No. 22 Irish women fall to Ohio in Ivey debut, 86-85

ATHENS, Ohio — Cece Hooks scored 32 points, Erica Johnson added 24 and Ohio rallied to upset No. 22 Notre Dame 86-85 on Friday, spoiling the debut of Irish coach Niele Ivey.

Ivey, who replaced Hall of Famer Muffet McGraw, saw her team trailing 41-30 at the half and fall behind by 14 before outscoring the Bobcats 35-21 in the third quarter. A 3-pointer by Dara Mabrey in the final minute put the Irish up three.

Mabrey, who had a career-high 34 points, scored 18 in the third quarter, including three of her seven 3-pointers.

The Irish pushed the lead to seven midway through the fourth quarter before the Bobcats scored eight straight and had a 13-4 run to go up 83-81 with 1:16 to play. Mabrey’s layup tied the game with just under a minute to go but Hooks pushed the ball up court and scored at the rim.

Following an Irish miss, Hooks made a free throw with 17.6 seconds to go. Destinee Walker was fouled on an offensive rebound and made two free throws with 3.6 seconds to play to pull Notre Dame with one. Ohio missed two free throws with three seconds to play but Notre Dame, out of timeouts, couldn’t get off a final shot.

Ivey played on two Notre Dame Final Four teams and was an assistant coach for the other seven trips the Irish made to the Final Four. She was an assistant with the NBA Memphis Grizzlies last season when a young Irish team went 13-18 in McGraw’s 33rd season. McGraw won 936 games and Ivey was part of 386 of them over 17 seasons.

Walker finished with 16 points and Anaya Peoples had 16 with 11 rebounds. Notre Dame shot 40% in the first half and 57% in the second.

Mabrey followed her two older sisters to Notre Dame after playing the last two seasons at Virginia Tech.

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More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25.

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