Irish End Regular Season with 78-61 Loss to No. 6/5 Louisville
Irish will be a six-seed at ACC Tournament
Credit Source: University of Notre Dame Athletics
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Notre Dame women’s basketball team (10-9, 8-7) ended the regular season on Sunday with a 78-61 loss to No. 6/5 Louisville (21-2, 14-2) inside Purcell Pavilion. As a result, the Fighting Irish will be the No. 6 seed in this coming week’s ACC Tournament.
Sophomore forward Sam Brunelle led the Irish in scoring with 13 points on 6-of-10 shooting, in which 11 points came in the third quarter. In addition, Olivia Miles recorded her fourth straight game in double figures with 11 points on 5-of-10 shooting. The freshman guard also dished out a career best six assists.
The Irish suffered from 25 turnovers in the game, in which the Cardinals converted into 25 points. In addition, Louisville shot 32-of-62 (.516) compared to Notre Dame’s 25-of-55 (.455).
“I thought Louisville was fantastic. Dana Evans, played like the player of the year in the ACC. They shot the ball extremely well and we didn’t set the tone. Credit to Louisville. Something we can definitely learn from. Thought we had a good week going 2-1. We’ll learn to take care of the ball. Even with this loss, we can learn and grow from it, regroup and be ready for the ACC Tournament,” Karen & Kevin Keyes Family Head Coach Niele Ivey stated.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Notre Dame was plagued by turnovers, mostly in the first half, where they incurred 16, including nine in the first quarter. The Cardinals turned that into 17 of their 44 first-half points.
Louisville recorded a stretch in which they recorded 7-of-8 from the field, which included four three-pointers. As a result, the Cards jumped out to a 22-11 advantage and eventually a 28-18 lead after one. Louisville shot 11-of-17, which included 12 points from Dana Evans; however, Notre Dame was able to stay within striking distance, shooting 8-of-13 from the floor.
The hot-handed Cardinals fired off a 12-4 scoring spree to start the second to build their largest lead of the game up 44-22. The Irish showed some grit by ending the half on a 6-0 scoring run to pull within 44-28, receiving baskets from Miles, Anaya Peoples and Katlyn Gilbert.
Brunelle powered the Irish in the third, scoring 11 points on 5-of-6 shooting. In fact, the sophomore recorded a solo 7-0 run to pull the Irish within 10 at 55-45 with 46 seconds left in the quarter. Yet, the Cardinals stymied the momentum with a short 4-0 scoring burst to push it to 59-45 heading into the fourth.
Louisville edged Notre Dame 19-16 over the final stanza to bring it to the 78-61 final. Maddy Westbeld finished with nine points, six boards and three assists. Dara Mabrey added seven points while Peoples tallied seven points and seven rebounds.
- Notre Dame still leads the overall series 16-10, with a 6-4 record at home. Louisville has now won four straight in the series.
- With the loss, the Irish fall to the six-seed in the ACC Tournament. First bout will be on Thursday, March 4, against Clemson at 8:30 p.m. EST
- The Irish are now 66-93 all-time against AP top-10 ranked teams.
- Since returning from the team’s Covid pause, Westbeld has compiled 46 points and 29 rebounds over three games.
- Olivia Miles registered her fourth straight game in double figures with 11 points. Also dished out a career high six assists.
- Brunelle recorded her seventh game in double figures, leading the Irish with 13 points.
The Irish head to Greensboro, North Carolina, for the ACC Tournament. The sixth-seeded Irish battle 11th-seeded Clemson on Thursday, March 4, at 8:30 p.m. EST. If victorious, Notre Dame would play fourth-seeded Georgia Tech on Friday.