ND Women’s Basketball
Tired and injured, Notre Dame women’s basketball heads to Washington, D.C.
Jake Miller | Friday, November 17, 2023
Fresh off a win against Northwestern, the Notre Dame women’s basketball team now heads to Washington, D.C. to take on Illinois in the 2nd annual Citi Shamrock Classic. The event seeks to showcase women’s basketball on the national level.
The Irish head into the game after a pyrrhic win against Northwestern. The 110-52 victory represented the highest point total scored against a Power Five opponent since 2012. At the same time, late in the third quarter, junior guard Sonia Citron left the game with a lower-body injury. Her status, for both Saturday’s game and the long term, is unknown.
In Citron’s absence, Notre Dame saw strong performances from freshman guard Hannah Hidalgo, graduate student guard Anna DeWolfe and senior forward Maddy Westbeld. While Hidalgo’s already been in the spotlight, the Irish will need to rely on their depth to compete in big games. DeWolfe, a transfer from Fordham, led the team in minutes on Wednesday, contributing 10 points. Westbeld had another strong game with ten rebounds, a steal and a block.
Notre Dame will face an Illinois team coming off of a deafening 103-33 win against Saint Peter’s. The Illini are a veteran team, returning all five starters from their NCAA tournament squad last year. Illinois was voted fifth in the Big Ten preseason poll.
Illinois will be without star player Makira Cook, a senior guard named to the All-Big Ten preseason team. After suffering an injury in an exhibition game, Cook has not played in the team’s first three games.
Before Saturday’s matchup, the teams will gather for a women’s leadership luncheon, where they’ll hear from some of the most respected women working in the sports business. Additionally, on Friday, the teams will meet up with a group of high school girls as part of a community service project. The team also plans on taking a city tour. The trip will include a visit to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Despite Citron’s injury and the team’s hectic travel schedule, head coach Niele Ivey shared her excitement for the game.
“We’re trying to empower our student-athletes,” Ivey said. “Being able to be in our nation’s capital is going to be an opportunity for us to use our platform for good.”
The hardwood contest serves as a lead-in to the football’s home finale against Wake Forest. Both games are available on NBC and Peacock. The action in Washington, D.C. tips off at 1:00 p.m. EST.