Talk about a tale of two halves.
Arike Ogunbowale turned it up to another level in the second half to power her No. 1 Irish squad over No. 2 Louisville with a final score of 82-68.
The First Half
It was the Asia Durr show as she scored 19 of her 29 points in the first half as the Cardinals went into the locker room with a 35-33 lead over Notre Dame. Durr looked like the best player in the country at this point. Ogunbowale was quiet, scoring just four points on 1-6 from the floor as the Irish struggled to find an offensive flow with 11 turnovers.
Louisville was plagued with fouls early on, forcing head coach Jeff Walz to head deep into his bench. The Cardinals committed 15 fouls before half resulting in six players in foul trouble, four of which were starters.
The Second Half
Well, to put it lightly Arike Ogunbowale happened. The Notre Dame senior went off for 26 second half points on 7-9 shooting from the field leading all scorers with 30 on the game.
This dagger (left) at the end of the third put the Irish up 10.
Louisville fought back forcing a two point game twice in the fourth quarter, the final one coming with 2:25 remaining after freshman Mykasa Robinson forced a steal and layup. The Cardinals were ultimately outscored 25-21 in the final ten minutes.
Notre Dame finished with three players in double figures with Brianna Turner adding 16 and Jackie Young with 14 points. Their dominance on the glass and ability to push the ball in transition were two of the biggest factors in the win. They pushed the pace with efficient and quick outlets from the post resulting in 23 fast break points.
The Irish out rebounded Louisville 48-32 with 18 of those being offensive resulting in 20 second chance points.
The Notre Dame depth proved to be a little too much for the Cardinals this go around. The Cardinals have some solid takeaways from the loss despite poor officiating and foul trouble.
They held Notre Dame seven points below their average and forced them into 18 turnovers.
Freshman Mykasa Robinson came off the bench with a valuable stat line finishing with six points in 12 minutes of play. Those minutes, with that production on that stage has to give the freshman a shot of confidence as bench depth will be a factor down the stretch.
It's safe to say we will see this matchup at least one more time come ACC tournament play… and who knows, maybe for it all come April.
Louisville picks up their first loss of the season dropping to 14-1, 2-1 in the ACC. They host Georgia Tech this Sunday at 2:00pm ET. *NOTE* Keep in mind, UConn visits Louisville at the end of the month on January 31st.
Notre Dame sits at 15-1, 3-0 in the ACC and will look to build on their eight game win streak as they host Wake Forest Sunday at 1:00pm ET.