Associated Press Notre Dame's Arike Ogunbowale shoots over Michigan's Jillian Dunston during the first half. Ogunbowale scored 32 points as the No. 3 Irish routed the No. 22 Wolverines.
Thursday, November 30, 2017 1:00 am
Notre Dame 83 Michigan 63
Ogunbowale, Irish flatten Wolverines
Shut down star scorer to set up showdown with No. 1 UConn
NOAH TRISTER | Associated Press
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Coach Muffet McGraw noticed some signs of fatigue after Notre Dame won a tournament in Florida last weekend.
The Irish still had enough energy to get past Michigan – and set up a matchup of unbeatens this weekend against No. 1 Connecticut.
Arike Ogunbowale scored 20 of her 32 points in the first half, and No. 3 Notre Dame beat No. 22 Michigan 83-63 on Wednesday night. The Irish were coming off a victory Sunday over South Carolina that capped a three-wins-in-three-days stretch at the Gulf Coast Showcase.
“We were really, really tired,” McGraw said. “We looked tired at practice, tired in the game. To find the adrenaline to get us through that game was a great effort.”
The Irish (7-0) earned another impressive win heading into their showdown with No. 1 UConn in Hartford, Connecticut.
Notre Dame held Michigan star Katelynn Flaherty to 13 points on 5-of-18 shooting. It was the first time all season she scored fewer than 20.
“That was the key to the game; we had to shut down Flaherty,” McGraw said. “She's a great player, great scorer. We did a really good job on her. Everybody had a turn guarding her at some point.”
Jackie Young added 18 points and 14 rebounds for Notre Dame, which has played its last six games away from home.
Hallie Thome scored 24 points for Michigan (4-2). Flaherty had a career-high eight assists on a night when open shots were hard to come by.
Notre Dame led 24-13 after the first quarter. Michigan cut the lead to five on a layup by Thome, but Ogunbowale made a pair of 3-pointers to help the Irish to a 39-30 lead.
“I knew our team needed a little lift, so I was able to knock them down,” Ogunbowale said.
It was 43-34 at halftime and 62-49 after three quarters. Notre Dame then started the fourth with a 14-2 run to break the game open.
Ogunbowale tied her career high in scoring. She also had 32 points against Ohio State in March.
The Wolverines simply had no answer for her defensively.
“I think tonight, they got a taste of one of the best players in the country in Arike,” Michigan coach Kim Barnes Arico said. “Now, how can we defend that? Who's going to make that their mission?”
Notre Dame outrebounded Michigan 42-28, which was important on a night when the Wolverines generally took good care of the ball.
Michigan had only one turnover in the first half and nine in the game.
“Great teams gotta be able to rebound and gotta be able to take care of the basketball,” Arico said. “We've kind of alternated nights, but this was a good sign for me, because now I know they're capable of doing that.
“This was the fewest turnovers we've had on the year, and against a real quality opponent.”