Arike Ogunbowale had a career-high 32 points, Lindsay Allen added 16 and Notre Dame easily beat Ohio State 99-76 on Friday night in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.
Playing five days after losing star forward Brianna Turner to a season-ending left knee injury, the top-seeded Irish posted their third-highest output this season while also scoring the most points against the Buckeyes. Ogunbowale seemed almost unstoppable in making 11 of 22 from the field to top her previous high by two points.
Besides Allen, the Irish got 14 points and a career-high nine rebounds from freshman forward Erin Boley, a Kentucky native who started in Turner's place. The Irish tied one season best with 12 3-pointers on a season-high 24 attempts and made 19 of 20 free throws for a thorough win.
Notre Dame (33-3) also used a 30-point third quarter to build an 80-65 lead that wasn't seriously threatened as it reached Sunday's Lexington Region final against the winner between No. 2 seed Stanford and No. 3 seed Texas.
Kelsey Mitchell had 18 points for No. 5 seed Ohio State (28-7), which was outrebounded 42-30 and outscored 38-34 inside.
Ohio State: The Buckeyes initially shot well and handled their business inside but couldn't match Notre Dame's pace and aggression, especially on the boards. While their bench earned a 34-13 advantage, it couldn't make up the Irish's collective effort.
Notre Dame: The Irish meshed hustle, crisp passing and a go-for-broke shooting approach from outside to make up for the height disadvantage created by Turner's injury. Boley's second start in three games was her best and helped her team establish the outside game it needed for a win that showed how deep the Irish are. Marina Mabrey had 14 points and Jackie Young 13 as six scored in double figures. Kathryn Westbeld had 11 rebounds and 10 points, giving Turner a lot to like as she watched from the bench.