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Defending champ Notre Dame opens with dominating win


1:46 PM ET

Charlie CremeESPN.com

CloseCharlie Creme initiatives the ladies’s NCAA match bracket for ESPN.com.

Notre Dame scored six seconds into its opening sport of the ladies’s NCAA match on Saturday and by no means seemed again in a cushty 92-50 win over Bethune-Cookman in South Bend.

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It was the type of efficiency anticipated of a No. 1 seed and Ultimate 4 favourite towards a No. 16 making its first journey to the NCAA match.

No staff has dominated over the past 5 weeks like Notre Dame, the defending NCAA champion. Since shedding to Miami on Feb. 7, the Irish have gained 10 straight by a mean of 30 factors per sport. That stretch consists of wins over NCAA match groups Syracuse (twice), NC State, North Carolina, Florida State and fellow No. 1 seed Louisville.

Saturday, the Irish did what they do finest: pushed the ball in transition, shared the ball and dominated within the lane. Publish gamers Jessica Shepard and Brianna Turner mixed for 41 factors (on 17-for-25 capturing) and 22 rebounds. Arike Ogunbowale led Notre Dame with 23 factors.

Arike Ogunbowale scored a team-high 23 factors for Notre Dame. AP Picture/Robert Franklin

Not surprisingly, the sport was determined early. Notre Dame jumped to a 29-12 lead after one quarter after which scored the primary eight factors of the second to place it away. Twenty-six of the Irish’s first 37 factors got here within the paint, and Notre Dame completed with 58 factors inside 15 ft.

The Irish, who rank fourth within the nation with 20.6 assists per sport, had 24 assists on their 36 area objectives. The Irish dominated in the identical manner within the ACC match, profitable by a mean of 21 factors per sport en path to the title.

All 5 starters common not less than 13.5 PPG this season, so essentially the most shocking a part of Saturday’s win was senior Marina Mabrey failing to attain (Zero-for-Three from area, seven assists).

With 9 factors and 11 rebounds, 6-foot-Three sophomore Mikayla Vaughn greater than compensated and offered some bench manufacturing that Notre Dame hasn’t all the time gotten however would possibly want later within the match.


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