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Turner leads No. 3 Notre Dame women past Virginia, 74-46

Jan 8, 2016 - 3:05 AM CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) Brianna Turner said she was looking forward to playing Virginia because the Cavaliers are ''a great team.''

Virginia also is a team that, in two meetings, has allowed No. 3 Notre Dame's 6-foot-3 sophomore to show how good she can be.

Turner had 19 points and nine rebounds and the Fighting Irish pulled away from Virginia early in a 74-46 victory Thursday night.

''I think our guards just did a really great job of getting the ball high to me because I can get pretty high when they lob it in to me,'' Turner said after making 7 of 9 shots, almost exclusively from in close. She also had two blocks and watched most of the fourth quarter.

A year ago, Turner had 26 points and 13 rebounds in a 75-54 victory for the Fighting Irish against the Cavaliers.

Marina Mabrey added 15 points and fellow freshman Arike Ogunbowale had 13 to help the Fighting Irish (14-1, 3-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) win their seventh in a row, and they did it in dominating fashion against the smaller Cavaliers. Notre Dame enjoyed a 38-4 advantage on points in the paint, and 18-2 edge on second-chance points and outrebounded Virginia 45-28 with 14 offensive rebounds.

''They throw those lob passes to her and is she gets a clean look at it, we can't jump up there with her,'' Breyana Mason said.

Mikayla Venson scored 17 points to lead Virginia (11-5, 1-1) and was the only one of the Cavaliers' scorers to have a decent night. No. 2 scorer Faith Randolph (13.9 ppg) scored just four on 2 for 11 shooting, No. 3 Lauren Moses (11.2) had just six on 2 for 12 from the field.

The Cavaliers shot just 30 percent (16 of 54) overall.

The Fighting Irish took control with a 20-8 run that started with the last basket of the first quarter and extended to halftime. Mabrey hit two 3-pointers in the burst and her sister Michaela added another as the Irish took a 35-23 lead into the intermission.

The Cavaliers were 2 for 14 from the field in the second quarter, looking nothing like the team that only four days earlier shot 67 percent from 3-point range, played stiff defense and beat then-No. 22 Miami 76-56.

''I don't know who that was out there,'' Virginia coach Joanne Boyle said. ''It's one of the strange games I've been a part of.''

Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw was concerned about the Cavaliers' 3-point shooting, but they made just 5 of 15 attempts.

''I was just a little nervous starting out in that zone,'' McGraw said. ''We had a couple of backup plans, but fortunately they didn't connect early on too many.''

Already leading 35-23 at halftime, Notre Dame opened the third quarter with a 10-5 run, pushing its lead to 45-28, and Virginia never threatened again. The Irish led by as many as 30 and played underclassmen for almost the entire fourth quarter.


Notre Dame: The Fighting Irish arrived leading the NCAA in 3-point field goal percentage, having made 94 of 205, or 45.9 percent. They were 7 for 16 in the game. ... Notre Dame scoring leader Madison Cable, who averages 16 points, hit a 3-pointer for the game's first points and never scored again.

Virginia: The Cavaliers had their streak of five game with at least 70 points snapped. ... The Cavaliers have had fewer turnovers than their opponent in all but one game this season. They turned it over 18 times, the Fighting Irish 19, but Notre Dame had 17 points off the mistakes, Virginia just nine.


Notre Dame is at home against North Carolina on Sunday.

Virginia plays at Wake Forest on Sunday.