Mabrey scores 18, No. 1 Notre Dame routs Wake Forest 78-48
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — With her off-campus roommate Arike Ogunbowale struggling, Marina Mabrey took over the scoring load for No. 1 Notre Dame in a wire-to-wire 78-48 victory over Wake Forest on Sunday.
“It happens to everyone,” Mabrey said after scoring 18 points while Ogunbowale, averaging 22.6 points a game coming in, was held to four points on 1-of-11 shooting. “I’m confident the next game she will be ready to go — she got the misses out of the way.”
Mabrey hit 7 of 11 shots, including 4 3-pointers, and had seven rebounds and four assists in 27 minutes. Ogunbowale, who scored 30 points Thursday in Notre Dame’s 82-68 victory over No. 2 Louisville, saw her 37-game double-digit scoring streak end despite playing a team-high 29 minutes.
“Sometimes you just have that kind of day,” Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw said. “Coming off a big game like Louisville, she just struggled to find her shot and her rhythm. But she did some other things (five assists).”
Jessica Shepard had 16 points while Brianna Turner had 14 points and 12 rebounds — her fifth double-double of the season — for the Fighting Irish (16-1, 4-0 Atlantic Coast Conference). They combined to go 13 for 18 from the field.
“Offensively, Bri and Jessica were really active today and Marina shot the ball well,” McGraw said.
Wake Forest coach Jen Hoover was impressed by the Irish.
“It’s hard to guard a team that has five players on the court who are so good offensively,” Hoover said. “They are much different (with Turner back from sitting out last season with an ACL injury). She’s such a rim protector.”
Christina Morra scored 13 points and Ivana Raca had 12 for the Demon Deacons (9-7, 0-3). Elisa Penna, Wake’s 6-foot-3 leading scorer coming in at 15.4 points per game, was held to just five points on 1-of-12 shooting, including 0 for 5 from long distance.
“I was really pleased with our defense, particularly on Penna,” McGraw said. “She’s just a great player, hard to guard. We mixed up who was on her — Brianna and Jackie did a good job on her and the others helped out as well. We did a good job finding her in the zone. That was No. 1 in the keys of the game.”
Ogunbowale made two free throws with 54 seconds left in the first half. Notre Dame took a 37-15 halftime lead after starting on an 18-0 run.
Notre Dame commanded the boards 30-16, forced 13 turnovers and held Wake Forest, which missed its first 11 shots, to 20 percent shooting (6 of 30). But the Irish had 10 miscues themselves and shot 41 percent (14 of 34) in the first half, including 6 of 18 in the second quarter.
The Fighting Irish came out shooting 81.8 percent with eight assists on nine baskets as they increased the lead to 57-20 with 4:16 to go in the third quarter. Shepard, Mabrey and Turner all had six points in the spurt. The lead reached 40 points before Notre Dame finished the third quarter up 62-28.
Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons were playing their second straight game without 6-foot-1 guard Alex Sharp, their second leading scorer at 12.7 ppg. Sharp broke her right hand during practice in between the Deacons’ losses to Miami and Boston College and is expected to miss four to six weeks. Sharp, who is from Melbourne, Australia, is one of five international players on the Wake Forest roster. The others are Ellen Hahne (Sweden), Raca (Serbia), Morra (Canada) and Penna (Italy).
Notre Dame: The Fighting Irish have won 28 straight games against unranked teams after beating a top 10-opponent. But they again had trouble handling the ball in the first half, committing 10 turnovers and finishing with 18. Against Louisville, Notre Dame had 11 of its 18 turnovers in the first half.
SISTERS AND ALUMNAE
On Wednesday, Notre Dame visits Virginia Tech (13-3, 0-3 ACC), which has Mabrey’s younger sister, 5-foot-7 freshman Dara, starting at guard. Dara Mabrey is averaging 12.0 points per game while shooting 47 percent from the floor, 48 percent from 3-point land and 89 percent at the charity stripe. She also has a team-leading 45 assists for the Hokies, who were off Sunday.
“I’ve never played against (Dara) before,” said Marina, the driveway games aside. The sisters did lead Manasquan (N.J.) High School to a state title in 2015. “It’s going to be different, obviously. I’m looking forward to seeing her; I haven’t seen her in a while. It will be fun.”
The two Mabreys’ older sister, Michaela, played for Notre Dame from 2012-16, played on three Final Four teams and was a two-time captain for McGraw. She is now director of recruiting for the Louisiana State women’s basketball team.
Melissa D’Amico, who played for McGraw and graduated from Notre Dame in 2008, is an assistant for Hoover.
Wake Forest: Plays at North Carolina on Thursday.
Notre Dame: Plays at Virginia Tech on Wednesday.