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Irish women's hoops complete largest comeback in program history to top Tennessee

NOTRE DAME, Ind. - One week ago, Notre Dame women's basketball lost in blowout fashion to Louisville in a top-ten matchup. Midway through the first half of Thursday's meeting with sixth-ranked Tennessee, it looked like they were in for the same fate.

Then, the crowd at Purcell Pavilion was treated to the largest comeback in program history, as the Irish erased a 23-point victory to top the Lady Vols, 84-70.

“That was an unbelievable win," said head coach Muffet McGraw. "I am so proud of this team right now because of the fight. We went down to Louisville and got our (expletive) kicked and really needed to respond. I think we had something to prove tonight.”

Tennessee jumped out to a 17-point lead after the first quarter and led 37-14 three minutes into the second.

Notre Dame would use a 10-0 run to close the gap to 12 before the half.

After hovering around a 10-point margin throughout the third quarter, the Irish then blew the doors off in the fourth.

“We’ve been in this position recently," said junior guard Arike Ogunbowale, who led the team with 27. "We were down by 20 or 30. We knew we could come back, we just took it step by step. We cut five point margins, then we cut it to two, then we just kept going.”

When it was over, Notre Dame had outscored the Lady Vols 34-10 in the fourth quarter to complete the comeback. The previous record took place in November of 2011, when the Irish overcame an 18-point deficit against Duke.

In addition to Ogunbowale's 27, Marina Mabrey poured in 20 points while Jackie Young added 18.

The Irish improve to 17-2 overall. They return to ACC play on Sunday to host Clemson, which is scheduled to tip at 1 p.m.

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