Matt Cashore /

Irish take care of business at home

Notre Dame played for the first time at Purcell Pavilion in almost a month and easily handled Wake Forest in 92-72 victory.

After an uncharacteristic offensive showing in a win at Georgia Tech three days earlier, No. 6/7-ranked Notre Dame returned to its home turf and came out firing on all cylinders. The Irish (14-2, 2-1) shot 60 percent from the field, buried 10 three pointers and had 28 assists on 39 buckets. The Demon Deacons (9-5, 0-1), who have lost five players to season-ending injuries and dressed only eight for the game, shot a respectable 25-of-52 (48 percent) from the floor and also connected on 10 treys.

But they couldn't overcome 19 turnovers, foul trouble and Notre Dame's hotter hand. 

For the second consecutive game, Irish sophomore Arike Ogunbowale led all scorers with 22 points. In addition, Brianna Turner (15 points), Marina Mabrey (14), Lindsay Allen (12) and Erin Boley (11) also hit double-digits. Wake Forest's offense was boosted by the efforts of Ariel Stephenson (17 points), Elisa Penna (16), Amber Campbell (11) and Alex Sharp (10).

The Deacons kept the score close from the tip, and even led during the first period. But an 8-0 run by Notre Dame gave the Irish a 21-15 advantage at the end of one. By halftime the Irish were up 55-32. 

It was more of the same to start the second half, with the Irish shooting a sizzling 73 percent at one point and increasing the lead to 30 points. The Deacons cut the lead to 19 points but never got any closer.

"The six-game road trip was a little tough for us, so it was great to be back on a familiar court," said Allen, the Irish point guard and senior captain. "We got punched in the mouth at N.C. State and then we bounced back pretty well although we didn't shoot well (at Georgia Tech). So we focused on that for this game, and we're just taking it one at a time. We're starting to come together a little bit, and we're seeing what kind of team we can be." 

Notre Dame returns to the road again for a meeting with 14th-ranked Miami on Jan. 8.

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