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Game 16 Preview: Boston College

Irish return home for two games, starting with Boston College on Jan. 9

Game 20:Notre Dame at Virginia
When:Sunday, Jan. 26 | 2:00 p.m. ET
Where:Charlottesville, Va. (JPJ Arena)
Watch:ACCNX
Listen:PULSE FM 96.9 / 92.1 / 103.1
Live Scoring:Sidearm
Social:@NDWBB | Always Fighting, Always Irish
Tickets:Buy Online

Notre Dame Notes | Boston College Notes

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Notre Dame women’s basketball squad (6-9, 1-2) returns home this week for a two-game stand, starting with Boston College (8-6, 1-2) on Thursday, Jan. 9. The Fighting Irish are looking to bounce back after a tough overtime loss at Syracuse this past Sunday.

Thursday’s tip is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET inside Purcell Pavilion. The game will stream live on ACCNX.

HISTORY WITH BOSTON COLLEGE

Notre Dame leads the all-time series against Boston College, 24-5, and have won 14 straight. In addition, the Irish have never lost to the Eagles at home, boasting a 14-0 mark.

PEOPLES BUILDING ACC FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR RESUME

Potential ACC Freshman of the Year? Well, Peoples is certainly building the resume. She leads all ACC freshmen in points (13.5), rebounds (8.5), shooting percentage (.468) and steals (2.0). In fact, ND boasts the top-two scoring spots among freshmen with Brunelle taking second with 13.3 ppg.

Over the last six games, Peoples is averaging a double-double with 12.7 ppg and 11.5 rpg. She has recorded double-digit rebounds five times during that stretch and three double-doubles.

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

Peoples’ 8.5 rpg ranks eighth in the ACC and third in the nation among true freshmen guards. Peoples also ranks 8th in the ACC in offensive rebounds (2.7) and 10th in defensive boards (5.9).

Peoples has been Notre Dame’s most efficient guard, shooting 46.8 percent on the year, which ranks eighth in the ACC.

If that wasn’t enough, Peoples is averaging 2.0 steals/game, which ranks 4th in the ACC, while her 3.0 steals/game in ACC play only leads the league.

ND FRESHMEN STACKING UP HISTORICALLY

Peoples, Brunelle and Gilbert (by eligibility) are on pace to etch their names in the Notre Dame freshmen record books. All three could end up in the top-10 scoring average list. Gilbert leads the way with her 14.0 ppg, which would tie Ratay for third. Peoples averages 13.5, while Brunelle averages 13.3.

AS A FRESHMAN

Player / Average / Season

1. Beth Morgan / 17.9 / 1993-94

2. Shari Matvey / 17.6 / 1979-80

3. Alicia Ratay / 14.0 / 1999-00

4. Skylar Diggins / 13.82 / 2009-10

5. Brianna Turner / 13.78 / 2014-15

6. Jacqueline Batteast / 13.77 / 2001-02

7. Mary Beth Schueth / 13.0 / 1981-82

8. Courtney LaVere / 12.8 / 2002-03

9. Jewell Loyd / 12.5 / 2012-13

10. Carrie Bates / 12.4 / 1981-82

In addition, Peoples’ rebounding effort this year (8.5 rpg) would place her third all-time on the freshmen list, ranking behind Shari Matvey (10.2) and Mary Beth Schueth (9.1).

PEOPLES’ RANK AMONG TRUE FRESHMEN

There are only four true freshmen in the country averaging over 13.5 ppg and 8 rpg: Anaya Peoples, Texas Tech’s Alexis Tucker, Evansville’s Abby Feit and UC Santa Barbara’s Ila Lane.

Peoples’ 13.5 ppg ranks 20th in the nation among true freshmen, while her 8.5 rpg ranks 6th. Peoples is knocking down 50.0 percent from two, which ranks 10th among true freshmen.

Where her 3 double-doubles ranks: 2nd in the country among just true freshmen guards and 8th in the country among true freshmen overall.

WELCOME BACK VAUGHN

Vaughn suffered an ACL sprain in her right knee in the season opener and missed the next 11 games. The junior returned to the team for the start of ACC play, where she has provided a nice boost for the Irish.

Vaughn returned against Clemson on Dec. 29, but really settled in at Pitt (1/2) – tying her career high of 17 points on 8-of-19 shooting, while almost earning a double-double with nine rebounds.

Vaughn then carried momentum into Syracuse (1/5) with her first career double-double, recording 16 points and a career-high tying 11 boards.

Thus, in the two-game road swing, Vaughn averaged a double-double with 16.5 ppg and 10.0 rpg. Ultimately, she has been highly efficient from the field since returning, converting 59.4 percent from the floor, which ranks 3rd in ACC play only.

In ACC play only: ranks 3rd in FG% (.594), 9th in steals (2.0), 11th in rebounds (7.3) and 3rd in offensive rebounds (3.7).

TRENDING: DESTINEE WALKER

It’s been back-to-back impressive games for Destinee Walker. The grad transfer recorded her third 20-point outing on the year at Syracuse (Jan. 5) with a team high 25 points, with a 4-for-9 day from three. Walker had 12 points in the 1st quarter alone. Prior, Walker willed the Irish to victory at Pitt (1/2) in the final minutes: she recorded an impressive reverse layup at 2:05, 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, totaling 16 points for the game.

All-in-all, Walker has recorded four consecutive games with double-digit points and at least five rebounds – averaging 17.8 ppg in that span.

Walker is averaging 17.0 ppg in ACC play, which ranks eighth. She’s also shooting 31.6 percent from three, which ranks 14th.

FRESHMEN DUO SENSATION

Notre Dame women’s basketball has never seen the offensive output from two freshmen like this before – Peoples is averaging 13.5 ppg while Brunelle is at 13.3. 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 18 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 eight straight games.

On a completely different defensive note – Sniezek is averaging 2.1 steals/game, which ranks second in the ACC. The Virginia native captured a career high six steals at Syracuse on Jan. 5.

SNIEZEK DIMES

Sniezek has dished out 26 assists over the last three games, averaging 8.7 in that span – included two double-digit assist performances, which ties UNC’s Shayla Bennett for the most in the league.

Sniezek is averaging 6.0 assists/game which ranks 8th in the nation and 2nd in the ACC –  only behind Virginia Tech’s Taja Cole (6.4). Her 1.3 A/TO ratio ranks 13th in the league.

Sniezek’s 12-assist performance against No. 16 DePaul on Dec. 11, tied for the league high for an individual game.