PREVIEW: #10/12 Ohio State at #3/3 Notre Dame

Dec. 1, 2015


RELATED INFO

#10/12 Ohio State at #3/3 Notre Dame

Date: December 2, 2015 | Time: 7:00 p.m. | Venue: Joyce Center | Location: South Bend, Ind.

TV: None

Radio: 1460 AM

Online Coverage: Game Notes | Watch Live | Live Stats | Twitter Updates |

SETTING THE SCENE

  • Ohio State will look to stop a three-game skid in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge when it travels to South Bend, Ind., to take on No. 3/3 Notre Dame on Wednesday. 
  • Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. ET from the Joyce Center. 
  • The Buckeyes have won four-straight games and are coming off a 95-80 victory over No. 10/9 Texas A&M on day two of the South Point Shootout.
  • The Irish have come out of the gate a perfect 6-0 and were 2-0 at the Junkanoo Jam last weekend with wins over Denver and UCLA.
  • The game will be streamed online via Watch ESPN and the WatchESPN app. Mike Monaco and Ruth Riley will have the call.
  • The games can also be heard on ESPN 1460 AM in the Columbus area and on www.OhioStateBuckeyes.com. 

NOTING THE BUCKEYES
  • Sophomore Kelsey Mitchell was named the national Player of the Week after scoring an OSU record tying 42 points in the win over No. 10/9 Texas A&M. 
  • Mitchell became the quickest Big Ten player to reach 1,000 career points as she hit the mark in her 41st game.
  • Forward Alexa Hart has blocked at least one shot in 26-straight games. Hart swatted a single-season school record 129 shots last season.
  • The Buckeyes are facing their fourth top-10 team in the first three weeks of the season when it takes on with No. 3/3 Notre Dame.
  • Ohio State was the first team in NCAA history to open a season against the top two ranked teams in the country.
  • Senior Ameryst Alston and sophomore Kelsey Mitchell were each named to the preseason Wooden Award Watch List.

NOTRE DAME SNAPSHOT
  • Notre Dame is 6-0 on the season following a pair of wins over Denver and UCLA last weekend at the Junkanoo Jam in the Bahamas. 
  • The Irish have outscored their opponents by an average of over 30 points per game this season.
  • Wednesday's game will be the first game Notre Dame has played this season against a ranked opponent and it will then take on No. 1 UConn on Saturday.
  • The Irish have four players averaging in double-figures led by Madison Cable at 15.0 ppg. Cable has also made a team-high 14 three-pointers.
  • Brianna Turner is the team's leading rebounding at 6.8 per game to go along with 14.3 ppg.
  • Marina Mabrey (13.0) and Kathryn Westbeld (12.2) are the other two players averaging in double-figures.

SERIES HISTORY VS. NOTRE DAME
  • Notre Dame leads the all-time series between the two programs 2-1.
  • Ohio State won the first meeting in Columbus in 1997 but then Notre Dame won the meeting in South Bend in 2004.
  • The most recent meeting came on a battleship as part of the season-opening Carrier Classic in 2012 in Charleston, S.C. Notre Dame won that matchup 57-51.
  • All three games in the series have been decided by seven points or fewer.

MCGUFF VS. NOTRE DAME
  • This will be head coach Kevin McGuff's first game against his former team.
  • McGuff was an assistant coach for the Irish from 1996-2002.

MCGUFF AND THE IRISH
  • Head coach Kevin McGuff has some special ties to Notre Dame and Wednesday's game will be a trip down memory lane.
  • He was an assistant coach for Muffet McGraw and the Irish from 1996-2002.
  • It was not only his first assistant job at a Power 5 conference school where helped the Irish to a pair of Final Four appearances and the program's first National Championship in 2000-01, but he also met his wife Letitia while on the job.
  • Letitia played for the Irish as Letitia Bowen from 1991-95 and remains second on the program's career rebounding list (999).
  • While she played before Kevin's arrival in South Bend, she joined the Irish coaching staff and worked alongside Kevin for his six years.
  • While together, Kevin and Letitia coached teams that went to two Final Fours. Two members of those teams are current Notre Dame assistant coaches Beth (Morgan) Cunningham and Niele Ivey.
  • Current Notre Dame associate head coach Carol Owens was also a member of the Irish coaching staff during the National Championship run in 2000-01.

BUCKEYES IN THE ACC/BIG TEN CHALLENGE
  • Ohio State is 2-6 in the history of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, with the first three games coming against Top 10 competition. 
  • In 2007 the Buckeyes lost at No. 3 Maryland before losing a close one at home in 2008 to No. 2 North Carolina. 
  • Four years ago the Buckeyes led on the road at No. 10 Duke early in the second half before the Blue Devils pulled away for the victory. 
  • In 2010 Ohio State picked up its first win, a 74-46 win over Virginia at St. John Arena, before defeating Florida State, 78-75, in overtime in 2012 when Tayler Hill poured in 31 points. 
  • Last season, Pitt went on an 8-0 run midway through the second half to take control of the game and held on for a 78-74 victory.

Year       Opp.                        W/L         Score

2007       at Maryland                L             53-77

2008       North Carolina            L             63-72

2009       at Duke                      L             67-83

2010       Virginia                      W            74-46

2011       Florida State               W            78-75 (ot)

2012       at North Carolina         L             54-57

2013       at Maryland                 L             55-67

2014       Pitt                             L             74-78



LAST YEAR IN THE ACC/BIG TEN CHALLENGE

  • Pitt broke open a tight game with an 8-0 run midway through the second half and would hold off the Buckeyes for a 78-74 victory in Columbus.
  • Ameryst Alston brought the Buckeyes within two at 76-74 with 45 seconds left but after a Pitt miss, Monica Wignot grabbed a huge offensive rebound for the Panthers. That led to a pair of Brianna Kiesel free throws that sealed the win.
  • Four Buckeyes scored in double-figures led by freshman Kelsey Mitchell's 21 points. She also grabbed 10 rebounds and had five assists for the first double-double of her career.
  • Alston added 16 points while Cait Craft tied a career-high with five three-pointers to finish with 20 points. Freshman Alexa Hart chipped-in with 11 points and 14 rebounds.