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Game 15 Preview: Syracuse

Irish look to make it two in-a-row this Sunday in Syracuse at 4 p.m. ET on ACCN

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
Watch:ESPNU
Finals:TBD | Noon | Sunday, March 8
Watch:ESPN2
Live Scoring:StatBroadcast
Listen:PULSE FM 96.9 / 92.1 / 103.1
Social:@NDWBB | Always Fighting, Always Irish

Notre Dame Notes | Syracuse Notes

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Notre Dame women’s basketball team will look to make it two in-a-row and a perfect two-game road swing this Sunday when the Irish (6-8, 1-1) travel to New York for matchup at Syracuse (7-6, 1-1). Tipoff is scheduled for 4 p.m. ET inside the Carrier Dome, airing live on ACC Network, with Jenn Hildreth and LaChina Robinson on the call.

HISTORY WITH SYRACUSE

Notre Dame leads the all-time series against Syracuse, 34-2., and have won 21 straight. In addition, the Irish are 15-1 all-time at Syracuse.

PEOPLES BUILDING ACC FOTY RESUME

Over the last five games, Peoples is averaging a double-double with 14.4 ppg and 11.6 rpg. She’s converted 31-of-66 shots aka 47.0 percent. She has recorded double-digit rebounds four times during that stretch and three double-doubles over the last four games.

In fact her three double-doubles ranks second among freshmen in the ACC, only behind Pitt’s Amber Brown (5).

The freshman garnered career highs in both rebounds (15) and points (22) vs. No. 16 DePaul on Dec. 11. 

Peoples has been Notre Dame’s most efficient guard, shooting 48.8 percent on the year, which ranks sixth in the ACC.

Peoples has also been Notre Dame’s most active player on the glass, averaging 8.4 rebounds, which leads the team and ranks 12th in the ACC.

If that wasn’t enough, Peoples is averaging 2.0 steals/game, which leads the team and ranks 2nd in the ACC – only behind Boston College’s Marnelle Garraud (2.4). In ACC play only, Peoples ranks first with 3.5 steals/game. 

PEOPLES’ RANK AMONG TRUE FRESHMEN

There are only four true freshmen in the country averaging over 14 ppg and 8 rpg: Anaya Peoples, Texas Tech’s Alexis Tucker, Evansville’s Abby Feit and UC Santa Barbara’s Ila Lane.

Peoples’ 14.1 ppg ranks 16th in the nation among true freshmen, while her 8.4 rpg ranks 10th. Peoples is knocking down 52.0 percent from two, which ranks 10th among true freshmen.

Where her 3 double-doubles ranks: 2nd in the ACC (freshmen only), 2nd in the country (true freshmen guards) and 8th in the country (true freshmen overall).

WELCOME BACK VAUGHN

When the Irish took the court against Clemson on Dec. 29, they welcomed back veteran post player Mikki Vaughn. The Philadelphia native sprained her right knee in the season opener at Fordham – she was closing in on a double-double eight points and nine boards before the injury. Vaughn boasts the most experience in an Irish uniform out of anyone on the team, now playing in 47 games. Vaughn and Prohaska were the only two returning players with significant minutes on last year’s team.

Vaughn came back with a vengeance at Pitt on Jan. 2, tying her career high of 17 points on 8-of-19 shooting. She nearly earned a double-double with nine rebounds.

With two ACC games under her belt now, Vaughn ranks the following in conference play only: 7th in FG% (.500), 3rd in steals (3.0) and 8th in offensive rebounds (3.0).

WALKER WILLS TEAM TO WIN

Walker willed the Irish to victory at Pitt on Jan. 2 in the final minutes: When it was just a one-possession game, the Orlando native recorded an impressive reverse layup at 2:05. Then she dished the assist to Vaughn at 1:33, earned a crucial steal with 23 seconds left, then converted three free throws in the final 20 seconds for the 60-52 win. All-in-all, she totaled 16 points for the game.

Walker has now recorded three consecutive games with double-digit points and five rebounds in each. She is averaging 15.3 ppg in that span.

FRESHMEN DUO SENSATION

Notre Dame women’s basketball has never seen the offensive output from two freshmen like this before – Peoples is averaging 14.1 ppg while Brunelle is at 13.4. There have only been only two other freshmen pairs in program history to finish the season with double-digit scoring averages:

— Arike Ogunbowale (11.4) and Marina Mabrey (10.7) in the 2015-16 season.
— Mary Beth Schueth (13.0) and Carrie Bates (12.4) were the first in the 1981-82 season.

Currently, Notre Dame, UTSA and Fresno State are the only three Division I programs with two true freshmen averaging over 13 points. UTSA is represented by Mikayla Woods (14.0) and Adryana Quezada (13.1), while Fresno State boasts the top pair with Hanna Cavinder (16.4) and Haley Cavinder (16.2).

IF ONLY THEY KEPT THE STAT

If charges taken was an official NCAA kept stat, Marta Sniezek could very well be atop the list in the nation.

The defensive catalyst of the team, Sniezek has taken 17 charges this season. Coach McGraw suspects the program record is around 20 set by Kristina Nelson in the 2017-18 championship season.

All-in-all, Sniezek has taken a charge in seven straight games. Most recently, Sniezek took two at Pitt on Jan. 2.

TURNOVER TURMOIL

In seven games this season, Notre Dame has forced at least 20 turnovers:

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

Notre Dame ranks 2nd in the ACC in turnovers forced, averaging 18.8 on the year. Furthermore, the Irish boast a +1.3 turnover margin, which ranks 5th in the league. The Irish also rank 3rd in the ACC in steals per game with an 9.0 average.

Speaking of steals, there are three Irish who all rank in the top-six in the ACC in steals: Peoples 2nd with 2.0, Gilbert 5th with 1.9 and Sniezek 6th with 1.9.

— ND —