Jessica Shepard scored 22 points with 13 rebounds and Brianna Turner added 19 points and nine rebounds as No. 1 seed Notre Dame rolled to a 92-50 victory over No. 16 Bethune-Cookman in the opening round of the NCAA tournament Saturday at Purcell Pavilion.
Angel Golden led the Wildcats (21-11) with 25 points. Irish guard Arike Ogunbowale had 23 points.
Notre Dame never trailed and led by as many as 44.
A No. 1 seed for the eighth straight season, Notre Dame (31-3) has won 10 straight games since its last loss in early February. The Irish advance to Monday’s second round to face No. 9 Michigan State, which edged No. 8 Central Michigan on a late basket.
Bethune-Cookman’s first-ever appearance in the NCAA tournament was a quick one. With no B-C starter over 6-foot-1, the offensive game plan for Notre Dame was simple — get the ball inside early and often. To the 6-4 Shepard. To the 6-3 Turner. If they weren’t converting early, they were getting fouled and getting easy points from the free throw line.
Barely halfway through the second quarter, Shepard and Turner each had scored 10 points. Their combined 20 was better than the Wildcats’ collective effort of 12.
Shepard scored the game’s first basket five seconds in, then delivered the final bucket of the first quarter at the buzzer. That gave the Irish a 29-12 lead.
Notre Dame opened a double-digit lead less than seven minutes in. By the end of the first period, it was clear that anything the Irish wanted to do offensively they could do. Then they did.
—Field Level Media