VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Arike Ogunbowale scored 30 points and Jackie Young added 25 to help No. 1 Notre Dame beat Drake 82-64 in the Vancouver Showcase semifinal Friday night.
The defending champion Fighting Irish (5-0) struggled to score early. But after the first quarter was tied 17-17, Notre Dame eventually managed to dominate. The Irish outscored the Bulldogs 52-44 in the paint.
Ogunbowale connected on 11 of 19 shots while Young hit 11 of 15 from the field.
The Irish were playing without Jessica Shepard and still were missing Marina Mabrey, who has been sidelined with a quadriceps injury all season.
Sara Rhine led the Bulldogs (5-1) with 18 points while Sammie Bachrodt netted 11 and Maddy Dean contributed 10.
In the early going, the Bulldogs prevented the Irish from driving the baseline early. Notre Dame also struggled from beyond the arc, missing all four of its three-point attempts in the first 10 minutes.
But the Bulldogs were hurt by a number of offensive turnovers down low and, as a result, did not profit as much as they could have. Turner’s basket off an alley-oop put the Irish ahead 22-21 early in the second quarter, and then Ogunbowale and Young combined to stretch their advantage.
The Irish increased their lead to 44-31 at half-time, outscored the Bulldogs 37-16 in the third quarter and coasted from there.
Notre Dame: By qualifying for the final amongst a tough field, the Fighting Irish appear poised to retain their No. 1 ranking.
Drake: The surging Bulldogs suffered their first loss of the season.
Notre Dame: The Fighting Irish will battle for the championship Saturday against the winner of Friday’s other semifinal between Oregon State and South Carolina.
Drake: The Bulldogs will tip off in Saturday’s game to decide third place against either Oregon State or South Carolina.
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