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