Notre Dame hosts IUPUI sunday
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The Notre Dame women’s basketball ends its short non-conference slate on Sunday, when the Fighting Irish (1-2) host IUPUI (2-0).
Tip inside Purcell Pavilion is set for 2 p.m., streaming live on ACCNX.
The Irish lead the all-time series against the Jaguars, 3-0. The last time the two met — Nov. 26, 2010, when Notre Dame won 95-29.
Westbeld making immediate impact
Maddy Westbeld’s 16.0 points per game is tied for third-most among ACC freshmen and tied for 10th among all Division I freshmen. In addition, she ranks third among ACC freshmen, and seventh overall among D-I freshmen, in Points+Rebounds+Assists/Game category with 25.7.
Only five Division I freshmen are averaging at least 15 points and seven rebounds, three of which come from the ACC: Westbeld, Louisville’s Hailey Van Lith and Syracuse’s Kamilla Cardoso. If you break it down even further — Westbeld and UIC’s Jaida McCloud are the only two D-I freshmen averaging over 15.0 points per game, 7.0 rebounds and 2.0 steals. Break it down even further — Westbeld is the only freshmen doing all that while shooting 50 percent as well.
”She’s been the most dominant player I’ve seen coming in as a freshman, outside of Arike and Skylar,” said Notre Dame Coach Niele Ivey. “She has a college body. Her work ethic is incredible. I knew she would make an immediate impact with this team.”
Freshman double-digit scoring streak
Westbeld has started her career with three straight games in double figures. Last season, Sam Brunelle became the first Irish freshman to start her career with seven double-digit scoring performances — the previous record was four.
Peoples in rare guard company
Anaya Peoples is tied with five other guards in all of Division I with two double-doubles. She’s the only guard in the ACC with multiple double-doubles. Regardless of position, she’s one-of-four ACC players with two double-doubles.
The most double-doubles by a guard in a season was 12 by Jackie Young in the 2018-19 season. The hottest double-double start to a season belongs to Natalie Achonwa who recorded four in her first five and later five in her first seven during her junior 2012-13 campaign.
Peoples looking to tie scoring streak
The sophomore has recorded three straight games in double figures and will look to tie her career-high streak of four on Sunday against IUPUI.
Peoples has been the definition of consistent over the first three games in terms of shooting: 6-12, 6-12, 6-11. Her 51.4 percent shooting from the field leads the team and ranks 13th in the ACC.
Dara settling in at home
The versatile Dara Mabrey is one-of-18 players in the country averaging at least 15.0 points per game, 3.0 assists and 3.0 3-pointers/game.
She has converted 9-of-23 from three, as her 39.1 three-point shooting percentage ranks 9th in the ACC. Meanwhile, her 3.0 three’s/game ranks 7th in the league.
Lastly, Dara is more than just a deep threat and a distributor. The junior is 7-of-11 (.636) thus far from two-point range.
Walker’s 16.3 ppg leads the team and ranks 11th in the ACC. Unfortunately, her 12-game double-digit scoring streak came to an end at No. 24 Michigan, coming one point shy with nine.
Walker has been getting it done at the free-throw line, where she is nearly perfect for the year, converting 18-of-20. Her 90 percent accuracy from the stripe ranks 10th in the ACC. In addition, her 18 made free throws rank 12th in the country.
Walker is also the team’s leader in assists at the moment, averaging 3.7 per game. All-in-all, Walker is 1-of-5 ACC players averaging over 15.0 points and 3.5 assists.
Welcome back 2020 ACC All-Freshman Team honorees Brunelle and Katlyn Gilbert. Both made their 2020-21 season debuts against No. 24 Michigan on Dec. 3 after limited practice time.
Even so, Brunelle knocked down her first two three-pointers of the year. Last season, she knocked down 58 treys, which marked the second-most for a Notre Dame freshman. Next, Gilbert reeled in seven rebounds against the Wolverines, coming one shy of her career-high.
On deck next, Mikki Vaughn, who is working her way back from an ACL injury last season.
Quick strike offense
Coach Ivey told the media she wants her squad to play a fast uptempo game and they have delivered over the first two games, scoring 22 fast-break points at Ohio, then 26 against Miami (OH). The latter marked the most since the 2019 NCAA Semifinal win over UConn.
The Irish are averaging 40.7 points in the paint this season. In comparison, they averaged 31.1 last season. They have yet to be outscored in the paint during this young season, registering a season-high of 54 paint points against Miami (OH).