, who led her Schlarman High team to its second straight Illinois Class A title this February, is listed No. 21 by ESPN HoopGurlz and No. 8 by Prospects Nation. Brunelle returned late in the year from her injury, but her William Monroe High team lost 77-62 to Hopewell in Virginia's Class 4 state semifinal in which she scored 25 points and grabbed 21 rebounds. 3. Carol Owens Receives Assistant Coach Hall Of Fame Honor — Although sometimes in the shadow of former Notre Dame star players and current assistants Niele Ivey and Beth Morgan Cunningham, associate head coach Carol Owens this month was selected as one of the 12 inaugural inductees into the Assistant Coaches Hall of Fame, sponsored by A STEP UP to specifically recognize NCAA Division I, II and III men and women assistant basketball coaches. Owens is in her second stint of a 19-year career with the Fighting Irish, the first from 1995-2005 and the second that began in 2010. During her time at Notre Dame, the Irish have won nearly 85 percent of their games, been to eight Final Fours and won two national titles. — Lou Somogyi 2018-19 NOTRE DAME WOMEN'S BASKETBALL SCHEDULE Date Opponent (TV) Result/Time (ET) Oct. 30 Lewis University! W, 107-65 Nov. 9 Harvard W, 103-58 Nov. 12 Penn W, 75-55 Nov. 17 at DePaul W, 101-77 Nov. 22 vs. Gonzaga# W, 81-65 Nov. 23 vs. Drake# W, 82-64 Nov. 24 vs. Oregon State# W, 91-81 Nov. 29 Iowa% W, 105-71 Dec. 2 Connecticut^ L, 89-71 Dec. 8 at Toledo W, 72-56 Dec. 16 Binghamton W, 103-53 Dec. 19 Western Kentucky W, 94-53 Dec. 22 at Marquette W, 87-63 Dec. 30 Lehigh W, 95-68 Jan. 3 Pittsburgh* W, 100-44 Jan. 6 at Georgia Tech* W, 76-55 Jan. 10 Louisville* W, 82-68 Jan. 13 Wake Forest* W, 78-48 Jan. 16 at Virginia Tech* W, 80-51 Jan. 20 Boston College* W, 92-63 Jan. 24 at Tennessee W, 77-62 Jan. 27 at North Carolina* L, 78-73 Jan. 31 at Clemson* W, 101-63 Feb. 3 Georgia Tech* W, 90-50 Feb. 7 at Miami* L, 72-65 Feb. 10 Florida State* W, 97-70 Feb. 13 at Boston College* W, 97-47 Feb. 18 at NC State* W, 95-72 Feb. 21 Duke* W, 89-61 Feb. 25 at Syracuse* W, 98-68 Mar. 3 Virginia* W, 103-66 Mar. 8 vs. North Carolina$ W, 95-77 Mar. 9 vs. Syracuse$ W, 91-66 Mar. 10 vs. Louisville$ W, 99-79 Mar. 22-25 NCAA Tournament+ ! Exhibition; # Vancouver Showcase at Vancouver, British Columbia; % ACC-Big Ten Challenge; ^ Jimmy V Classic; * ACC game; $ ACC Tournament at Greens- boro, N.C.; + first and second rounds at South Bend, dates and times TBD

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