Sunday, December 31, 2017 6:50 pm
Ogunbowale helps No. 2 Notre Dame rout Wake Forest 96-73
SCOTT HAMILTON | Associated Press
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Notre Dame's fifth ACC opener was hardly different than any of its previous four. Actually, it mirrored the vast majority of its conference games for the better part of a decade.
Arike Ogunbowale scored 25 points while Marina Mabrey had 22 points while No. 2 Notre Dame beat Wake Forest 96-73 on Sunday.
The Fighting Irish (13-1, 2-0 ACC) now has an ACC record of 64-2 since joining the league for the 2013-14 season. Notre Dame is a combined 95-3 over the past seven seasons in the Big East and ACC with six straight regular-season conference titles.
"When we joined the conference, we had a really good team, we had a couple of Final Four teams early on," Coach Muffet McGraw of Notre Dame said. "I think it was really difficult for us to learn 15 new teams. There was a lot of learning, a lot of scouting. Everything was new for us. A lot of venues, a lot of different places. I think we were really laser-focused to start."
The Fighting Irish made their first six shots en route to taking a 24-6 lead late in the first quarter. Notre Dame shot 56 percent from the field while winning for the sixth straight time since losing at top-ranked Connecticut on Dec. 3.
The loss ended a six-game winning streak for Wake Forest (8-6, 0-1). The Demon Deacons — who had been idle since winning at College of Charleston on Dec. 21 — shot 42 percent from the field after missing six of their first seven attempts.
"We started at the top of the conference and we knew it would be a challenge, but we were excited about that challenge," Coach Jen Hoover of Wake Forest said. " ... But you've got to give them a lot of credit — when one person makes a mistake, they find that person. So all five people can't make mistakes against them. They did a good job of attacking us and we didn't respond until too late."
Elisa Penna tied a career-high with 24 points and Amber Campbell added 18 points for Wake Forest.
Notre Dame: The Fighting Irish made half of its 3-point attempts for the second straight game. It is a combined 13 of 26 during that span after going 4 for 22 during a 91-85 win over Marquette in overtime.
"We don't really talk about (3-point shooting)," McGraw said. "I feel like every shot is going in when we let it go. Our shot selection could probably be a little better and I think it has been better. We've worked on getting some inside touches and some inside-out 3s instead of just shooting it straight up, so that's really improved our shot selection."
Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons have lost eight straight ACC openers. The last time that Wake Forest started league play with a win came when it beat Virginia Tech 66-63 on Jan. 7, 2010.
Sunday's effort was the second 20-plus-point game for Ogunbowale against Wake Forest. She scored 17 points against the Demon Deacons as a freshman and had 22 points last season. She made 11 of 17 shots on Sunday while also totaling three assists and three steals.
Campbell scored 18 points for the second straight game and she has posted double-digit scoring total in 10 out of 13 games this season. The three games in which she didn't score at least 10 points include a four-point effort against Charlotte, two points at Penn State and she was held scoreless at Rutgers.
Notre Dame plays host to Miami on Thursday, which beat No. 14 Duke 51-48 on Sunday for its sixth straight win.
Wake Forest tries to restart its winning streak on Thursday at Pittsburgh to start off a stretch of four games in 10 days.