Arike Ogunbowale scored 20 of her 32 points in the first half, and No. 3 Notre Dame remained undefeated with an 83-63 victory over No. 22 Michigan on Wednesday night.
The Irish (7-0) earned another impressive win heading into their showdown with No. 1 UConn this weekend. Notre Dame held Michigan star Katelynn Flaherty to 13 points on 5-of-18 shooting. It was the first time all season she scored fewer than 20.
Jackie Young added 18 points and 14 rebounds for Notre Dame, which was coming off a win over defending national champion South Carolina last weekend. The Irish have played their last six games away from home.
Hallie Thome scored 24 points for Michigan (4-2). Flaherty had a career-high eight assists on a night when open shots were hard to come by.
Notre Dame led 24-13 after the first quarter. Michigan cut the lead to five on a layup by Thome, but Ogunbowale made a pair of 3-pointers to help the Irish to a 39-30 lead. It was 43-34 at halftime and 62-49 after three quarters. Notre Dame then started the fourth with a 14-2 run to break the game open.
Ogunbowale tied her career high in scoring. She also had 32 points against Ohio State in March.
Notre Dame: The Irish had to rally from double-digit deficits in wins over Oregon State and South Carolina, but Notre Dame avoided that type of hole against Michigan. The Irish began the game with 5-foot-11 Marina Mabrey guarding the 5-7 Flaherty, and that worked well in helping Notre Dame to a fast start.
Michigan: The Wolverines were at their best during a second-quarter stretch in which Flaherty did less of the shooting. Flaherty and Thome are the only Michigan players averaging over 10 points a game, so the question is whether the Wolverines have enough balance to beat top teams that can defend Flaherty well.
Notre Dame: The Irish take on UConn on Sunday.
Michigan: The Wolverines play at LIU Brooklyn on Saturday.