Oregon State gets ready for what is likely their toughest non-conference game as they host Notre Dame on Sunday. It’s an early one with an 11 AM tip-off. You can listen to the game here, or watch on the Pac-12 Network. Let’s take a closer look at the Irish.
Notre Dame (#6 in AP Poll, 2-0)
The Irish come in to Corvallis as the nation’s #6 ranked team. They are led by guard Arike Ogunbowale, who is averaging 21 points per game, and Nebraska transfer forward Jessica Shepard, who is averaging 18.5 points per game. Ogunbowale broke the 1,000 career point barrier in the Irish’s first game this year, while Shepard is responsible for the team’s only two double-double performances in the young season. There may be a familiar face for some Pac-12 fans in Notre Dame’s leading dime dropper (7.5 per game), Lili Thompson, as she was most recently seen running the point for Stanford in 2016.
Notre Dame torched Mt. St Mary’s in their first game of the year, 121-65, then took care of business in their first road game against Western Kentucky, 78-65. They will be well rested, unlike the Oregon State’s last opponent, Utah Valley, who played the Beavers the day after they played Portland. The Irish are missing perhaps their best player in Briana Turner, who tore her ACL in the 2017 NCAA tournament.
The Irish will likely start out strong and jump to an early lead, but the Beavers will chip away with productive second and fourth quarters behind their hot three point shooters. Ultimately, I expect the experience and star power shine for Notre Dame as Oregon State comes up just short of their bid for revenge for their one point loss two years ago in South Bend.