FORT WORTH, TX -- No. 3 Notre Dame made its first visit to the DFW Metroplex since 1984. Almost 25 years ago (December 13, 1990) the Horned Frogs fell 78-67 at their first meeting at Purcell Pavilion.
The story was about the same this afternoon as the Fighting Irish dominated TCU 88-72 which ultimately ends their 12-game winning streak at the University Recreation Center.
Notre Dame stepped on the court with guns blazing. Quick scoring and fluid ball movement opened the gates for an early lead. The Fighting Irish created a 12-point deficit minutes into the first quarter.
First-year head coach Raegan Pebley recognized this issue rather quickly and called a timeout to readjust their game plan. All-American candidate Zahna Medley led the scoring drive with 12 points in the first half. However, her efforts were not enough as the Fighting Irish were shooting 55 percent from the field compared to TCU's 34 percent.
The Horned Frogs trailed 49-32 going into halftime.
Notre Dame graduate student Madison Cable has started a trend that has surprising worked out in her favor. She continues to sacrifice her body drawing four charges this season to raise her career count to 41 drawn charges.
Two can play that game according to Medley as she drew a couple of charge calls that ultimately favored TCU.
"She is hard to guard...I thought she played really well. She mixed it up well, driving and shooting," said coach Muffet McGraw.
Notre Dame freshman Marina Mabrey has already emerged as one of the top young players in the ACC. The New Jersey native is averaging 13 points per game and has also proven to be a strong defender, ranking fifth in the ACC at three steals per game.
"Notre Dame definitely is such a quality team. They have so many prolific shooters and scorers..." said coach Pebley. "Our transition defense wasn't good enough. This is probably a game when we go back and look at film more; we are going to see that the team that gave up the most uncontested shots was the team that lost."
The Fighting Irish have heated up from the three-point line this season canning 64 made shots, including 49 in its last five games alone. So it's no surprise that the Fighting Irish are ranked second in the nation in three-point percentage.
TCU is also packed with shooters as six players currently average eight points per game. However, against a squad like the Fighting Irish, eight points simply aren't going to cut it.
"I felt we went inside a little bit more in the second half to Arike and I thought she was really really good on the block and that was more of our game plan." said coach McGraw.
Leading Notre Dame scorer Arike Ogunbowale finished the afternoon with 21 points, three rebounds, and two assists. Michaela Mabrey added 15 points and 8 assists and Cable with 16 points and two assists.
For the Horned Frogs, Medley put up 22 points followed by 15 points from Veja Hamilton and nine from Jada Butts.
Veteran head coach Muffet McGraw has led the Fighting Irish to enjoy astounding success on the road having won 47 of its last 49 regular season road games.
TCU will host Southern Utah in the newly renovated Ed and Rae Schollmaier. Tip-off is at 3:30 pm CT
Notre Dame will take on Saint Joseph's at their house. Tip-off is at 7:00 pm ET