The wild women’s basketball season continued with another upset, as No. 25 Miami stopped No. 4 Notre Dame 72-65 behind a solid, consistent defensive effort from Beatrice Mompremier and Emese Hof.
SWATTED!— Hurricanes Women’s Basketball (@CanesWBB) February 8, 2019
Hof with the rejection to take over sole possession of second place on Miami's all-time blocks list with 165. pic.twitter.com/zAHk08pIAf
Miami held Notre Dame to season-low totals in points and shooting percentage (37.3 percent).
The Hurricanes (20-5, 8-2) battled the Fighting Irish from the start, ending the first quarter tied at 22-22 and building the momentum that would carry them through for the remaining 30 minutes. Miami outscored Notre Dame in the second quarter to pull ahead by two at the halftime break, and the Hurricanes maintained this lead through the third, with each team adding 18 to the scoreboard, putting the game at 54-52 with ten minutes to play.
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Miami found an unmatched rhythm in the final quarter, led initially by Taylor Mason, who put in a layup with nine minutes to go that extend Miami’s lead to four. She followed that first basket with two free throws just 30 seconds later, further building the Hurricane's points gap over the Irish.
A Marina Mabrey layup and two free throws from Jackie Young pulled the Fighting Irish within two but Mompremier extended the lead again with a jumper. After a series of free throws and two field goals from Miami and Notre Dame, Arike Ogunbowale showed her NCAA tournament magic again, hitting a three-point shot with over a minute to go to bring the score within two. She took a second three 30 seconds later to fight for the lead, but her shot missed the basket, and Miami continued to run up the score. The Hurricanes led by six with 30 seconds to go, and they added two to that lead before the final whistle, delivering Notre Dame its third loss of the season and its second in two weeks.
DOWN GO THE IRISH!— NCAA March Madness (@MarchMadnessWBB) February 8, 2019
No. 25 @CanesWBB tops No. 4 Notre Dame in a stunning 72-65 victory! #ncaaW pic.twitter.com/wlcgL9zv4M
Just 11 days ago, the Fighting Irish lost to the unranked Tar Heels 78-73 for the team's first big loss of the year after dropping to UConn earlier in the season. Notre Dame recovered after the disappointment in North Carolina and proceeded to beat Clemson and Georgia Tech by a combined 73 points in its next two games, but Muffet McGraw’s team couldn’t keep the winning streak alive in Miami.
This is the second year in a row that the Irish have struggled against Miami. Last year, in a hard-fought 83-76 game, Notre Dame emerged victorious, but this year, Miami reversed the outcome.
Hof led the both teams with 21 points and 13 rebounds for her eighth double-double of the season, while Mompremier added 18 points and 12 rebounds to notch her own double-double. Notre Dame's Jessica Shepard put up 17 points and 17 rebounds for the Fighting Irish, and even her effort combined with the 14 points from Young and Ogunbowale couldn't stop the Canes.
FINAL— Notre Dame WBB (@ndwbb) February 8, 2019
The No. 4 Irish fall to No. 25 Miami in a tight top-25 battle, 72-65.
Next up, we host Florida State on Sunday at noon.#GoIrish pic.twitter.com/8bHDDWUJ1S
Both teams will continue their ACC schedule on Sunday with Miami taking on Pittsburgh and Notre Dame playing Florida State. Notre Dame will be looking to find its feet again, while Miami, now armed with a big upset win over a Top-5 team, will hope to carry this energy through its upcoming game against No. 2 Louisville next weekend.
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