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The Journal Gazette

Monday, February 12, 2018 1:00 am

College basketball

Irish roll after slow first half

Staff, news services

SOUTH BEND – Coach Muffet McGraw thought No. 5 Notre Dame would benefit from a week off from the Atlantic Coast Conference grind. What she didn't figure on was the break lasting another half against scrappy Georgia Tech.

Arike Ogunbowale overcame a first-half scoreless drought of nearly 17 minutes to finish with 27 points to lead the Irish to an 85-69 victory on Sunday.

The Irish (23-2, 11-1 ACC) got past 15 turnovers and poor foul shooting in the first 20 minutes for their eighth straight victory.

Jackie Young scored 22 points on 10-of-13 shooting, Jessica Shepard had her eighth double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds and Kathryn Westbeld added 10 points.

“We had a plan, but they had to execute,” McGraw said. “A lot of the turnovers were good ideas that just went awry. We also buckled down defensively. (But) the ability to get the ball in Arike's hands and into Jackie's hands when we drive the ball was what really helped us in the second half.”

Kaylan Pugh had 13 points, Francesca Pan 12 and Chanin Scott and Kierra Fletcher scored 10 each for the Yellow Jackets (15-11, 4-9 ACC), who were tied 39-all at halftime.

“I don't think they're used to seeing that kind of full-court pressure,” said Georgia Tech coach MaChelle Joseph, a former DeKalb and Purdue standout. “But they did a great job with the adjustments in getting the ball into Arike's hands. She made plays, which is why she's one of the best players in the country.”

Notre Dame started this second half on a 6-0 run.


OMAHA 77, IPFW  61: In Omaha, Nebraska, the Mastodons dropped their eighth straight game. IPFW (4-21, 1-11 Summit League) hasn't won since beating Omaha (11-12, 2-8) at home Jan. 6. De'Jour Young scored 17 points for the Mastodons.

SOUTH FLORIDA 84, No. 13 OHIO STATE 65: In Tampa, Florida, Kitija Laksa scored a career-high 41 points, 18 in a decisive first quarter, to lead the Bulls' upset. Stephanie Mavunga had 28 points on 13-of-16 shooting for the Buckeyes (20-6), who had won four straight. Kelsey Mitchell added 19. 

MICHIGAN STATE 66, No. 21 MICHIGAN 61: In East Lansing, Michigan, Lexi Gussert scored 11 of her 14 points in the first half to help her team build a double-digit lead as the Spartans (15-11, 5-8 Big Ten) snapped a six-game losing streak. The Wolverines (20-7, 9-5) have lost three of four, falling out of contention to win a Big Ten title.


No. 20 MICHIGAN 83, WISCONSIN 72: In Madison, Wisconsin, Moe Wagner scored 20 points, went 8 of 14 from the field and added 11 rebounds to lead the Wolverines. Duncan Robinson scored 16 points for Michigan (20-7, 9-5 Big Ten), which won for the first time on the road since upsetting Michigan State on Jan. 13.