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ND Women’s Basketball

Notre Dame women’s basketball beats Clemson 77-56, looks ahead to clash with No. 4 Louisville on Sunday

| Friday, February 25, 2022

Thursday night, Notre Dame women’s basketball dispatched Clemson, taking down the Tigers 77-56 at Purcell Pavilion. 

The win was powered by an impressive double double from freshman guard Sonia Citron, who posted 23 points and 13 rebounds on the night. Graduate student forward Maya Dodson chipped in with another big performance down low, adding 20 points and 9 rebounds. 

Dodson and Citron’s dominance around the rim proved a major indicator of Irish success, as Notre Dame outscored Clemson 40-26 in the paint. Citron stressed after the game the importance of the team asserting themselves down low.

“[Dodson] is one of the best post players in the country … [sophomore forward] Maddy [Westbeld], [junior forward] Sam [Brunelle], all of our post players really are. So when our shots aren’t falling, and when things aren’t going our way, it just shows how important it is to establish our inside game. They’re there working hard, and that’s how we get our easy buckets,” Citron said. 

Gracie Lee | The Observer
Irish freshman guard Sonia Citron looks to dish the ball off during Notre Dame’s 68-55 victory over Virginia Tech on Feb. 3 at Purcell Pavilion.

Notre Dame’s defense was also locked in, working all game to stop Clemson’s star guard Delicia Washington. Washington was held to 13 points on a 5-16 shooting night from the field. Head coach Niele Ivey made it clear after the game how important shutting her down was to her team’s path to victory.

“She’s somebody that I think the whole ACC is aware of. I watched film of her against Georgia Tech when she dropped 40, and I made sure that was known in practice. Every time we practiced with our practice guys I made sure whoever was playing her in practice knew where she was,” Ivey said. “The team knew this player is so talented that at any moment she can take over the game. A player like that you just really have to lock in defensively and in a zone you just have to know where she is. I thought we did a great job of pressuring her.”

Looking ahead, the Irish now face a marquee Sunday rematch with No. 4 Louisville, in what will be the team’s final game before the ACC tournament. Though Notre Dame has already secured the all-important double bye for the tournament, the Irish still have plenty of pride on the line when the Cardinals come to town. Just weeks ago, Louisville dismantled the Irish 73-47 in Louisville, a game Ivey said will be fresh in her and her players’ minds as they prepare for Sunday.

“I think last time we didn’t play our game, and we got hit with a lot of adversity. We had to grow from that game,” Ivey said. “It was really hard and we learned a lot of tough lessons that night, especially playing in a top three arena. I think we learned a lot from that. We didn’t play our game — we didn’t do a great job defensively, we didn’t establish our inside presence. So now it’s our last opportunity to have them on our home court. I hope the outcome is a lot different, but I hope we compete. I don’t think we competed the last time around, and I think we’ve really grown from that.”

Notre Dame women’s basketball will return to action Sunday when they take on the No. 4 Louisville Cardinals at Purcell Pavilion. The game will tip off at noon and will also be broadcasted on ESPN2. 

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