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ND Women’s Basketball

Irish down Eagles, prepare for top five matchup

| Monday, January 31, 2022

Notre Dame women’s basketball extended their unbeaten record at home Sunday afternoon, dispatching Boston College 74-61 behind a dynamic game from freshman guard Olivia Miles.

Miles started hot and kept the scoring coming all afternoon. She totaled 30 points, becoming just the fifth Notre Dame freshman in program history to score 30 points or more in a game. Miles did so through an efficient performance, shooting an impressive 63% from the field as well as 50% from behind the arc. Her 10-point third quarter was crucial as the Irish pulled away from the Eagles heading into the final frame.

Maya Dodson also had a big day for the Irish, providing an ever-experienced presence down low. Notre Dame outscored the visitors 36-28 in the paint. Dodson added 12 points to go with a game-high 10 rebounds for a double-double. Freshman guard Sonia Citron was the final Fighting Irish player to eclipse double digits in the scoring column, posting 14 points of her own.

Boston College was led by senior guard Cameron Swartz, who provided a team-high 18 points in the defeat. It was Swartz’s star performance that led the Eagles to victory in the two teams’ prior clash. The senior dropped 28 points to go with 5 rebounds and 4 assists just weeks ago in Chestnut Hill. But on Sunday the Irish effectively contained Swartz, forcing her into a 5-17 game from the field. That included a 1-9 effort from three-point range. Notre Dame’s containment of Swartz controlled the Eagles offense as a whole.

Looking ahead, Notre Dame now faces perhaps their biggest test of the season on Tuesday, as the Irish welcome the No. 3 team in the country, the North Carolina State Wolfpack, to Purcell Pavilion. The Wolfpack have enjoyed a stellar season, with their only two defeats coming to a pair of top 15 opponents in South Carolina and Georgia. The Wolfpack are both undefeated in conference play and on the road. They’ll be looking to keep both those streaks alive against the Irish this week. Their streak in road games means at least one record will have to give on Tuesday, as Notre Dame is yet to lose a game at home this year. The Irish are 9-0 at Purcell. 

North Carolina State plays suffocating defense — they’ve held their opponents to 60 points or less in eight of their nine ACC games. The Irish will need to contain the Wolfpack themselves on Tuesday to keep pace. Though North Carolina State doesn’t have a single player who has posted a 15 point per game average for the year, Elissa Cunane leads the squad in a number of statistical categories. Cunane is first on the team in points per game (13.7) as well as rebounds per game (7.9) and total blocks (20). Both breaking through the Wolfpack’s tough defense and keeping Cunane in check will prove important tasks for Niele Ivey’s team if they want to score a major home upset and grab a statement win.

Notre Dame women’s basketball will play North Carolina State on Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Purcell Pavilion. The game will also be broadcasted on the ACC Network.

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