SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Notre Dame teammates Marina Mabrey and Arike Ogunbowale share the workload in their off-campus apartment.
On Sunday, they pitched in all over the court with double-doubles of different sorts as No. 2 Notre Dame beat Binghamton 103-53.
“I think we were trying to do more on the court than just score,” said Mabrey, who had 21 points and 10 assists.
Ogunbowale had 11 rebounds with 13 points, becoming the fifth player to surpass 2,000 points under the tutelage of coach Muffet McGraw. Jackie Young had 21 points, six rebounds and seven of the Irish’s season-high 27 assists.
“We wanted to get other people involved and share the ball better,” Mabrey said.
The assist total was noteworthy to McGraw, who moved within three victories of 900 for her career, including 809 wins in 32 years at Notre Dame.
“We’ve been working on a little more motion, a little more rhythm to the offense,” McGraw said. “I was just thrilled that we had 27 assists. We’ve definitely been lacking in that area.”
Jessica Shepard had 18 points on 8-for-8 shooting and Brianna Turner finished with 14 points and nine rebounds as the starters watched most of the fourth quarter from the bench. The Irish outscored the Bearcats 34-0 on fast-break points, 29-8 off turnovers and 52-12 in the paint.
“There’s a reason they are No. 2,” first-year Binghamton coach Bethann Shapiro Ord said. “But I was proud of my players. They laid it all out there.”
Rebecca Carmody led the Bearcats (5-6) with 12 points and Lizzy Spindler had 10.
Young and Mabrey each scored 15 points in the first half and Shepard had 12 as the Irish, who hit their first 10 shots of the game, led 28-18 after the first quarter and then 56-29 at halftime thanks to a 21-0 run to start the second quarter.
Ogunbowale, who picked up a second personal foul late in the first quarter, had eight points in the first half on four baskets, the last one at 7:19, putting her over 2,000 points. She now has 2,006.
“My goal was to win a national championship — a couple,” said Ogunbowale, who hit a pair of buzzer-beaters last spring to lead McGraw’s program to its second NCAA title. “If (scoring 2,000) happened along the way, it’s really cool.”
The Irish started the third quarter on a 13-2 run to increase their lead to 71-31 before Ord called a timeout. Notre Dame led by as many as 52 points (93-41) early in the fourth quarter.
Binghamton: The Bearcats, members of the America East Conference, entered the game having played just one ranked team in their 18-year Division I history — No. 24 Hartford, a 70-65 loss on Feb. 18, 2010. They play two in two days on their current trip, which continues with a visit to No. 19 Marquette on Monday.
“I inherited the schedule — I did not set it up,” Ord said. “That’s harder than a Final Four.”
Notre Dame: The Irish shot 67 percent (20 of 30) in the first 20 minutes and held the Bearcats to just 29.7 percent (11 of 37) from the field. The Irish had a 20-18 edge on the boards, a 12-5 edge in assists and had just four turnovers to Binghamton’s 11. Seven of those Binghamton turnovers resulted from Irish steals.
McGraw only had nine of the 13 players on her roster available.
Junior Kaitlin Cole and freshman guard Katlyn Gilbert are out for the season with injuries. Two other reserves — sophomore forward Danielle Patterson and freshman guard Abby Prohaska — also were unavailable. Patterson tweeked a knee but should be available for either Wednesday’s game with Western Kentucky or Saturday’s game at Marquette.
“Abby can’t catch a break — she has the flu and is going to be fine,” McGraw said. “I thought our bench did a good job.”
Freshman Jordan Nixon, who started earlier in the season when Mabrey was nursing a quad injury, finished with no points but had three steals in the second quarter.
“Jordan is really talented,” McGraw said. “She’s thinking through things right now. Once the light bulb goes on and she gets it, she’s going to be a great player for us.”
With her 13 points, Ogunbowale now has 2,006 during her career and trails all-time Irish leader Skylar Diggins, who scored 2,357 points from 2009-13.
Ahead of Ogunbowale in fourth is former All-America center Ruth Riley, who scored 2,072 while winning the Naismith Award and leading the Irish to McGraw’s first of two NCAA titles. In third is Katryna Gaither, who scored 2,126 from 1993-97. Second is Beth Morgan Cunningham, a McGraw assistant who had 2,322 points from 1993-97.
Binghamton: The Bearcats travel to Milwaukee for Monday night’s meeting with No. 19 Marquette.
Notre Dame: The Fighting Irish stay home to play Western Kentucky on Wednesday night.
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