Notre Dame’s Dara Mabrey out for season with torn ACL

Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Notre Dame guard Dara Mabrey announced on social media that she tore her ACL, ending her college career with the seventh-ranked Irish.

The graduate student hurt the right knee nearly 2 minutes into the game when she stole a ball and was racing down the court. She was fouled and went to the floor and immediately grabbed her knee. The school said Mabrey also had a a tibial plateau fracture.

“On Sunday against UVA, I suffered an ACL injury that will end my final season at Notre Dame,” Mabrey said on Twitter. “While it certainly is not the way that I wanted to go out, I am confident that everything happens for a reason. I know I will find peace with my situation as I recover in the coming months.”

Mabrey has played 135 in her career which started at Virginia Tech for the first two seasons before she came to Notre Dame where her two older sisters starred. She started 18 games this season and 125 in her career. She’s averaged 10.9 points and 2.4 assists over the years.

Notre Dame coach Mike Brey stepping down after this season

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Mike Brey needed only one season to turn Notre Dame from a forgotten program into an NCAA Tournament team.

He spent the next 22 seasons chasing the school’s second Final Four appearance, and this season will be his last chance.

On Thursday, school officials announced Brey would be stepping down at the end of this season after winning a school-record 481 games and leading the program for a school-record 23 years. But Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick issued a statement that indicated Brey would remain on staff in an as-yet undefined capacity.

“It has been a great run for me and our program over the past two decades, but it is time for a new voice to lead this group into the future,” Brey said in a statement released by the athletic department. “I want to thank our student-athletes, assistant coaches and support staff who have played such a key role in the culture we have created.”

Notre Dame has scheduled a news conference for Friday.

Brey left Delaware in July 2000 after taking the Blue Hens to two NCAA Tournaments in three seasons – something that seemed little more than an afterthought in South Bend, considering that in the nine seasons following Digger Phelps’ retirement in 1991, Notre Dame’s once blue-chip program had been shut out of the NCAA tourney and had earned only three NIT bids.

But the man who served as an assistant under America’s best-known prep coach – Morgan Wootten at Maryland’s DeMatha High School – and under Division I’s winningest college coach, Mike Krzyzewski, helped Notre Dame return to its more glorious days.

Notre Dame snapped a 10-year tourney drought in 2001 and made 13 total tourney appearances under the 63-year-old Brey. He won 15 tourney games, tying the school record, and Notre Dame became the nation’s only program to reach back-to-back Elite Eights in 2015 and 2016.

“That Mike is the winningest coach in the 119-year history of Notre Dame men’s basketball speaks to his skill as a teacher of the game,” Swarbrick said. “His even greater legacy, however, lies in his achievements as an educator and mentor of the young men who played for him. In that sense, he represents this university as well as any coach I have worked with during my time at Notre Dame.”

Brey was more than a basketball coach.

He emerged as a widely respected member in the community where his children attended school and became a popular campus figure despite being overshadowed by the school’s more prominent football program and occasionally the powerhouse women’s basketball and baseball teams, too.

But Brey excelled on the court, turning the Irish into title contenders in two different conferences.

Three times, he was named Big East coach of the year and won 146 conference games, which still ranks fifth all-time in the league. In 2011, Brey was named The Associated Press coach of the year after leading the Irish to a 27-7 mark and a perfect 17-0 home record.

Notre Dame moved to the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2013 and two years later, Brey won the conference tourney title by defeating Miami, Duke and North Carolina during a 32-6 campaign. The Irish returned to the ACC tourney semifinals in 2016 and the ACC championship game in 2017 and seven of Brey’s players were NBA draft picks.

But lately, it’s been more challenging for Brey and the Irish. After going 24-11 and ending a five-year tourney drought last season, the Irish are 9-10 off to a 1-7 start in ACC play. Chants of “Fire Brey” could be he heard during games in the last year, something Brey occasionally said was warranted based on the team’s poor performances.

“Mike and I have talked often in recent years about a future transition in the program’s leadership,” Swarbrick said. “During our most recent conversation we reached the mutual conclusion that the end of this season represented the right time.”

Brey is 580-321 overall and ranks 50th on the Division I career wins list. He is 481-269 with Notre Dame, a victory total that ranks sixth among active coaches at their current schools. Brey played college basketball at Northwestern State in Louisiana and George Washington.

No. 14 Miami wins 9th straight, topping Notre Dame 76-65

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Nigel Pack scored 21 points and grabbed four steals in his home state to lead No. 14 Miami over Notre Dame 76-65 on Friday.

