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Game 18 Preview: Duke

Irish tip off at 8 p.m. ET on Thursday, Jan. 16, on ACC Network

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 | Duke Notes

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Notre Dame women’s basketball team will look to get back on track on Thursday, Jan. 16, in a venue in which they’ve found success. The Fighting Irish (6-11, 1-4) travel to Cameron Indoor for an 8 p.m. ET tip against Duke (8-8, 2-3). The game will be broadcast on the ACC Network.

The Irish are 17-1 all-time against the Blue Devils with a 4-1 record in Durham.

PEOPLES BUILDING ACC FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR RESUME

Well, Peoples is certainly building the resume. She leads all ACC freshmen in rebounds (8.1), shooting percentage (.457) and steals (1.9), and ranks second in points (12.6). In fact, Notre Dame boasts the top-two scoring spots among freshmen with Brunelle taking the top spot with 12.9 ppg.

Peoples has recorded double-digit rebounds five times over the last eight games 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’ 8.1 rpg ranks 11th in the ACC and 10th in the nation among true freshmen guards. Peoples also ranks 11th in the ACC in offensive rebounds (2.7) and 13th in defensive boards (5.4).

Peoples has been Notre Dame’s most efficient guard, shooting 45.7 percent on the year, which ranks 7th in the ACC.

If that wasn’t enough, Peoples is averaging 1.9 steals/game, which ranks 5th in the ACC.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website

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 14.5 ppg, which would rank third. Brunelle averages 12.9, while Peoples averages 12.6.

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 / 13.8 / 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 (8.1 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 six true freshmen in the country averaging over 12.5 ppg and 8 rpg: Anaya Peoples, Texas Tech’s Alexis Tucker, Evansville’s Abby Feit, UC Santa Barbara’s Ila Lane, South Carolina’s Aliyah Boston and Oregon State’s Taylor Jones. Of that group, Peoples does boast the most steals.

Furthermore, Peoples’ 12.6 ppg ranks 30th in the nation among true freshmen, while her 8.1 rpg ranks 12th.

TRENDING: DESTINEE WALKER

Since the turn of the new decade, Walker has posted the sixth highest scoring average in the ACC with her 18.3 ppg.

Count it up, it’s been six straight games in double figures for Walker, which includes three of 20+ points.  In fact, Walker leads the team with her four 20+ scoring games, which also ties her career best.

Ultimately, Walker is averaging 16.6 ppg in ACC play, which ranks 7th. Also, she’s converting 78.6 percent of her free throws in league play, which ranks 10th.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website

HEATING UP??

After suffering from a 1-of-15 stretch from three from Dec. 4-Jan. 2, Sam Brunelle is beginning to heat up from beyond the arc. Over the last three games, Brunelle has connected on 7-of-19 from deep, aka 36.8 percent.

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, 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.

She has been highly efficient from the field since returning, converting 58.5 percent from the floor. She has also been a beast on the offensive glass, reeling in at least five offensive rebounds in three of the last four games. In fact, her 3.2 offensive rebounds/game in ACC play ranks 5th.

Vaughn has garnered multiple blocks in four consecutive games. Her 2.0 blocks/game ranks 3rd in ACC play only.

In ACC play only: 15th in rebounds (6.4), 5th in offensive rebounds (3.2), 12th in steals (1.8) and 3rd 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 12.6 ppg while Brunelle is at 12.9. 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 20 charges this season, which breaks the record set by Kristina Nelson during the 2017-18 championship season.

All-in-all, Sniezek has taken a charge in 10 straight contests.

Her most impressive week came on the Cancun trip. The Virginia native took a charge against FGCU, four against South Dakota State and then four again vs. USF in Cancun.

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.

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SNIEZEK DIMES

Sniezek is averaging 5.9 assists/game which ranks 10th in the nation and 2nd in the ACC –  only behind Virginia Tech’s Taja Cole (6.4). In addition, her 1.3 A/TO ratio ranks 13th in the league.

Sniezek boasts two double-digit assist performances, which ties UNC’s Shayla Bennett for the most in the league. Her 12-assist performance against No. 16 DePaul on Dec. 11, tied for the league high for an individual game.

In ACC play only, Sniezek is averaging 6.0 assists/game, which ranks 3rd.