Marina Mabrey scored 25 points, hitting a career-high seven 3-pointers, and Arike Ogunbowale also had 25 points to help top-seed Notre Dame Texas A&M 90-84 on Saturday in the Spokane Regional semifinals.
The Fighting Irish (32-3) rallied from a 13-point first-half deficit and are back in their familiar spot of playing for a trip to the Final Four.
It took a fantastic shooting performance from Mabrey and some key contributions late from Ogunbowale and Jackie Young for Notre Dame to hold off Chennedy Carter and the Aggies. Young had three key baskets in the final five minutes and scored eight of her 17 points in the fourth quarter. Mabrey was 7 of 11 on 3-pointers and the Irish made 10 of 18 shots from behind the arc. She had all 25 of her points in the first three quarters.
Notre Dame led 79-70 with 5 minutes left after Young scored, but had to hold on after Kennedy and Anriel Howard hit a trio of 3-pointers. Texas A&M was within 85-82 with 1:40 left, but Notre Dame's Kathryn Westbeld hit a 15-footer with 1:15 remaining to push the lead back to five.
Carter, the dynamic freshman for the Aggies, finished with 31 points and seven assists. Howard added a career-high 26 points and 14 rebounds, but the Aggies (26-10) have advanced to the Elite Eight just once since winning the title in 2011.
The first tournament meeting between the Aggies and Irish since the 2011 national championship game was an offensive showcase with both teams trading scoring spurts before the Irish finally took control with an 11-3 burst midway through the fourth quarter and matched Texas A&M basket-for-basket in the closing minutes.
Texas A&M used an 18-2 run to take control early and led by as many as 13 after Carter's basket midway through the second quarter. Notre Dame responded by outscoring the Aggies 21-12 over the final 6 ½ minutes of the first half and pulled within 47-45 at halftime. The Irish closed the half hitting 9 of 11 shots.
Texas A&M: The Aggies will lament their poor free-throw shooting. Texas A&M was 11 of 20 at the line after shooting nearly 78 percent for the season on free throws. Carter was 8 of 13 at the line.
Notre Dame: The Irish shot 53 percent and put up 90 points despite barely getting to the free-throw line. The Irish were just 6 of 8 at the line after averaging nearly 15 made free throws on the season.
Notre Dame: The Irish will play in the Elite Eight for the seventh time in the past eight seasons against either Central Michigan or Oregon.
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