CHICAGO (AP) - Arike Ogunbowale scored a career-high 34 points, Jessica Shepard added 24 points and 14 rebounds, and defending national champion Notre Dame beat Texas A&M in the Sweet 16 for the second straight year, 87-80 on Saturday.
Ogunbowale scored 12 in the final 6:45 to help the top-seeded Fighting Irish (33-3) advance to the Elite Eight of the women's NCAA Tournament for the eighth time in nine years. They will play No. 2 seed Stanford or 11th-seeded Missouri State in the Chicago Region final on Monday.
Ogunbowale, the Irish's career scoring leader, surpassed her previous high of 32 points. Shepard dominated down low, and Notre Dame got a sweet repeat to go with its 12th straight win.
Chennedy Carter led Texas A&M (26-8) with a season-high 35 points in another impressive NCAA performance. The sophomore guard came in averaging just over 30 points in five career tournament games and came out connecting again, nailing 7 of 12 3-pointers.
Kayla Wells scored 18. But it was an all-too-familiar result against Notre Dame for the fourth-seeded Aggies.
The last time Notre Dame and Texas A&M met was in the Sweet 16 of the 2018 NCAA
Tournement in the Spokane Regional. Notre Dame topped Texax A&M 90-84 enroute to the national title. The Aggies’ Chennedy Carter led the game with 31 points, while Notre Dame’s Arike Ogunbowale had 27 and Marina Mabrey had 25.
With the win, Notre Dame (33-3) reaches its 10th Elite Eight, the program’s eighth in nine years.
The Irish advance their NCAA Tourment record to 65-23 and is 39-6 all-time as a top-seed in the
Both teams heavily replied upon their starting five, while only two points came off the bench (0
from Notre Dame; 2 from Texas A&M)
This was the first time this season that both teams have entered the third quarter tied with its
Four of the five starters for Notre Dame recorded double-digits points: Arike Ogunbowale (34),
Jessica Shepard (24), Jackie Young (14), Brianna Turner (12)
On her fourth block on the day, Brianna Turner recorded her 100th stuff of the season.
Jessica Shepard tallied her eight double-double in a row, extending her best stretch of the season
with 24 points and 14 rebounds.
Notre Dame had a 2:13 minute scoring drought in the second quarter, ended by its first three pointer of the game at the 8:27 mark by Marina Marbrey. Post-drought, the Fighting Irish went on a 5-5 field goal run that transferred into the third quarter.
With her 35 points tonight Chennedy Carter has the second most points for an Aggie in a NCAA Tournment game, she also holds the No. 1 spot with 37 points (vs. DePaul (3/18/18 - Second Round). Tonight was Carters 11th career game with 30+ plus points.
Carter is leading the NCAA Tournament in scoring with 31.75 points per game.
The Aggies shot 50.0 percent (4-8) from behind the arc in the first half, all four coming from
Carter. The team finished of with a 47.1 percentage.
Cierea Johnson led Texas A&M with 12 boards in addition to 12 points for her 12th double double.
Notre Dame’s Arike Ogunbowale 34 is the most an opponent has scored against Texas A&M in
an NCAA Tourment game, previously held by Nnemkadi Ogwumike of Standford (4/3/11 - Final
· The Aggies conclude their 2018-19 campaign with a 26-8 record—the program’s best mark since 2010-11. Notre Dame advances to the Elite Eight with a record of 33-3
· The Aggies made their eighth Sweet 16 appearance and their 14th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance in 2018-19
· Texas A&M is the only Sweet 16 team slated to return all five starters in 2019-20
· The Aggies are scheduled to return over 96% of the team’s points, over 94% of the team’s rebounds and over 98% of the team’s assists.
· Texas A&M is 3-5 all-time in Sweet 16 games
· Texas A&M head coach Gary Blair is 383-159 in 16 seasons in Aggieland. He is 791-322 in his Hall of Fame career, which ranks seventh among active coaches in career wins
· Blair is 4-8 in NCAA Sweet 16 games, and 39-24 all-time in the NCAA Tournament
· Scored 30+ points for the third time this season and the 11th time in her career. She has scored 30+ in four of six career NCAA Tournament games
· She has four of the five 30+ point NCAA Tournament games in Texas A&M history
· Her 35 points are the second-most by an Aggie in an NCAA Tournament game, trailing only her 37 against DePaul in the 2018 Second Round
· Scored 26+ points in all six of her career NCAA Tournament games
· Scored 20+ points for the eighth straight game that she has played, and the 23rd time this season. She extends her school record with her 47th career game of 20+ points
· Matched her career-high with seven 3-pointers
· Extended her Texas A&M record with her 39th consecutive game of scoring at least 10+ points
· She has scored 10+ points in 64 of her 65 career games. She scored eight in the other game
· Had her 28th game of 10+ points this season, including all five SEC and NCAA Tournament games
· Had her second straight double double and her 12th of the season
· Scored in double figures for the 27th time this season, including all five games of the SEC and NCAA Tournaments, and the 29th time in her collegiate career
· Had her 12th game of 10+ rebounds this season and her second in the NCAA Tournament