Iowa Women's Basketball

Iowa women's basketball is no match for No. 1 Notre Dame

Irish blow it open in the second half, 105-71

Notre Dame’s Arike Ogunbowale (24) chases a loose ball ahead of Iowa’a Logan Cook in their ACC/Big Ten Challenge women’s basketball challenge Thursday at South Bend, Ind. Ogunbowale scored 30 points, and No. 1 Notre Dame rolled, 105-71. (Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports)
Notre Dame’s Arike Ogunbowale (24) chases a loose ball ahead of Iowa’a Logan Cook in their ACC/Big Ten Challenge women’s basketball challenge Thursday at South Bend, Ind. Ogunbowale scored 30 points, and No. 1 Notre Dame rolled, 105-71. (Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports)

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — This wasn’t the look that the Iowa Hawkeyes wanted to make on a big stage.

All five starters reached double figures as top-ranked Notre Dame clobbered No. 15 Iowa, 105-71, in front of 7,968 fans in-house — and a national-television audience on ESPN2 — Thursday night in an ACC/Big Ten Challenge women’s basketball game at Purcell Pavilion.

“When we play like that, play together like this ... we’re really unstoppable,” Notre Dame’s Arike Ogunbawale said.

The Hawkeyes couldn’t even slow them down.

Notre Dame scored 60 points in the second half. Its 105-point total was the most a Division-I team has ever scored against the Hawkeyes, and ranked second all-time to Grand View’s 112 on Dec. 10, 1975. The final margin of defeat tied for fourth-largest in Coach Lisa Bluder’s 19 seasons at Iowa.

“Offensively, they’re a juggernaut,” Bluder said. “They have so many weapons, so many people to go to.”

The Irish (7-0) are talented, to be sure. And they were focused, too.

Notre Dame hosts No. 2 Connecticut on Sunday, and Coach Muffet McGraw was asked how much concern she felt about her team looking ahead.

“None,” she said, simply.

The Hawkeyes dropped their second straight game and fell to 4-2.

You could say it would have been closer had Kathleen Doyle been in uniform, and you’d be right. You could point to the early foul discrepancy (it was 12-1 in Notre Dame’s favor at one point).

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But the cold, hard truth is this: Notre Dame was just a lot better than the Hawkeyes on this night.

The Irish took the lead just six seconds into the game on a 3-pointer by Marina Mabrey, and played from ahead the whole way. They were relentless on the offensive glass, grabbing 25 rebounds on that end that led to a 32-12 advantage in second- (and in some cases, third- and fourth-) chance points.

“They’re a really good rebounding team,” said Iowa’s Megan Gustafson, who posted 26 points and 10 rebounds. “They could jump. It’s one thing to find them; it’s another to box them out.”

Bluder said, “You can’t give up that many rebounds. They’d get the rebound, then we’d foul because we were out of position.”

Down 28-17 at the end of the first quarter, Iowa was competitive in the second. Trailing by 14 points on four occasions, the Hawkeyes put together a 9-2 surge to climb within 41-34 with 3:30 left in the half, but didn’t score again before intermission and went into the locker room down by 11.

Then came the avalanche, a 20-3 Notre Dame lightning bolt to start the second half that turned it into a bona fide blowout. The margin grew to 39 points with 6:35 left in the game.

“I thought we created a lot of scoring opportunities with our defense,” McGraw said.

Mabrey added 18 points for the Irish and Jackie Young scored 15. Brianna Turner posted 14 points and 11 rebounds, and Jessica Shepard tacked on 10 points.

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Gustafson’s 10 rebounds moved her career total to 1,052, which brings her within 15 of the school record, held by Cindy Haugejorde.

Tania Davis added 15 points for the Hawkeyes. Hannah Stewart scored 12, Makenzie Meyer 10.

Iowa committed 19 turnovers.

“It comes down to passing decisions,” Bluder said. “It’s fundamentals.”

The Hawkeyes will host Robert Morris (1-5) at 2 p.m. Sunday.

NOTRE DAME 105, IOWA 71

At South Bend, Ind.

IOWA (71): Hannah Stewart 5-9 2-2 12, Megan Gustafson 11-16 4-5 26, Makenzie Meyer 4-13 0-0 10, Alexis Sevillian 2-10 0-0 4, Tania Davis 6-15 0-0 15, Logan Cook 0-0 0-0 0, Zion Sanders 0-3 2-2 2, Monika Czinano 0-0 0-0 0, Amanda Ollinger 1-3 0-0 2. Totals 29-69 8-9 71.

NOTRE DAME (105): Brianna Turner 4-8 6-8 14, Jessica Shepard 5-10 0-0 10, Marina Mabrey 6-13 3-4 18, Jackie Young 6-11 3-4 15, Arike Ogunbowale 13-21 1-2 30, Katlyn Gilbert 1-1 0-0 2, Abby Prohaska 0-2 2-2 2, Mikayla Vaughn 1-1 2-2 4, Danielle Patterson 2-6 0-0 4, Danielle Cosgrove 1-5 0-0 2, Nicole Benz 1-1 0-0 2, Maureen Butler 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 40-81 17-22 105.

Halftime: Notre Dame 45, Iowa 34. 3-point goals: Iowa 5-25 (Meyer 2-9, Sevillian 0-7, Davis 3-7, Sanders 0-1, Ollinger 0-1), Notre Dame 8-19 (Mabrey 3-9, Ogunbowale 3-5, Gilbert 1-1, Cosgrove 1-4). Team fouls: Iowa 18, Notre Dame 11. Fouled out: none. Rebounds: Iowa 36 (Gustafson 10), Notre Dame 49 (Turner 11). Assists: Iowa 18 (Sevillian 6), Notre Dame 21 (Young 6). Steals: Iowa 6 (Meyer 2), Notre Dame 9 (Shepard 3). Turnovers: Iowa 18, Notre Dame 9.

Attendance: 7,968.

l Comments: (319) 368-8857; jeff.linder@thegazette.com

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