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Oregon State Women’s Basketball: Opponent Preview - Notre Dame

Beavers and Irish face off for the Vancouver Showcase title.

NCAA Womens Basketball: Final Four Championship Game-Notre Dame vs Mississippi State Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The Oregon State Women’s Basketball Team takes on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in game six of the season. Tip-off is slated for 5:00 PM PST on Saturday, November 24th, in the final round of the inaugural Vancouver Showcase Women’s Tournament. These teams last met a year ago on November 19th. While Oregon State controlled most of the match, they couldn’t keep Notre Dame’s Arike Ogunbowale (more on her in a bit) in check in the fourth quart and lost, 67-72. To watch live, you’ll need to purchase the game from the Vancouver Showcase page (it will be ten bucks per game or 25 to watch the whole tournament). Check out the team’s schedule or Twitter page to learn how to follow along live (other than the paid stream). Let’s take a closer look at the Fighting Irish.


Notre Dame (#1 in AP Poll, 5-0 overall, 0-0 conference)

Last season: 35-3 overall, 15-1 in ACC (2nd), won NCAA Championship

The Fighting Irish have picked up where they left off as National Champions, starting out 5-0 with a winning margin of at least 25 points and scoring triple digits twice. They have defeated one AP Top-25 team in DePaul, 101-77. In the Vancouver Showcase they defeated previously undefeated teams Gonzaga, 81-65, and Drake, 82-64.

Last season, the Irish had to rely on a six-woman rotation due to injury. While things have not reached that level yet, Notre Dame is already feeling the injury bug, relying on their third string point guard, Abby Prohaska, for the Vancouver Showcase.

NCAA Womens Basketball: Final Four Championship Game-Notre Dame vs Mississippi State
Muffet McGraw led Notre Dame to their second national title in 2018.
Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

The Fighting Irish are coached by Muffet McGraw, who is in her 32nd season at Notre Dame. She has brought home two national titles, the first one in 2001 and the second in 2018.


Who to watch

NCAA Womens Basketball: Final Four-Notre Dame vs Connecticut
Oregon State will need to do everything it can to limit Arike Ogunbowale to keep this game close.
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

#24 - Arike Ogunbowale, Senior Guard

Beaver fans likely remember Ogunbowale from a year ago. The All-American was mostly ineffective in their last meeting, but in the second half she found her rhythm and led the Irish to a comeback. She went on to claim All-American honors and win the Final Four Most Outstanding Player award after burying Conneticut and Mississippi State with last second shots to win the National Championship. Currently she is top-ten in the nation for scoring at 25 points per game.

#32 - Jessica Shepard, Senior Forward

The former Nebraska transfer, Shepard, averages a double-double for the Irish at 18.8 points and 11.5 rebounds per game. The All-Final Four Team member is a key cog for the Irish’s front-court, shooting over 60% from the field.

#5 - Jackie Young, Junior Guard

Young led all scorers a year ago in the match-up between these two teams with 21. She is accurate at the free-throw line at 89% and leads the Irish with 24 assists through five games.


Prediction

If this game was not part of an early season tournament, I’d probably pick Notre Dame. Both teams will be playing their third game in as many nights, and considering the Irish’s depth right now at the guard position, I like the Beavers in this match-up. We may be get a reversal of last year’s game, with Notre Dame controlling the game early on, but the Beavers locking down in the second half and eventually squeaking out the win.