In front of a pre-holiday season home crowd on Sunday, the Fighting Irish matched up against the Binghamton Bearcats. The fans in attendance always make it feel like a packed Purcell Pavilion. On the court, Arike Ogunbowale came into the game with 1,993 points for her career at Notre Dame. Without many words you know she got there in short time.
When you need to get going early, it’s always good to get the offense on the board quick. Arike Ogunbowale did just that. Six seconds into the start the game Arike had the first points of the game. Scoring was a premium in the first quarter. A good run is also helps. Early in the first quarter a 10-0 by the Irish set the stage for the afternoon. The run set up a 13 point lead for the Irish. The Irish were scoring at will and the defense was stifling. The inside game wasn’t working for Binghamton, so they tried to go outside and were 3-11 from three point range. That wasn’t very successful either. With 14 points in the paint, means that the Irish were able to convert on high percentage shots. Jackie Young continues to be the cardiac kid of the offense as she played the full ten minutes of the first quarter. Young also led all scorers with 9 points and with three assists. Despite a small run at the end of the quarter by Binghamton, the Irish win the first quarter 28-18.
To start the second quarter, the Irish went on 21-0 run. That’s a scoring drought of 5:20. That’s a long time to with out a basket. But the Irish had both sides of their game working. During that run, Ogunbowale broke the 2,000 mark with her 2,001 point. Arike became the fifth female basketball player to make that milestone. Binghamton though struggling, was playing very physical basketball, maybe to physical. ND was making their time at the line count. Shooting 11-14 from the charity stripe. Binghamton scored only 11 points total for the quarter. Allowing an opponent like the Irish to score when the clock isn’t running hurts you even more. Going into the half, the Irish were up 27 points with the score 56-29.
When both sides of the ball are working, good stats start to develop. The area of assists and rebounds is where Coach McGraw loves to see her players excel. Two players had achieved a double/double. Marina Mabrey had 19 points with 10 assists, and Ogunbowale had 13 points and 11 rebounds (10 offensive rebounds). Though not to be outdone Young had 21 points to lead all scorers, while Jessica Shepard had collected 18 points, through three quarters. The Irish go to the fourth quarter up 89-41
What makes Coach McGraw even more happy? It’s when she can get her starters off the floor and give the bench some much needed game exposure and they did well. What really makes the crowd cheer is when a walk-on or Freshman can come in and make a big play. Freshman Forward Danielle Cosgrove comes in and drains a three-pointer. Not once but twice. The crowd in attendance just goes wild. The Irish bench held their own for a good part of ten minutes. The bench scored 12 of the 14 points in the final period. The Irish also break the century mark as they win 103-53. They also improve to 8-1. Next up for the Irish is Western Kentucky on Wednesday night 7 PM at Purcell Pavilion. Cheers and Go Irish!!☘🏀⚡