A junior from Indianapolis, Pack made 5-of-8 3-pointers. The Kansas State transfer poured in 13 points in the game’s opening 10 minutes to help stake the Hurricanes to a 25-16 lead.

“Nigel was really terrific all game long,” Canes coach Jim Larranaga said of Pack’s first collegiate appearance in Indiana. ” . He’s doing a fantastic job (in multiple facets) and I expect his scoring will continue to be there because he’s such an outstanding shooter.”

Norchad Omier added 18 points, went 8 of 11 from the field and blocked three shots as Miami (13-1, 4-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) won its ninth straight game. Isaiah Wong chipped in 15 points and Jordan Miller 12.

Trey Wertz scored 15 points, Dane Goodwin 14 and Marcus Hammond 12 for the Fighting Irish (8-6, 0-3), who lost for the fourth time in their last five games.

“We’re struggling confidence-wise, no question about it,” Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said. “In our losses, we’ve really turned the ball over and it’s just killing us.”

The Irish had a season-high 17 turnovers, including five by Wertz and four by Goodwin. The Canes committed just nine, and outscored Notre Dame 25-7 on points off turnovers.

“The second half we really picked it up at both ends of the court,” said Larranaga, whose team trailed 34-33 at halftime. “We played better defense, we rebounded better, we attacked the basket more.”

Miami led most of the way, but a Hammond four-point play pulled Notre Dame to as close as 51-49 at 12:12 to go. But Miami responded with a 9-0 run to largely seize control and later led by as many as 14. The Irish got no closer than eight, that coming at 2:30 left in the game.

BIG PICTURE

Miami: The Canes’ schedule is tough from here and their only league road wins are over a pair of teams that are winless in ACC play, but 4-0 in the conference is a good start. Miami will still have to face No. 17 Duke twice, plus visit No. 25 North Carolina, Clemson, NC State, Pittsburgh and Virginia Tech.

Notre Dame: The sinking Irish have a steep hill to climb to reach the NCAA tournament, considering they have a trio of double-digit nonconference losses to unranked clubs. Notre Dame visits both No. 13 Virginia and No. 17 Duke in February, and has a pair of meetings with No. 25 North Carolina.

BOWLED OVER

As dejected as Brey was over his own team’s loss, he was quick to ask “what’s the football score?” in reference to Notre Dame’s Gator Bowl contest against South Carolina that started about 90 minutes after the basketball game began.

Friday marked the first time in six occasions that the men’s basketball team has lost on a day that the football team is in a bowl game. In contrast, the football team entered the day 1-4 on those occasions.

UP NEXT

Miami: Visits Georgia Tech on Wednesday.

Notre Dame: Plays three of its next four on the road, beginning Tuesday at Boston College.

Jones, Ighodaro lead Marquette over Notre Dame 79-64

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Matt Cashore/USA TODAY Sports
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Kam Jones scored 25 points, Oso Ighodaro added a double-double and Marquette breezed to a 79-64 victory over Notre Dame on Sunday.

Jones sank half of his 20 shots with four 3-pointers for the Golden Eagles (8-3). Ighodaro added 16 points and a career-high 18 rebounds. Olivier-Maxence Prosper had 14 points and Tyler Kolek scored 11 with six assists.

Nate Laszewski paced the Fighting Irish (7-3) with 20 points and seven rebounds. JJ Starling scored 12.

Ighodaro had 10 points and 10 rebounds to guide Marquette to a 34-29 lead at halftime.

The Golden Eagles scored the first seven points of the second half to push their lead to 12. Ighodaro’s rebound dunk gave Marquette its largest lead 77-57 with 2:57 left to play.

Notre Dame leads the all-time series between former Big East Conference rivals 81-38. Marquette won for just the 14th time in 62 games on Notre Dame’s home floor.

Notre Dame inducted former Fighting Irish standout John Shumate, a two-time All American from 1971-74, into its Ring of Honor at halftime. Shumate averaged a double-double for his career – 22.6 points and 11.6 rebounds per game. On Jan. 19, 1974, Shumate had 24 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Irish to a 71-70 victory over UCLA, snapping the Bruins’ record 88-game win streak.

Miles, No. 7 Notre Dame women beat No. 3 UConn; Fudd hurt

Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Olivia Miles had 21 points and eight rebounds for No. 7 Notre Dame, and UConn star Azzi Fudd suffered a knee injury in a collision with a teammate, as the Fighting Irish handed the third-ranked Huskies their first loss of the season, 74-60 on Sunday.

