Women’s Basketball: Notre Dame Beats Michigan 83-63
Michigan was going to get a major test from one of the best programs in women’s college basketball in Notre Dame. It was a close game as Michigan stayed with Notre Dame for most of the first half but in the end Notre Dame was just too much for Michigan to handle as Notre Dame wins 83-63.
Notre Dame came out strong early as they were playing their sixth straight road game. Head Coach Muffet McGraw was pleased with her team’s performance on the road. “I was really pleased with the win,” McGraw said. “This is a huge win for us on the road against a really good team and a ranked team in Michigan,” McGraw continued. Notre Dame got a great performance out of Arike Ogunbowale who led the Irish with 32 points on the night. She also was 13-20 from field goal range and 4-6 from three point range. “Arike shot the ball effectively and made some huge three’s at the end of the game,” McGraw said. “We were struggling offensively in the first half and she carried us through until the end of the first half”. Notre Dame got a run going in the third quarter and put the game away for the Irish. “We got on a little bit of a run in the second half,” McGraw said. “We got some breakaway layups and continued to do that so I thought we were a lot better in the second half,” McGraw continued. It was the first game back for Kathryn Westbeld who was injured at the beginning of the season. “I thought she was steady,” McGraw said. “She also looked tired to me but she gave us good minutes and she got 6 rebounds. She did some good things tonight,”.McGraw said. Notre Dame’s next matchup is against another powerhouse in women’s college basketball in UCONN. This will be their seventh road game in a row. Jackie Young had a solid night with 18 points, 14 rebounds and was 6 for 6 from the free throw line. Marina Mabrey also had a good night with 10 points, 6 rebounds and was 2 for 2 from the free throw line. Notre Dame was 15 for 18 from the free throw line tonight.
Michigan knew Notre Dame was going to be a test and Michigan hung with the Irish for most of the first half. But in the end, the Irish were too much for the Wolverines as they pulled away in the second half. “That was one of the best teams in Women’s College Basketball right there,” said Head Coach Kim Barnes Arico. “We have shown some growth with taking care of the ball and continuing to fight at the end of game”. Despite the loss, Arico thinks that her team is only going to get stronger as the season goes on. “Hailey Brown and Deja Church had an incredible opportunity to play in this environment with one of the best teams in the country. I think it’s only going to get better as the season goes on,” Arico remarked. Michigan only had one turnover in the first half and Arico said that was a big reason why the game was so close. “We had to be monsters on the boards,” Arico said. “This was the fewest turnovers we had all season against a very good opponent in Notre Dame so I was pleased with that effort,” Arico commented. Katelynn Flaherty had a good night and had 13 points in the game. “She was getting double teamed off every screen and got 8 assists and only 1 turnover,” Arico stated. “I think it showed growth in her game against one of the best teams in women’s college basketball,” Arico continued. Hallie Thome led the Wolverines with 24 points, 4 rebounds and was 8 for 10 from the free throw line. Hailey Brown had 11 points, 3 rebounds and was 2-2 from the free throw line. Jillian Dunston had a total of 6 rebounds on the night and Nicole Munger had 9 points and 2 rebounds. Michigan was 5-14 from three point range and 12 for 14 from the free throw line.
Michigan’s next matchup will be on the road as they travel to LIU Brooklyn to face the Blackbirds on Saturday at 12 PM.