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Game 17 Preview: at Pitt

Irish back in action on Monday, Feb. 22, at 8 pm EST on ACCN

Game 19:Notre Dame (10-8, 8-6) vs #6/5 Louisville (20-2, 13-2)
Where:Purcell Pavilion | Notre Dame, Ind.
Watch:3 pm EST on ESPN
Listen:99.9 WQLQ-FM
Live Scoring:Statbroadcast

Notre Dame Notes | Pitt Notes

PITTSBURGH – The University of Notre Dame women’s hoops team is back in action on Monday, Feb. 22, when the Fighting Irish (8-8, 6-6) travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Panthers (5-10, 3-9). Tip inside the Petersen Events Center is scheduled for 8 p.m. EST on the ACC Network.

The contest marks the first for the Irish since their clash with Louisville on Feb. 7. Meanwhile, the Irish have not competed at home since their Jan. 17 bout with Boston College.


Notre Dame leads the overall series, 29-4, with a 14-2 record at Pitt. The Irish have won six straight at the Petersen Events Center, but the Panthers defeated the Irish last, in what was Muffet McGraw’s last game before retirement.

Notre Dame and Pitt clashed three times last season. The Irish swept the regular season with a 60-52 win at Pitt, followed by a 74-52 victory at home. Then the No. 15 seeded Panthers knocked off the No. 10 seeded Irish, 67-65, in the ACC Tournament.

Destinee Walker enjoyed the Pitt games the most last season, scoring in double-digits for all three to total 52 points (16, 24, 12).


When looking at all the stats, Maddy Westbeld has the most complete game among ACC rookies this season and here’s the stats to back it up:

• ACC Freshmen Rankings: 2nd in Scoring, 2nd in Rebounding, 2nd in Steals, 5th in Blocks & 4th in Assists. She is the only freshman in the league to rank in the top-five in all the above-mentioned categories.
• Her 14.8 ppg ranks 2nd among ACC rookies and ranks 11th overall in the league. Nationally, her scoring average ranks 12th among all Division I freshmen.
• Miss Do It All: Maddy is the only freshman in the country averaging at least 14 points, 7 rebounds, 2.5 assists & 1.4 steals.
• Ranks 6th in the country among freshmen in the Points+Rebounds+Assists/Game category with 24.8. Tops ACC freshmen.


When looking at subs through the parameters of played 15+ games, but has started in five games or less (ACC states you had to have started in less than 1/3 of games played), Destinee is the highest scoring sixth player in the ACC and 2nd highest in the entire country.

Walker is averaging 12.2 ppg, just 0.1 shy of the nation’s leader. However, when looking at just ACC players, it’s not even close – the next highest is UNC’s Kennedy Todd-Williams with her 7.1 ppg.

Over the last 10 games in particular, Destinee has thrived, scoring in double figures in six of them, and even leading the Irish in scoring in three.


Notre Dame received a major midseason pick-me-up in star point guard Olivia Miles, who became the program’s first-ever early enrollee. Miles arrived on campus on Jan. 18 and partook in a week of quarantine. Once she was cleared, she started practicing with the team on Jan. 27. She had three practices under her belt heading into Syracuse, where she made an immediate impact — four points, two assists, two rebounds and three steals in just under 15 minutes of action.

A week later, she found herself up against the No. 1 team in the country in Louisville. There, she scored six straight points in the 3rd quarter for the Irish before tying for the team high with 10 points. She did it on an efficient 5-of-8 shooting.


Before the break in games, Sam Brunelle was starting to hit a stride. The sophomore posted three straight games in double figures, totaling 39 points, 13 assists and 21 rebounds. Thus, she averaged 13.0 points, 4.3 assists and 7.0 rebounds.

Brunelle also recorded back-to-back games with a career-high five assists. Also, her 17 rebounds over the last two games were more than the previous seven games combined. 

Then there’s senior center Mikki Vaughn. Over the last three games, Vaughn compiled 27 points and 26 boards, while shooting 12-of-20 (.600) from the field.

Vaughn shot 72.7  percent in January, which was the best in that span among ACC players. Over said month, Vaughn raised her shooting percentage from .389 to .591 and her scoring average from 4.3 to 7.8.


When it comes to the Mabrey family, that’s a whole lot of buckets. Queens of the three some might say. Marina graduated in 2019 as the program’s all-time career made three-pointer leader, draining a total of 274. Michaela converted a career total of 228, while Dara now boasts 189. All-in-all, the Mabreys have totaled a whopping 691 splash-downs.


Destinee has been a shining example from the free-throw line, where she has converted 44-of-49, aka 89.8 percent accuracy. That percentage ranks 2nd in the ACC and 16th in the country.

In addition, she currently has made 19 free throws in a row.

— ND —