Shepard, big run lift No. 1 Notre Dame past Hokies, 80-51

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BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) - Jessica Shepard had 20 points and 11 rebounds and No. 1 Notre Dame took command with a 24-1 run in the second quarter to beat Virginia Tech 80-51 on Wednesday night.

Arike Ogunbowale added 19 points for the Fighting Irish (17-1, 5-0 Atlantic Coast Conference). The Irish trailed 24-18 before Marina Mabrey sparked the run with her third 3-pointer of the first half. The burst took just six minutes and ended with Notre Dame ahead 42-25.

Virginia Tech (13-4, 0-4) responded by scoring nine straight points to bring the crowd back into it, but it was 44-34 at the half. Notre Dame pulled away thereafter, winning its 10th in a row and dropping the Hokies to 1-47 in program history against teams in the top five.

Taylor Emery had 15 points and Trinity Baptiste had 11 points and 15 rebounds for Virginia Tech. The Hokies had lost their first three conference games by a combined 13 points.


The game marked the first on-court matchup of sisters Marina Mabrey, a Notre Dame senior, and Dara Mabrey, a freshman for the Hokies. The pair played together in 2015 at Manasquan High School in Belmar, New Jersey, but hadn't ever gone head-to-head before.

As with her team, Marina had the decided upper hand, scoring 15 points while Dara missed 12 of 14 shots and scored five.


Notre Dame: The Irish have five players averaging at least 13.2 points and apart from two baskets by Danielle Patterson, the five accounted for all the points during the big run. Ogunbowale had seven, Mabrey five, Shepard two, Brianna Turner four and Jackie Young two.

Virginia Tech: The loss continued conference woes for the Hokies, who won their first 13 and are 56-31 under third-year coach Kenny Brooks, but just 10-26 in league play. In his first season, Virginia Tech won its first 15, then was 4-12 in the league. Last season, they started 11-2, then lost 10 of 16 ACC contests.


Notre Dame: The Fighting Irish return home on Sunday to face Boston College.

Virginia Tech: It doesn't get much easier for the Hokies, who play at No. 8 North Carolina State on Sunday.

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1/16/2019 8:44:32 PM (GMT -5:00)