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The Journal Gazette

  • Associated Press Notre Dame guard Arike Ogunbowale tries to fend off Georgia Tech forward Breanna Brown after making a steal Sunday.

Monday, January 08, 2018 1:00 am

Notre Dame 77 Georgia Tech 54

Irish women roll after quick start

GEORGE HENRY | Associated Press

ATLANTA – Arike Ogunbowale went through a long scoreless stretch in her last game, so Notre Dame's star guard wanted to make an early statement.

“I was just trying to attack and set the tone,” she said. “We wanted to come out in this game and quickly establish our mindset. Fortunately it worked out for us today.”

Ogunbowale scored 25 points, Jackie Young added 14 and No. 2 Notre Dame had no trouble winning its eighth straight game with a 77-54 victory Sunday over Georgia Tech.

Despite injuries reducing their roster to seven scholarship players and three walk-ons, the Irish (15-1, 4-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) used a dominant inside game to put Georgia Tech away early with a 30-point halftime lead.

Kaylan Pugh had 17 points and Francesca Pan scored 12, but they were the only Yellow Jackets to finish in double figures. Georgia Tech (12-5, 1-3) gave itself no chance, missing 22 of its first 27 shots from the field and looking nothing like the team that played No. 3 Louisville tough in a narrow home loss Dec. 28.

Notre Dame was so good in the first two quarters that coach Muffet McGraw couldn't find one fault.

“The first half was about as well as we've played,” she said. “I thought we did a really good job, came out strong. Of course we shot the ball really well.”

Jessica Shepard added 12 points and Kristina Nelson 10 for the Irish.

Notre Dame showed why it continues to be one of the nation's most dominant programs as it tries to set the ACC record of sweeping the league regular season and tournament titles in five straight years.

Georgia Tech coach MaChelle Joseph, a former DeKalb and Purdue standout, was hoping the pedigree of a national powerhouse would've helped the Jackets raise their game. It didn't happen.

“I'm disappointed with our effort,” she said. “When we don't play hard, I have to take responsibility for that.”