Notre Dame remains undefeated at home with win over No. 3-ranked Wolfpack
Published 7:58 am Wednesday, February 2, 2022
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — Notre Dame Women’s Basketball Head Coach Niele Ivey earned her first top-five win of her young coaching career as the No. 20 Fighting Irish knocked off No. 3 North Carolina State, 69-66, on Tuesday night.
As a result, the Irish remained undefeated at home, improving to 10-0.
The victory is the first win at home against a top-five team since Arike Ogunbowale and company knocked off Louisville in a No. 1 versus No. 2 matchup back in the 2018-19 season.
Maya Dodson led the way with an impressive 20-point, 10-rebound double-double, while keeping All-American Elissa Cunane at bay, who scored 13 points for the Wolfpack.
Olivia Miles’ stat line was 13 points, six rebounds and five assists. Sam Brunelle also notched double figures again with 10 points. In fact, it was a total team effort for the Irish with Maddy Westbeld, Dara Mabrey, Sonia Citron, Anaya Peoples and Abby Prohaska all landing on the scoresheet.
The Fighting Irish (17-4, 8-2) also got it done on the glass, out-rebounding the Pack, 45-38, recording 18 second-chance points.
How It Happened
Westbeld, Brunelle and Miles all converted three-point plays in the first, while Dodson went 3-for-3 for six points to power the Irish. All-in-all, the Irish shot 7-of-19 compared to NC State’s 5-for-15 to garner a 17-13 lead.
The physicality of the game escalated in the second. Shortly after Brunelle hit her second three of the game and pushed her game total to eight points, she exited the game after a tough bump to the floor from Cunane. Then a few minutes later, Abby Prohaska (who hit a pair of free throws in the quarter) exited the game after being swatted in the face on an offensive rebound attempt.
Mabrey and Dodson scored the last pair of buckets for the Irish, handing the home team a 32-28 lead at the half. Dodson was the lone player in double figures with 10 points on 5-of-9 shooting. The Irish outrebounded the Wolfpack 28-18 in the first half, which led to a 10-2 second-chance points differential.
Dodson, Westbeld and Miles kicked off the third with a combined 10-2 scoring run, building the Irish lead to 12 at 42-30. However, the Wolfpack countered with a 12-5 scoring spree right over the next three minutes to cut the deficit to 47-41.
From there, Peoples lifted the Irish by scoring four of the team’s next five points, as the Irish ultimately took a 52-43 lead into the fourth quarter.
The fourth quarter featured big shots from several Irish. Dara Mabrey connected on a pivotal three in transition at 7:34 and then a layup through traffic at 5:16. Miles added a pair of jumpers in the paint while Dodson tacked on her 20th point of the game.
Yet the Wolfpack (19-3, 10-1) wouldn’t go away, cutting the Irish lead to five at 3:30 and then down to two at 1:42. Then it was Notre Dame’s two freshmen who came in clutch in the final 1:12, as both Citron and Miles hit four straight free throws to give the Irish 69-63 lead. NC State would have two attempts at three at the end of the game to tie, but the Irish defense stood tall for the top-3 victory.
The Fighting Irish look to #ProtectPurcell yet again and close out the four-game homestand Thursday against Virginia Tech. Tip is set for 8 p.m. on ACC Network.