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ND Women’s Basketball

Notre Dame women’s basketball downs Pittsburgh 77-63

| Monday, January 24, 2022

Notre Dame women’s basketball rebounded from a midweek loss to Boston College, dispatching Pittsburgh 77-63 at the Petersen Events Center.

The first half was hotly contested, tied 39-39 at the break. However, a total team effort provided the Irish the firepower needed to overcome the Panthers. Five different Notre Dame players hit double digits on the scoresheet, with graduate student forward Maya Dodson leading the way with a game-high 23 points. Dodson was the star for the Irish when she wasn’t scoring as well-chipping in team-highs in rebounds (12) as well as blocks (4).

Freshman guard Olivia Miles also had a big game for the Fighting Irish, adding 14 points from the backcourt to finish second on the team in scoring. Miles also showed why she’s considered one of the best creators in the conference, chipping in a game-high six assists to add to her ACC-leading total on the season. Miles’ gap atop the conference assist leaderboard continues to expand in impressive fashion. The freshman guard currently sits at 132 assists in 17 games — no other ACC player has more than 82 on the year.

Jayla Everett led the way for the Panthers in the loss, filling up the stat sheet in just about every category imaginable. Everett led Pitt in both points and steals, and also finished second on the team in assists, rebound and blocks. Rita Igbokwe was the main Panther force in the post, grabbing game-highs in rebounds (13) and blocks (5).

Looking ahead, the Irish now face a four-game homestand that will carry them into February. Notre Dame has played their best basketball at Purcell Pavilion this season and currently sit undefeated at home with a 7-0 record. That perfect home record will face some serious threats in the next four games, however. The Irish welcome Syracuse and a tricky Boston College team that just recently took down Notre Dame in Chestnut Hill earlier this week. Then they host a North Carolina State squad that’s undefeated in conference play and a projected top seed in the NCAA tournament. The homestand concludes against a strong Virginia Tech team with a top-25 road win on their resume. 

If the Irish are to emerge from the upcoming four-game stretch still unbeaten at home, they undoubtedly will have cemented their place as a top fifteen team in the country and a force to be reckoned with come March Madness. A young squad that has seemed to improve with each big game they play, Notre Dame will need major contributions from both their experienced leaders like Maya Dodson as well as underclassmen such as Maddy Westbeld and Olivia Miles. Of Notre Dame’s four players that average 10 or more points in a game, three are underclassmen — their ability to rise to the occasion in big moments will define this upcoming homestand.

Notre Dame tips off their next game at 6 p.m. Thursday night against Syracuse at Purcell Pavilion. The Irish look to move to 6-2 in conference play, while the Orange will look to improve to 2-6.

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