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Game 10 Preview: Minnesota

Big Ten/ACC Challenge arrives to Purcell Pavilion on Wednesday night

ACC Tournament:#10 seed Notre Dame
Where:Greensboro, N.C.
Tournament Central:Click Here
First Round:vs. #15 Pitt | 3:30 p.m. | Wednesday, March 4
Watch:RSN Clearance Sheet | Fox Sports Go | Watch ESPN
Second Round:vs. #7 Georgia Tech | 6 p.m. | Thursday, March 5
Watch:RSN Clearance Sheet | Fox Sports Go | Watch ESPN
Quarterfinals:vs. #2 NC State | 6 p.m. | Friday, March 6
Watch:RSN Clearance Sheet | Fox Sports Go | Watch ESPN
Semifinals:TBD | 2:30 p.m. | Saturday, March 7
Finals:TBD | Noon | Sunday, March 8
Live Scoring:StatBroadcast
Listen:PULSE FM 96.9 / 92.1 / 103.1
Social:@NDWBB | Always Fighting, Always Irish

Notre Dame Notes | Minnesota Notes

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Big Ten/ACC Challenge arrives to Purcell Pavilion on Wednesday, Dec. 4, when the Notre Dame women’s basketball team (5-4) hosts Minnesota (5-1). Tip is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET, airing live on the ACC Network. Fans can also catch Bob Nagle and Karen Keyes on the call via Pulse FM.

The Irish will be looking for the program’s first win against Minnesota, trailing the overall series, 2-0. The last time the two sides met: a 79-71 loss at Notre Dame on March 22, 2009.


With a 105-71 win over No. 14 Iowa last season, the Irish moved to 6-0 in the B1G/ACC Challenge.

Past results include:
2017: at Michigan – won 83-63
2016: at Iowa – won 73-58
2015: Ohio State – won 75-72
2014: Maryland – won 92-72
2013: Penn State – won 77-67

Last year’s Challenge was among the most competitive in the event’s history, with the ACC edging the Big Ten, 8-6. The title was the ninth in league history for the ACC, which owns a 9-0-3 advantage in the Challenge.


For the past decade, the Irish have been absolutely dominant against the Big Ten conference. Since the 2009-10 season, the Irish have gone 23-1 against Big Ten opposition, with the one blip being Michigan State on Nov. 14 of this season.


When the Cancun Challenge wrapped, freshman Anaya Peoples had garnered two major accolades: the Cancun All-Tournament Team and ACC Rookie of the Week.

Peoples averaged 17.3 points and 8.7 rebounds over three games in Cancun. Peoples led the Irish in both scoring and rebounding against No. 21 USF with 18 points and nine boards, helping Notre Dame earn its second ranked victory on the season. Peoples also tallied a career-high tying 19 points against FGCU and pulled down nine boards. Against South Dakota State, the Danville, Illinois native logged 15 points and eight boards. Thus, Peoples came just shy in the rebounding department in all three games of potential double-doubles (9/8/9 rebounds).

Furthermore, Peoples boasted the best shooting percentage on the team this past week, converting 20-of-32 from the floor, a.k.a. 62.5 percent of her shots.


With the release of the AP Week 5 Top-25 poll, the Irish have either faced or will face 13 teams who are currently ranked or receiving votes: No. 2 Louisville, No. 4 UConn, No. 8 Florida State, No. 13 NC State, No. 16 DePaul, No. 17 Tennessee, No. 19 Michigan State, No. 21 Miami, No. 24 Michigan.

Receiving votes – Syracuse, FGCU, Minnesota, North Carolina.


When looking at ‘wins-only’ stats versus ‘losses-only’ stats, one starter’s stat-line in particular sticks out. The lesson – when Destinee Walker goes, the Irish go.

In games the Irish have won, Walker leads the team in scoring with 17.0 ppg, knocking down 42.9 percent from the field. The Orlando native is also more active on the glass, averaging 5.6 rpg.

In losses only, Walker averages 9.5 ppg on 28.9 percent shooting to go along with her 2.3 rpg.


If charges taken was an official NCAA kept stat, Marta Sniezek could very well be atop the list in the nation. Just in Cancun alone, Sniezek took one against FGCU, four against South Dakota State, then took four again the very next day versus No. 21 South Florida for a weekly total of nine.

Earlier in the season, Sniezek took two charges vs. Tennessee and one vs. Michigan State for a season total of 12.


One has to give props to the Irish defense where it is due. In five of the last seven games, Notre Dame has forced at least 20 turnovers:

Tennessee – 28
Michigan State – 20
Toledo – 21
Michigan – 24
South Dakota State – 22

Notre Dame ranks third in the ACC in turnovers forced and 78th in the nation, averaging 19.8 on the year. Furthermore, the Irish boast a +3.0 turnover margin, which ranks third in the ACC. The Irish also rank fourth in the league in steals per game with a 9.2 average.

Speaking of steals, both Katlyn Gilbert and Anaya Peoples rank third in the ACC in steals/game with a 2.0 average each. Destinee Walker ranks 11th in the league at 1.8 while Marta Sniezek ranks 13th at 1.7.

— ND —