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The Journal Gazette

Thursday, January 05, 2017 10:01 pm

Irish women get on track at home

Staff, news services

SOUTH BEND — A little home cooking made a big difference for No. 7 Notre Dame’s struggling offense.

Arike Ogunbowale scored 22 points on Thursday night and the offense came to life in a 92-72 victory over Wake Forest.

Notre Dame was coming off six straight road games, the program’s longest trip ever, and had not played at Purcell Pavilion since losing there to No. 1 Connecticut a month ago.

"There’s no place like home," Irish coach Muffet McGraw said.

Brianna Turner finished with 15 points and six rebounds for the Irish (14-2, 2-1 Atlantic Coast Conference), Marina Mabrey added 14 points and Lindsay Allen had 12.

Ogunbowale and Mabrey each made four 3-pointers, thanks in part to the comfort of finally shooting in familiar surroundings again.

"The energy of the fans really helps us when we’re back in our gym," Ogunbowale said.

The Irish average 78.8 points per game but totaled 62 at North Carolina State on Dec. 29, just their second ACC loss since joining the league in 2013, and 55 points in a win Monday at Georgia Tech.

Against the Demon Deacons, Notre Dame had 55 points by halftime and shot 60 percent from the field. That high shooting percentage was helped by getting the ball down low often and transition layups, which led to a 48-16 advantage in points in the paint.

But the Irish were also on from deep, shooting 62.5 percent from 3-point range (10 of 16).

"I was really happy with the offense," McGraw said. "I’d like to see that same flow, that same rhythm. We’ve been missing that the last couple games."

SOUTH DAKOTA STATE 73, IPFW 51: In Brookings, South Dakota, Ellie Thompson’s 19 points and nine rebounds led the Jackrabbits (11-4, 2-1 Summit League) over the Mastodons (3-13, 0-3) at Frost Arena. Rachel Rinehart had a team-high 13 points for the Mastodons, while Anna Lappenküper added 12, and Zaria Atkins finished with seven points and five assists.