SOUTH BEND, Ind. – The nation’s top-ranked team in the AP Preseason poll, Notre Dame, sprinted off to a 15-0 lead against Central Michigan on Friday in the opening round of the Preseason WNIT and cruised to the victory with four players reaching double figures in scoring.
Notre Dame will face Fordham in Round 2; tipoff is set for Monday, Nov. 14 at 7 p.m. ET.
The Fighting Irish (1-0), who won the Preseason WNIT in 2004, held the Chippewas (0-1) scoreless for almost four minutes before Cassie Breen hit a 3-pointer. After the first quarter, Notre Dame had already poured in 35 points, and it finished the first half with a 36-point lead after shooting 71 percent (22-of-31) from the field. Notre Dame set Preseason WNIT records for most assists in a game (29) and most field goals (40).
The Irish were paced by sophomore Arike Ogunbowale, who closed with 30 points on 12-of-13 shooting; she averaged 11.4 points per game last season. Marina Mabrey tallied 17 points; Notre Dame started the third quarter with a 14-0 run as well to take a 50-point lead.
Leading scorer for Central Michigan was Aleah Swary, who came off the bench to hit five 3-pointers and closed with 15 points. The Chippewas didn’t have much luck controlling the pace, thanks to 20 turnovers, and they were only 7-for-33 from 3-point range.