Notre Dame women win 4th straight ACC championship
Published 12:41 am Monday, March 6, 2017
CONWAY, S.C. (AP) — Arike Ogunbowale scored 21 points and Brianna Turner added 18 to help No. 3 Notre Dame beat 13th-ranked Duke 84-61 on Sunday in the ACC Tournament championship game, clinching the NCAA bid.
The Fighting Irish (30-3) became the second team in ACC history to win the conference regular-season and tournament titles in four straight seasons. The Blue Devils did it from 2001-04.
Notre Dame was up 12 at the half before Duke scored 10 straight points to start the third quarter and close the gap, 43-41. Irish Coach Muffet McGraw called a timeout and her team responded, scoring the next 14 points during a 20-2 run that blew the game open. Ogunbowale hit two 3-pointers during the spurt, her second one making it 60-43 with 2:28 left in the third.
The Blue Devils (27-5) couldn’t recover.
Lexie Brown scored 16 points to lead Duke, which had played stellar defense in the first two games of the tournament, holding opponents to just 49 points and 29 percent shooting.
Notre Dame raced out to a quick lead against Duke, scoring on eight of its first nine possessions to go up 18-8. Ogunbowale had seven points during that opening stretch. The lead ballooned to 14 points before Lexie Brown tried to rally Duke, scoring seven straight to get the Blue Devils to 32-25 midway through the second quarter. Lindsay Allen’s layup just before the halftime buzzer gave the Irish a 43-31 advantage.
Duke rallied to start the third quarter with the first 10 points but could get no closer.
Allen finished the game with 13 assists and had 33 in the tournament.
Notre Dame: The Irish have gone 15-1 against Duke all-time, winning the last 13 meetings. … The Irish have the second-most wins over the past six seasons, trailing only UConn. Notre Dame has won 206 games while UConn, which plays Sunday night, has won 214.
Duke: The Blue Devils have won ACC Tournament titles in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2010, 2011 and 2013. … Duke played three ranked teams in the ACC Tournament for the first time in school history.
HOW THEY GOT HERE
Duke: Earned the No. 3 seed in the tournament and routed No. 21 Syracuse 68-46 on Friday before edging No. 16 Miami 57-52 on Saturday.
Notre Dame: Earned the top seed in the tournament and topped Virginia 76-59 on Friday before beating No. 14 Louisville 84-73 on Saturday.
Duke: Waiting for an NCAA Tournament seed.
Notre Dame: Waiting for an NCAA Tournament seed.