Ranked Win to Stay Undefeated At Home
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish Women’s Basketball team played at Purcell Pavilion Tuesday night against the NC State Wolfpack. The Wolfpack came to South Bend undefeated in ACC play with only 2 losses on the season. Something had to give with the Irish not having yet lost at home this season. Well, something did give as the Irish took home the W over the Wolfpack.
The first half was a more back-and-forth affair. With both teams trading buckets, the Irish still were able to hold onto a respectable lead throughout most of the first half. Even though she eventually had to go to the locker room early, Sam Brunelle helped catapult the offense with her hitting 2 of the teams 3 three-point shots in the half. Abby Prohaska also went out with an apparent injury, and Sonia Citron went into halftime a bit banged up. The Irish, though, were able to hold onto a 4-point lead at halftime, 32-28 despite hitting only 1⁄3 of their shots. The Irish were dominating the glass, particularly on offense. The Irish had an advantage over the Wolfpack in rebounds 28-18 (9-1 on offensive rebounds).
In the second half, the Irish welcomed back Citron and Brunelle, but Prohaska continued to sit out. The star of the game and especially the second half was Maya Dodson, though. She went on a TEAR in the third quarter. The Irish got some great separation inside the paint, feeding Dodson the ball under the hoop. Dodson exploded for 20 total points in the game and 10 rebounds by herself, giving her of course a double-double.
Dodson was not the only person on fire in the second half - the whole team helped with some great offense. Olivia Miles of course helped control the offense and even got some steals and solid takes in the transition game. The Irish ended up building a 14-point lead. Unfortunately, we saw why NC State is the third-ranked team in the nation. They found patient shots, and they used the skill of Kai Crutchfield and Diamond Johnson to mount a roaring comeback. The Wolfpack never took the lead back, but they got the game within 2 points. Able to run the clock out, the Irish held on to win 69-66 even after going the last 3 minutes without scoring a bucket. A couple of desperation three-point attempts for NC State to tie were thrown up, but nothing fell. The Irish got the win, and the Wolfpack had to go back to Raleigh with their first conference loss this season.
This was huge momentum win for the Irish after some up-and-down games. After beating UNC at home in January, they unfortunately dropped a very winnable game on the road against Boston College. But, they then won their next three games (four if you include tonight’s game) against Pittsburgh, Syracuse, and a rematch win against BC. With an 8-2 record in the ACC, the Irish sit at 4th in the conference standings right now.
The Irish will have a quick turnaround to play Virginia Tech on Thursday night at home. The game will tip off at 8 PM Eastern at Purcell Pavilion, and you can find it the ACC Network. After that, the Irish will travel to Florida State to play the Seminoles on Sunday afternoon at 2 PM, also on the ACC Network.