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The Journal Gazette

  • Michigan State's Kennedy Johnson (55) looks for a shot as Notre Dame's Kristina Nelson (21) defends during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017, in South Bend, Ind. (AP Photo/Robert Franklin)

Wednesday, December 06, 2017 9:10 pm

No. 3 Notre Dame women rout Michigan State 90-59

JOHN FINERAN | Associated Press

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Arike Ogunbowale scored 23 points and No. 3 Notre Dame beat Michigan State 90-59 on Wednesday night in its first home game in 25 days.

Junior transfer Jessica Shepard had 19 points, Jackie Young added 13 points and graduate transfer Lili Thompson had 12 for Notre Dame (8-1). The Irish went 6-1 on the road, the loss coming Sunday at No. 1 Connecticut.

Jenna Allen led Michigan State (5-3), and Lexi Gussert had 11.

Coach Muffet McGraw used mostly a seven-player rotation and her Irish shot 80 percent (8 of 10) in the second quarter and held the Spartans scoreless over the final 6:16 to take a 47-16 halftime lead.

Despite shooting just 33 percent in the third quarter, including a 2:23 scoreless streak to end it, Notre Dame maintained a 63-40 lead heading into the final quarter.

Notre Dame shot 51.8 percent from the field while holding Michigan State to 30.8, and the Irish outrebounded the Spartans, 44-34, as Thompson, a 5-foot-7 guard, snared a team-high nine.

BIG PICTURE

Michigan State: Coach Suzy Merchant has work to do with her squad on both ends of the floor after Notre Dame shot 64 percent in the first half (16 of 25) while holding the Spartans to 18.8 percent (6 of 32). The Spartans entered the game shooting 43.5 percent while holding their opposition to 39.2.

Notre Dame: With Brianna Turner, Mychal Johnson and Mikayla Vaughn sidelined for the season with ACL injuries, McGraw went with a seven-player rotation in the first half. An eighth, freshman Danielle Patterson, saw limited action in each half.

UP NEXT

Michigan State: Host Rhode Island on Saturday.

Notre Dame: At Penn on Saturday.