SOUTH BEND – Muffet McGraw got the effort she wanted from No. 4 Notre Dame right from the start Sunday, especially from Arike Ogunbowale, in a 97-70 rout of No. 24 Florida State.
“She looked like she was enjoying herself out there,” McGraw said after Ogunbowale, who has been struggling of late, scored 27 points. Jessica Shepard added 26 as the Irish, who had two rare Atlantic Coast Conference losses in their last four games, rebounded from Thursday's 72-65 defeat at No. 25 Miami.
“I've got to be aggressive from the start – I've been kind of laid back,” said Ogunbowale, who had 13 points on 4-of-15 shooting against the Hurricanes but hit her first four shots against the Seminoles.
Ogunbowale had made just 20 of 61 shots in her previous four games, which began with then-No. 1 Notre Dame's 78-73 loss at North Carolina on Jan. 27.
Her 27 points, on 9-of-16 shooting including 5 of 7 from beyond the 3-point line, left Ogunbowale with 2,301 career points, 21 behind current Irish assistant coach Beth (Morgan) Cunningham. Skylar Diggins-Smith is the all-time leader at 2,357. Ogunbowale also had nine rebounds, five assists, two steals and had zero turnovers for Notre Dame (21-3, 9-2 ACC), which turned the ball over just 10 times.
“I was happy with the offense,” McGraw said as the Irish shot 52.9 percent (36 of 68) and had a 43-36 edge on the boards after shooting a season-low 37.3 percent and being outrebounded 46-37 at Miami. “We were able to get the break going because we rebounded better.”
Shepard had eight rebounds with two assists, including one from her knees when she fed Ogunbowale for a corner 3-pointer that gave Notre Dame a 45-33 lead in the second quarter.
“Arike made a great pass to me and I probably blew it,” Shepard said. “I remember seeing her out there and found a way to tip her the ball. Coming off a loss, it was important to come out strong.”
Brianna Turner had 13 points, five blocks and four assists, and Jackie Young had 10 points and five assists for the Irish, who had 25 assists, led by Marina Mabrey's six.
Nicki Ekhomu scored 26 points, Kiah Gillespie added 17 and Nausia Woolfolk had 15 as the Seminoles (20-4, 8-3) lost for the first time on the road this season.