Ogunbowale leads No. 2 Notre Dame past No. 19 Marquette
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Arike Ogunbowale’s return home couldn’t have gone much better.
Ogunbowale, a former Milwaukee high school standout, scored 32 points and Brianna Turner added 20 as second-ranked Notre Dame rolled to an 87-63 victory over No. 19 Marquette on Saturday.
“What a homecoming for Arike,” said Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw. “Couldn’t ask for more than that. Shot the ball extremely well. Played well. Did everything she had to do.”
“It’s a tough game, I think, for some people to come back to their hometown when so many people are really wanting to see her play for the first time in a Notre Dame uniform,” McGraw said.
The Irish (11-1) gained control by outscoring Marquette 25-11 in the second quarter for a 42-29 lead at the half.
Ogunbowale, a three-time Wisconsin high school player of the year, hit 13 of 21 shots and all five free-throw attempts.
“I think it worked out really well,” Ogunbowale said. “Especially senior year, my last year playing and being able to play in front of friends and family so it was a really good environment.”
Natisha Hiedeman had 23 points and Erika Davenport added 16 points and 11 rebounds for the Golden Eagles (9-3), who lost at Notre Dame 91-85 in overtime last season.
Jessica Shepard added 15 points and 18 rebounds for the Irish, who shot 59.7 percent, making 37 of 62 shots. Notre Dame scored 62 points in the paint, attempting just eight 3-pointers and making two.
Notre Dame trailed 18-17 after one quarter, but made 12 of 16 shots in the second period.
Ogunbowale scored seven points during a 13-3 run that put the Irish in front 42-27. Notre Dame also was able to work the ball underneath to Turner, who hit all five of her field-goal attempts in the quarter.
“She’s so explosive and shifty,” Marquette coach Carolyn Kieger said. “She can shoot the 3, and then she can get by you in a quick second. I thought tonight, a lot of it came in the half court. She does such a great job pushing the ball in transition, but she hit some high-level pull-ups. She attacked well off the box and just played a great overall game.”
Marquette’s leading scorer, Allazia Blockton, who entered averaging 18.6 points per game, was 1 of 10 in the first half. She finished with four points.
“We had Brianna Turner on her when we went man-to-man,” McGraw said. “A little bigger. A little more size. Just the athletic ability, I don’t think she was able to get by her. We got her off to bad start and sometimes that affects a player.”
Ogunbowale scored Notre Dame’s first 11 points of the third quarter as the Irish boosted their lead to 67-50 entering the final period.
“She was unstoppable tonight. I’m a little disappointed,” Kieger said. “I thought we’d be able to give them a better effort than that. And I would have hoped to have been able to give them our best shot. We obviously did not do that tonight.”
Notre Dame: After closing out nonconference play against Lehigh, the Irish open ACC play at home against Pittsburgh, then visit Georgia Tech before a Jan. 10 showdown at home against third-ranked Louisville.
Marquette: The Golden Eagles conclude a six-game homestand with their first three Big East games at home. Marquette does not play on the road again until Jan. 11 at Villanova.
All five Marquette senior starters — Danielle King, Amana Wilborn, Hiedeman, Blockton and Davenport — each have scored at least 1,000 points in their careers.
For Notre Dame, Ogunbowale has topped 2,000 points, while Marina Mabrey, Turner and Shepard — whose total includes two seasons at Nebraska — have each scored more than 1,000. Junnior guard Jackie Young scored six points against Marquette, giving her 984.
Notre Dame hosts Lehigh on Dec. 30.
Marquette hosts Providence on Dec. 29.