SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Arike Ogunbowale scored 27 points, and No. 5 Notre Dame completed its largest-ever comeback to beat No. 6 Tennessee 84-70 on Thursday night.
The Irish (17-2) trailed by 23 points early in the second quarter but rallied with an aggressive defense that forced 28 Tennessee turnovers, 15 in the second half. The previous biggest deficit that the Irish had overcome in a victory was an 18-point hole against Duke on Nov. 26, 2011.
A 12-0 run by the Irish coincided with a nearly three-minute scoreless skid by Tennessee (16-2) to give Notre Dame a 70-65 lead with 4:12 to play that it would not relinquish.
Marina Mabrey finished with 20 points, Jackie Young scored 18 and Jessica Shepard had 12 for Notre Dame. Meme Jackson had 18 points, Jaime Nared scored 14 and three players -- Rennia Davis, Mercedes Russell and Evina Westbrook -- each had 12 for Tennessee, which shot 57 percent to the Irish's 48 percent. Tennessee also outrebounded the Irish 34-27, but its 28 turnovers were 16 more than Notre Dame.
The Lady Vols used runs of 10-0 and 11-0 in the first quarter while shooting 68.4 percent from the floor (13 of 19) to take a 27-10 lead. Notre Dame hit just four of its first 17 shots and was outrebounded 14-5 in the quarter. Russell had six points despite sitting out the last four minutes after taking a hit in the nose.
Tennessee's biggest lead was 37-14 with 7:03 remaining in the second quarter. But Notre Dame closed the period on a 13-2 run with eight points by Ogunbowale, who had 10 at halftime. The Lady Vols went scoreless in the final 5:33 and led 39-27 at the break.
Tennessee hit five of its first six shots and had a 7-0 run, highlighted by back-to-back baskets by Jackson, for a 52-37 lead with 4:49 left in the third quarter. But eight turnovers by the Lady Vols allowed the Irish to cut the lead to 54-46 before a pair of three-pointers by Davis and Westbrook gave Tennessee a 60-50 lead after three quarters.
The Irish closed within five points on a basket by Ogunbowale before a Tennessee timeout with 7:35 left.
In other Top 25 women's games Thursday, Azura Stevens came off the bench to score 22 points and lead top-ranked Connecticut (17-0, 6-0 American Athletic Conference) to a closer-than-expected 78-60 victory over Tulsa (8-11, 2-4). Napheesa Collier had 19 points and Kia Nurse added 17 for the Huskies. Shug Dickson had 17 points and Erica Wakefield scored 13 to lead Tulsa. ... Myisha Hines-Allen got 13 points and a career-high 18 rebounds as No. 2 Louisville (20-0, 6-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) stayed undefeated, beating Pittsburgh (9-10, 1-5) 77-51 for its NCAA-leading 20th victory of the season. Redshirt junior Yacine Diop scored 26 points for Pitt to tie her career high. ... Alexis Jennings scored a season-high 27 points and No. 10 South Carolina (15-3, 4-2 SEC) beat Vanderbilt (5-15, 1-5) 95-82 despite the banged-up Gamecocks' injury list growing longer. LeLe Grissett added 22 points for the Gamecocks, Lindsey Spann finished with 17, Tyasha Harris had 12 and Doniyah Cliney 10. Erin Whalen scored a career-high 25 points, Christa Reed added 23 and Cierra Walker 13 for Vanderbilt. ... Sophie Cunningham scored 20 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, and No. 11 Missouri (16-2, 4-1 SEC) hit 12 three-pointers to roll to a 67-48 victory over Mississippi (11-7, 1-4), giving the Tigers their best start in program history. Missouri will host Arkansas on Sunday. ... Imani Wright made nine three-pointers and scored 31 points, Shakayla Thomas added 28, including all six of Florida State's points in overtime, and the No. 12 Seminoles (17-2, 5-1 ACC) rallied from 15 points down in the fourth quarter to defeat Wake Forest (10-9, 2-4) 81-79. Ona Udoh made her first nine shots before missing her last one and had a career-high 19 points for Wake Forest. ... Haley Gorecki scored a career-high 28 points, Lexie Brown added 23 to surpass 1,000 for her career and No. 15 Duke (15-4, 4-2 ACC) defeated Virginia Tech (13-6, 2-4) 86-75. Brown has 1,013 points with Duke and 1,841 for her career, which includes two seasons at Maryland. Taylor Emery had 30 points, going 6 of 8 from 3-point range, to lead the Hokies. ... Khaalia Hillsman and Chennedy Carter scored 20 points apiece and No. 16 Texas A&M (15-5, 4-2 SEC) defeated Alabama (13-6, 3-3) 73-54. ... Frankie Wurtz scored 15 points, Jessica Lindstrom added 14 points and nine rebounds and No. 23 Wis.-Green Bay (16-2, 6-1 Horizon) rolled over to an 85-27 victory over Detroit Mercy (1-17, 1-6) after holding the Titans scoreless in the second period. Lyndsey Robson and Madison Wolf scored 12 points each for Green Bay while Detroit Mercy was led by Zoey Oatis with eight. ... Teniya Page made 4 of 5 free throws with a second left and finished with 34 points to lead Penn State (12-8, 3-4 Big Ten) to a 70-67 victory over No. 25 Rutgers (17-4, 5-2).
Sports on 01/19/2018
Print Headline: Ogunbowale's 27 help Irish overcome deficit, beat Vols