Ogunbowale one step closer to honor

Published 7:23 am Tuesday, March 26, 2019

ATLANTA — Notre Dame senior guard Arike Ogunbowale took one step closer to the 2019 Citizen Naismith Trophy, as the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced her as one of the four finalists on Friday.

The Naismith Trophy recognizes the most outstanding women’s college basketball player. Joining Ogunbowale on the list is Asia Durr (Louisville), Megan Gustafson (Iowa) and Sabrina Ionescu (Oregon).

Ogunbowale would become the second player from Notre Dame to win the Citizen Naismith Trophy, joining 2001 winner, Ruth Riley. She would also be the fourth women’s trophy win from the Atlantic Coast Conference and first since Duke’s Lindsey Harding in 2007.

“Each of the four finalists has the talent and commitment it takes to win the 2019 Women’s Citizen Naismith Trophy,” said Eric Oberman, executive director of the Atlanta Tipoff Club. “As the tournament begins, we look forward to watching these players lead their teams toward a championship, while they compete for the individual Women’s Player of the Year honor.”

Beginning March 22, fans will have a chance to vote for their favorite finalist through April 3, by visiting naismithtrophy.com/vote to cast their ballot. The fan vote will account for five percent of the overall vote. The 2019 Citizen Naismith Trophy for Women’s Player of the Year will be announced on April 6.

Ogunbowale is one-of-five Division I players to average over 20 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.5 steals. She leads the ACC with 20-point scoring games with 21 and has twice recorded a seven-game stretch this season of 20-plus point performances.

Against ranked teams, Ogunbowale’s stats are even better, averaging 22.0 points, 5.6 rebounds and 3.8 assists. Ogunbowale can be downright explosive as well, for the senior has tallied 15 or more points in a single quarter three times: Louisville, Tennessee and Marquette.