“I think she’ll be all right,” UConn coach Geno Auriemma said afterwards of Fudd, who went into the day averaging 24.0 points, but finished scoreless on two shots over 13 minutes.

Fudd exited in the final minute of the first quarter after teammate Aaliyah Edwards fell on her. She returned midway through the second period to play four hobbled minutes, but sat the rest of the way as a precaution, according to Auriemma.

Maddy Westbeld had a season-high 17 points and nine rebounds for Notre Dame (7-1), which bounced back from a 74-72 loss to No. 20 Maryland three days earlier.

“I think Thursday’s loss really fueled us today,” Irish coach Niele Ivey said. “We learned a lot from that game. We have incredible scorers on our team, a lot of balance offensively, but it’s our defense that’s gonna win games, so that was our focus the last 48 hours. (The players) took the challenge and came out and played with heart and defensive intensity. I feel like if we can play that way, we can beat anyone in the country.”

Notre Dame shot 56% from the field while limiting the Huskies to 37%.

“We played very badly (Thursday), but we were still two points away,” Miles said, “so it’s kind of scary what we can do when we play really well.”

Led by Miles, the Irish roared to a 41-24 lead by intermission, outscoring the Huskies 30-11 over the final 11 minutes of the first half.

Miles scored 13 of Notre Dame’s 18 first-quarter points, going 6 of 7 from the field. Westbeld provided her scoring punch after averaging 5.2 points over her previous five outings.

Lou Lopez Senechal led UConn (6-1) with 21 points. Edwards added 14.

“We didn’t win the rebound battle and that hurt us,” said Auriemma, whose club was outboarded 39-26 and outscored in the paint. 46-16. “We just didn’t have enough scoring on the court and enough people playing at a real high level to get enough buckets when we needed them.”

The Huskies got as close at 49-44 at the 3:44 mark of the third quarter, but the Irish stretched their lead back to as high as 70-53 at the midway mark of the fourth period.

Notre Dame ended a seven-game head-to-head losing streak against UConn in regular-season play, prevailing for the first time since a triple-overtime decision in March 2013.

BIG PICTURE

UConn: The Huskies faced a top-10 opponent for the fourth time this season, but this one was their first true road game. If Fudd’s injury doesn’t turn out to be serious, UConn ought to still have a chance to do what it’s done for decades: craft a resume that will make them a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Notre Dame: The Irish, coming back from that loss at the buzzer to Maryland, showed that Thursday’s outcome may just be a blip on their promising season. Notre Dame matched last season’s win over No. 3 North Carolina State for the highest-ranked team it has beaten in its third year under Ivey.

UP NEXT

UConn: The Huskies host Princeton on Thursday before visiting Maryland next Sunday.

Notre Dame: The Irish have a couple apparent mismatches coming up as they visit Lafayette (2-7) on Thursday and host Merrimack (1-6) on Saturday.

No. 20 Maryland upsets No. 7 Notre Dame at the buzzer, 74-72

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Diamond Miller scored 31 points, including the game-winner at the buzzer, to lead No. 20 Maryland to a 74-72 victory over seventh-ranked Notre Dame on Thursday night in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

Irish guard Sonia Cintron’s layup had tied the game with 15 seconds left off before Maryland held for the last shot. Miller hit a contested mid-range jumper just before time expired to give the Terrapins a victory over a top-10 opponent. It was the 15th lead change of the game.

Miller also grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds to go along with five assists. Shyanne Sellers added 17 points.

Maryland (7-2) picked up its first win over Notre Dame (6-1) since 2007.

Cintron’s double-double led the Irish with 24 points and 10 rebounds.

Notre Dame’s leading scorer Olivia Miles got off to a slow start on Thursday due to foul trouble. She scored 12 of her 14 points in the final 15 minutes of the game to go along with seven assists and two steals.

BIG PICTURE

Maryland: The Terrapins picked up their second top-20 win of the season ahead of the upcoming Big Ten opener.

Notre Dame: The Irish have had issues with foul trouble this season, a problem that persisted on Thursday. Miles played just 25 minutes, including the majority of the fourth quarter, due to picking up her fourth foul late in the third quarter.

UP NEXT

Maryland: Returns to College Park for the program’s Big Ten opener Sunday against Nebraska.

Notre Dame: Stays home to host No. 3 UConn Sunday.