Solid Ranked Home Win
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish Women’s Basketball team defeated a Top 20-ranked UNC Tar Heels team on Sunday afternoon in Purcell Pavilion. It was an insanely solid win against a ranked team. Purcell Pavilion was rocking, the Irish remain undefeated at home this season, Marcus Freeman was introduced during a timeout, and 4 players ended up in the double digits for points in the game.
The game began with the Tar Heels starting out hot. They took an early 9-2 lead in the first quarter before the Irish started to even out the score a bit more. Even throughout the second quarter, the Tar Heels kept the Irish at arms-length, leading by 7 at the halfway point of the second quarter. With some help from the Tar Heels fouling and the Irish going to the line, the Irish only were down 1 point at halftime.
In the second half, the Irish took the lead in the third quarter with some great shots by Dara Mabrey, Maddy Westbeld, and Olivia Miles. After a quick run by UNC, the Irish held them off to take a 6-point lead into the final quarter. In the fourth quarter, the Irish fed off the crowd and saw the benefits of Dara Mabrey scoring a season-high 23 points and five three pointers and Maya Dodson recording a double-double. UNC hung around until the end, but the Irish won by 5 points in a great win. Because of her performance, Dara Mabrey won ACC Player of the Week.
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After that win against UNC, the Irish are now 13-3 and 4-1 in the ACC. They defeated Wake Forest last week but also had their lone conference loss to Duke on the road earlier in the month in a heartbreaker. After all of this, the Irish sit at 4th in the ACC standings. The Irish did have a chance to play the top team in the conference, NC State, but there were some Covid issues with the Irish. So, the game against NC State will need to be played in the future, and the game has yet to be rescheduled.
Next up for the Irish, the team heads to Chestnut Hill on Thursday to take on Boston College. Tip-off is at 6 PM Eastern time on your Regional Sports Network (e.g. Marquee around Chicago/South Bend or your local Bally Sports channel) or on ESPN3. Following that, the Irish finish out a 3-game road trip by playing Pitt on Sunday and UVA on Tuesday.