Irish women No.9 use balance, FTs to back Cal | Sports

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ST. LOUIS — Dara Mabrey led a balanced offense with 16 points and tied the school record for 3 points, and No. 9 Notre Dame beat California 90-79 in the inaugural Shamrock Classic on Saturday.

The game, the first-ever women’s game to air on NBC, spotlighted coaches Niele Ivey of Notre Dame and Charmin Smith of Cal, who grew up and played in St. Louis.

Kylee Watson added 15 points and Sonia Citron had 14 for the Irish (2-0). Sophomore Olivia Miles had her 11th double-double with 13 points and 10 assists. Maddy Westbeld was the fifth double-digit starter with 12.

Jayda Curry hit four 3-pointers and scored 24 points for the Bears (1-1) and Mia Mastrov added 10.

When Mabrey hit a 3-pointer from right wing to open the scoring in the second half, the Irish led 49-37 and she tied her sister Marina, who finished playing in 2019, with 274 career triples. His one-minute layup had the lead up to 14.

Mastrov closed the third quarter with four consecutive free throws and the Bears scored the first two buckets of the fourth to close at 62-59. Curry had a 3-pointer at 7:19 to keep the deficit at three and his three-pointer at 3:40 made it a six-point game.

But the Irish were 20 of 24 from the foul line in the fourth – 30 of 36 for the game – to pull away from Cal.

BIG PICTURE

Cal: The Bears’ guts to get back in the game and an empty pre-conference schedule of other Power-5 teams should serve them well when they open Pac-12 conference play against No. 2 Stanford and the No. °19 Arizona.

Notre Dame: Balance and depth will help the Irish, who overcame 28 fouls. Two players were fouled and three others finished with four. Three reserves played 15 minutes or more and combined for 20 points. … Irish assistant coach Michaela Mabrey finished her playing career in 2016 with 228 3-point shots, a number eclipsed by her younger sisters.

BACK HOME

Ivey had not been to the Enterprise Center since the Irish won the national championship there in 2001. His team trained at his high school, Cor Jesu Academy and visited the Boys & Girls Club where they started his basketball career.

Smith played at Ladue Horton Watkins.

STAR WATCH

Jackie Joyner-Kersee, an Olympic gold medal-winning heptathlete and St. Louis native, attended the game and was at the Women in Leadership luncheon on Friday.

NEXT

Cal is at home against Idaho on Wednesday.

Notre Dame plays Northwestern on Wednesday.


AP Women’s College Basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-womens-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

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