CHICAGO (AP) — Jackie Young had 28 points and 12 rebounds, Arike Ogunbowale scored 24 and No. 1 Notre Dame beat No. 15 DePaul 101-77 on Saturday.
The defending NCAA champions passed their first big test and gave coach Muffet McGraw her 891st career victory. The Irish (3-0) went from trailing by seven through the first quarter to leading by seven at halftime and pulled away over the final two quarters.
Young finished four points shy of her career-high and made 11 of 12 free throws. Ogunbowale was 7 of 8 from the foul line. Jessica Shepard added 15 points and 16 rebounds, and the Irish dominated on the glass 48-23.
Ashton Millender led DePaul (1-1) with 27 points, matching a career high she set exactly one year earlier against Delaware State. The senior made 7 of 12 3-pointers.
Chante Stonewall added a personal-best 21 points. But the Blue Demons got overwhelmed after a promising start.
Young and Ogunbowale each scored 19 points and made all six free throws to help the Irish grab a 54-47 halftime lead after a sluggish start.
After struggling early in a 20-point win over Penn on Monday, Notre Dame trailed 29-22 through the first quarter. Millender scored 13 in the first 10 minutes, nailing a 3 from the wing at the buzzer to give the Blue Demons a seven-point lead.
DePaul was ahead 37-32 in the second when Ogunbowale hit two free throws to start a 10-0 run. A pull-up shot and layup by Young put Notre Dame in front by one.
Ogunbowale scored in the paint and Danielle Patterson finished the run with a put-back after a turnover by DePaul’s Kelly Campbell, making it 42-37 with four minutes left in the half.
Notre Dame got the lead up to 79-63 with 31 seconds left in the third when Shepard scored in the paint. DePaul got within 10 early in the fourth before the Irish pulled away.
Notre Dame: The slow starts the past two games might be a bit disconcerting, and the schedule is not about to get much easier. The Irish are part of a loaded field next week in the Vancouver Showcase along with 2017 NCAA champion South Carolina. After that, they play Iowa on Nov. 29 and Connecticut on Dec. 2.
DePaul: The Blue Demons showed they can hang with the nation’s best teams — for a half, anyway.
Notre Dame: Plays Gonzaga at the Vancouver Showcase on Thursday.
DePaul: Plays Princeton in the Cancun Challenge.
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