No. 6 Notre Dame coasts to 97-47 win over Boston College
BOSTON (AP) — Notre Dame guard Arike Ogunbowale was speaking to reporters outside the locker room when assistant coach Beth Cunningham came out with a wide smile on her face.
“She played you way too much,” Cunningham, the former No. 2 scorer in school history, joked before giving a big hug to the woman who had just passed her on the team’s all-time list.
Ogunbowale scored 23 to pass Cunningham and move just 33 points behind Skylar Diggins, Notre Dame’s all-time scoring leader, and the sixth-ranked Fighting Irish coasted to a 97-47 victory over Boston College on Wednesday night.
Brianna Turner scored 19 and Jessica Shepard had 16 points and 12 rebounds for Notre Dame (23-3, 10-2 Atlantic Coast Conference). Jackie Young scored 15 with 10 rebounds for the Irish, who led by 29 at the half and mounted a 23-0 run that left them with an 88-29 lead after three quarters.
By then, the only suspense was how far up the scoring list Ogunbowale go.
Entering the game needing 21 points to tie Cunningham, who scored 2,322 points in her career, Ogunbowale matched her with a 3-point play midway through the third quarter. She hit a layup in the fourth to move into second behind Diggins (2,357 points).
“She’s an amazing player,” McGraw said of the senior who hit game-winning shots in both the NCAA semifinal and championship last spring. “I think she’s the most exciting player in college basketball.”
Had Ogunbowale spoken with her assistant coach about the record?
“That’s not really on my mind,” she said, breaking into a smile. “But I’m going to probably say something to her now. Maybe I’ll pour some water on her.”
Taylor Soule scored 11 points for BC (14-11, 3-9). The Eagles were outscored 58-32 in the paint, 23-6 on second-chance points, and 22-11 in transition. Notre Dame’s 37 third-quarter points were a season high.
“They have such a good team that if you give them that confidence early, it is really hard to get out of the spiral effect we were in throughout the game,” BC coach Joanna Bernabei-McNamee said.
The Irish opened a 10-point lead less than four minutes in, made it 20 points with seven minutes left in the second quarter and led by 29, 51-22, at the half.
It was a 30-point lead on the first basket of the second half, 40 points less than four minutes later and 50 points 2 1/2 minutes after that. Notre Dame led 83-27 when Emma Guy made a hook shot to end a 5 minute, 55 second drought and end the 23-0 run.
“When we get going like that, we’re hard to stop,” McGraw said.
Notre Dame scored the first eight points of the game and never trailed. BC missed its first 10 attempts from 3-point range until Milan Bolden-Morris sank one with 6:44 left in the second quarter.
Cunningham also dropped in the record books in another category: Marina Mabrey went 2 for 5 from 3-point range, giving her 249 career 3-pointers, dropping the assistant coach into fourth and tying Sheila McMillan. Alicia Ratay is first with 262.
Notre Dame: Visits No. 12 North Carolina State on Monday in the Play4Kay game dedicated to raise money for women’s cancers in the name of former Wolfpack coach Kay Yow.
“It’s always a good atmosphere,” Cunningham said. “They don’t beat themselves. We’re going to have to take it from them.”
Boston College: Host’s Clemson on Saturday.