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ND Women’s Basketball

Notre Dame women’s basketball struggles in defeat to Louisville

| Monday, February 14, 2022

Sunday afternoon No. 18 Notre Dame fell at the hands of No. 3 Louisville 73-47 at the KFC Yum! Center.

Very little went right for Notre Dame on Sunday afternoon. The Irish were snakebitten from the field, shooting just over 30% on the day in a game where the offense struggled mightily. The Irish especially had trouble from distance. The team went just 2-22 from behind the arc.

Plagued by fouls, the Irish struggled to get physical with a fast-paced and high-scoring Louisville offense. Four key members of the Notre Dame rotation in Maya Dodson, Oliva Miles, Anaya Peoples and Maddy Westbeld found themselves in foul trouble. Three fouls called on Westbeld and Dodson proved relevant. The pairing initially had some success scoring in the interior for the Irish during a close first quarter. Ultimately, the pair also would account for over half of Notre Dame’s total rebounds in the game). But as the fouls came, the front-court pairing had to play with more cautiousness. The Cardinals quickly took advantage of that fact.

The Irish struggled to figure out how to contain Louisville’s scoring trio of Payton Verhulst, Hailey Van Lith and Chelsie Hall. The three of them combined for nearly as many points as a trio (46) as the entire Irish team (47). Emily Engstler also had a big day for the Cardinals on the glass, as she brought down 12 rebounds to go with nine points. Her work in the paint was pivotal in a game where Louisville proved dominant in the category of second-chance points, putting up 17 to Notre Dame’s six. As a team Louisville generally played with top-level efficiency. They turned the ball over less than the Irish and shot at an impressive 44% clip from the field.

Looking ahead, the immediate future doesn’t get any easier for Niele Ivey and her squad. The Irish will stay on the road this week, as they’ll look to rebound from their defeat with a matchup against another ranked squad. This time in the form of #11 Georgia Tech in Atlanta. The Yellow Jackets have been excellent at home this year. They are currently 12-2 at McCamish Pavilion, and most notably notched a signature win in front of their home fans earlier in the year. They took down a previously top-five UConn.

Tech has looked somewhat poor — by their own high standards — recently. Their last three games included a pair of losses to North Carolina State and Virginia Tech.  But, they did rebound on Sunday with a tough overtime win against Clemson. Both Georgia Tech and Notre Dame are currently tied for fourth in the ACC standings. Thursday’s matchup could prove pivotal to seeding in the conference tournament as the regular season enters the final stretch. Look for the Yellow Jackets to try and spread the ball around as they have four players who average over ten points a game. They’ll try to pace a Notre Dame offense that will need to break out of Sunday’s slump.

Notre Dame women’s basketball will be back in action on Thursday night against Georgia Tech in Atlanta, Georgia. The game will tip-off at 8 p.m. and will be broadcasted on the ACC Network.

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