Irish Open ACCWBB Title Defense In Grand Style

Notre Dame takes control early in quarterfinal win over Duke

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GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) – Freshman Marina Mabrey scored 14 points to help second-ranked Notre Dame beat Duke 83-54 in Friday's quarterfinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.

Fellow rookie Arike Ogunbowale also scored 14 for the top-seeded Fighting Irish (29-1), who shook off a slow start to build a double-digit lead by midway through the second quarter on the way to an easy win. Notre Dame led by 15 at halftime and by 31 from there, continuing its three-year dominance of the league since joining the ACC in 2013-14.

Notre Dame improved to 55-1 against ACC opponents during that time, including 7-0 in the league tournament. The Fighting Irish advanced to play No. 21 Miami in Saturday's semifinals.

Azura Stevens scored 19 points to lead the eighth-seeded Blue Devils (20-12), who shot just 32 percent and saw the deficit grow in the second period as Notre Dame kept converting turnovers into points.

The Blue Devils were without No. 2 scorer Rebecca Greenwell, who missed her second tournament straight game with a lingering back injury. That left Stevens as one of two double-figure scorers for Duke compared to the Fighting Irish's overwhelming balance, which had nine players score by halftime and five finish in double figures.

Notre Dame blew the game open with a 16-2 run, fittingly with five different players scoring during that burst. Senior Hannah Huffman, who came in averaging 2.6 points, scored six during the run and capped the burst with a jumper to make it 35-15 with 3:41 left before halftime.

Then, after Duke closed within 13 early in the third quarter, Notre Dame ran off a 12-0 burst that ended with Turner's layup to make it 51-26 with 5:38 left and effectively seal the win.

Notre Dame shot 47 percent and scored 19 points off turnovers while committing just seven turnovers of its to start its stay in Greensboro.


Duke: Stevens also had 10 rebounds. ... Duke made 5-of-20 shots to open the game. ... Duke fell to 1-9 all-time in the tournament against No. 1 seeds. ... Duke had its lowest seed since checking in at No. 9 in 1993.

Notre Dame: The Fighting Irish took a 44-32 rebounding advantage and scored 20 second-chance points. ... Notre Dame made 7-of-19 3-pointers. ... The Irish blocked seven shots.


Duke: Awaits word from selection committee whether it will play in the NCAA Tournament.

Notre Dame: Will face No. 21 Miami in Saturday's semifinals.