No. 1 Notre Dame ral­lies past No. 9 Ore­gon State

Tri-City Herald (Sunday) - - Sports - BY MONTE STE­WART

Jacki Young scored 23 points, Arike Ogun­bowale and Bri­anna Turner net­ted 21 apiece and No. 1 Notre Dame claimed the Van­cou­ver Show­case cham­pi­onship, ral­ly­ing for a 91-81 vic­tory over No. 9 Ore­gon State on Satur­day night.

Ore­gon State (6-1) led for the first three quar­ters, but the Ir­ish drew even early in the fourth and pulled away.

The Ir­ish (6-0) were bol­stered by the re­turn of top for­ward Jes­sica Shep­ard, who missed Fri­day’s semi­fi­nal win over Drake with a sore an­kle. She scored 17 points and helped the Ir­ish outscore the Beavers 56-36 in the paint. Des­tiny Slocum led the Beavers with 22 points, and Mikayla Pivec had 17.

The Beavers jumped out to an 18-9 lead as they kept the ball away from Ogun­bowale and stretched their ad­van­tage to 29-17 by the end of the first quar­ter. Ore­gon State led by 14 early in the sec­ond, but the Ir­ish con­nected more fre­quently and closed the gap to five points, at 46-41, as Shep­ard con­verted a re­bound in the fi­nal minute.

Uncer­tainty en­sued with Ore­gon State lead­ing 48-41 with 30 sec­onds left in the open­ing half. Of­fi­cials held a lengthy video re­view af­ter Ore­gon State’s Jes­sica Thro­pay fouled Ogun­bowale dur­ing a scram­ble in the Beavers zone and kicked her in the face.

The re­view showed the kick was in­ci­den­tal, but the video also showed that Ogun­bowale had el­bowed Ore­gon State’s Kat Tu­dor in the head mo­ments ear­lier at the other end of the court.

Ogun­bowale and Tu­dor were awarded off­set­ting free throws. Tu­dor made hers and Ogun­bowale missed both to give the Beavers a 50-41 half­time lead.

Ogun­bowale strug­gled again – at an in­op­por­tune time – in the third quar­ter. Af­ter pulling the Ir­ish within a point at 58-57, she missed both of her free throws. But the Ir­ish stayed com­posed and took the lead for the first time, 72-70, on Shep­ard’s layup early in the fourth and, af­ter briefly giv­ing it away, kept it for good.

BIG PIC­TURE

Ore­gon State: The Beavers’ rank­ing may im­prove af­ter the strong show­ing against the de­fend­ing NCAA cham­pi­ons. Notre Dame: The Fight­ing Ir­ish have not lost since drop­ping a 74-72 de­ci­sion to Louisville in the ACC Tour­na­ment fi­nal March 4.

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