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Game 17 Preview: #9 NC State

Irish host No. 9 NC State at 4 p.m. ET on Sunday

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 | NC State Notes

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Notre Dame women’s basketball team will look to make a statement on Sunday, Jan. 12, when the ninth-nationally ranked N.C. State Wolfpack (14-1, 3-1) roll into town. Tip is scheduled for 4 p.m. ET inside Purcell Pavilion, with the contest airing live on the ACC Network.

HISTORY WITH NC STATE

Notre Dame leads the all-time series against NC State, 7-1, and have been the winners of two straight. In addition, the Irish are 2-0 at home against the Wolfpack. The lone loss occurred in Raleigh on Dec. 29, 2016, when N.C. State won 70-62.

PEOPLES BUILDING ACC FOTY RESUME

Potential ACC Freshman of the Year? Well, Peoples is certainly building the resume. She leads all ACC freshmen in rebounds (8.4), shooting percentage (.464) and steals (1.9), and ranks second in points (13.3). In fact, Notre Dame boasts the top-two scoring spots among freshmen with Brunelle taking the top spot with 13.4 ppg.

Over the last seven games (start of December), Peoples is averaging a double-double with 12.3 ppg and 10.7 rpg. She has recorded double-digit rebounds five times during that stretch and three double-doubles over the last six games. 

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

Peoples’ 8.4 rpg ranks ninth in the ACC and third in the nation among true freshmen guards. Peoples also ranks ninth in the ACC in offensive rebounds (2.7) and 12th in defensive boards (5.7).

Peoples has been Notre Dame’s most efficient guard, shooting 46.4 percent on the year, which ranks sixth in the ACC.

If that wasn’t enough, Peoples is averaging 1.9 steals/game, which ranks sixth in the ACC.

TRENDING: DESTINEE WALKER

Since the turn of the new decade, only three other ACC players have posted a higher scoring average in January than Walker: Kiara Lewis (24.5), Haley Gorecki (21.3), Elissa Cunane (20.7) and Destiney Walker (20.7).

Count it up, it’s been five straight games in double figures for Walker, which include three of 20+ points.  In fact, Walker has recorded back-to-back 20+ point games totaling 46 points on 15-of-32 shooting, including 5-of-16 from three.

Ultimately, Walker is averaging 18.0 ppg in ACC play, which ranks fifth. She is also converting 79.2 percent of her free throws in league play, which ranks ninth.

Lastly, she leads the team with her four games of 20+ points.

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 13.8 ppg, which would tie Diggins for 4th. Brunelle averages 13.4, while Peoples 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 (8.4 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 five true freshmen in the country averaging over 13.0 ppg and 8 rpg:
Anaya Peoples, Texas Tech’s Alexis Tucker, Evansville’s Abby Feit, UC Santa Barbara’s Ila Lane and South Carolina’s Aliyah Boston. 

However, of that group, Peoples boast the most steals and assists.

Furthermore, Peoples’ 13.3 ppg ranks 26th in the nation among true freshmen, while her 8.4 rpg ranks ninth. Peoples is knocking down 49.7 percent from two, which ranks ninth among true freshmen.

Where her 3 double-doubles ranks: third in the country among just true freshmen guards and 10th in the country among true freshmen overall.

WELCOME BACK VAUGHN

Vaughn returned against Clemson on Dec. 29, but really settled in at Pitt (1/2) – tying her career high of 17 points, 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.

Over the last three games, Vaughn is nearly averaging a double-double with 13.0 ppg and 9.7 rpg.

She has been highly efficient from the field since returning, converting 55.3 percent from the floor, which ranks 3rd in ACC play only. She has also been a beast on the offensive glass, reeling in at least five offensive rebounds in three straight games. In fact, her 4.0 offensive rebounds/game in ACC play ranks 2nd.

In ACC play only: ranks 3rd in FG% (.553), 10th in rebounds (7.8), 2nd in offensive rebounds (4.0) and 5th in blocks (2.0).

FRESHMEN DUO SENSATION

Notre Dame women’s basketball has never seen the offensive output from two freshmen like this before – Peoples is averaging 13.3 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 (14.8) and Adryana Quezada (13.0), while Fresno State boasts the top pair with Hanna Cavinder (16.4) and Haley Cavinder (16.3).

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 19 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 nine straight contests.

On a completely different defensive note – Sniezek is averaging 2.1 steals/game, which ranks 3rd in the ACC. The Virginia native captured a career high six steals at Syracuse on Jan. 5.

SNIEZEK DIMES

Sniezek has dished out 34 assists over the last four games, averaging 8.5 in that span, which includes two double-digit assist performances – ties UNC’s Shayla Bennett for the most in the league.

Overall, Sniezek is averaging 6.1 assists/game which ranks 8th in the nation and 2nd in the ACC –  only behind Virginia Tech’s Taja Cole (6.4). In addition, her 1.4 A/TO ratio ranks 13th in the league.

In ACC play only, Sniezek tops the league, averaging 7.3 assists/game.

— ND —