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Game 5 Preview: Toledo

Irish end homestand with Rockets on Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET

Game 14:Notre Dame (8-5, 6-3) at North Carolina (7-5, 2-5)
Where:Chapel Hill, N.C. | Carmichael Arena
Listen:99.9 WQLQ-FM
Live Scoring:Statbroadcast

Notre Dame Notes | Toledo Notes

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame women’s basketball team (2-2) ends a four-game homestand with the Toledo Rockets (1-1) on Wednesday, with a 7 p.m. ET tip time inside Purcell Pavilion. The game is available online on ACCNX. The Fighting Irish will be hosting their annual canned food drive, with all proceeds benefitting the St. Vincent DePaul Society.


Notre Dame leads the overall series against Toledo 6-2, with an unblemished mark of 3-0 inside Purcell Pavilion. The Irish have won five straight in the series, which included a 72-56 battle just a season ago, in a winning effort in Toledo.


Never in the history of the Fighting Irish women’s basketball program has a true freshman started her Notre Dame career with five straight games in double figures. With four consecutive double-digit scoring games under Sam Brunelle’s belt, the freshman will be going after history on Wednesday.


A 12-year streak ended on Monday, Nov. 18, when Notre Dame exited the A.P. Top-25 poll. At the time, the Irish boasted the third highest active streak in the country with 234 straight weeks in the poll – only UConn and Baylor were higher. The streak dates back to the start of the 2007-08 season.


Purcell Pavilion continues to be one of the toughest venues to play in women’s hoops. Before the back-to-back losses at home against Tennessee and Michigan State, the Irish were 110-3 over their last 113 games, which dates back to the 2012-13 season. The only three losses suffered in that stretch came at the hands of the UConn Huskies.

Notre Dame is 483-95 all-time inside Purcell Pavilion. The Irish have sold out Purcell Pavilion 56 times and boasts a 46-10 record in those instances.


Last season, Gilbert played in six full games, including a breakout Vancouver Showcase, before suffering a season-ending shoulder injury against Iowa on Nov. 29, 2018. Nearly a year later, Gilbert has returned in full force, leading the team in scoring as her 17.3 ppg ranks ninth in the ACC. In fact, Gilbert has tallied double-digit points in all four games, leading the Irish in scoring in three of the four games.

In addition, Gilbert also leads the Irish in shooting percentage (.509), made field goals (28) and steals/game (2.0). Lastly, she is the lone Irish player thus far with a 20+ point performance, recording a career high of 24 points against Loyola.


Trailing by seven points in the fourth quarter, Sam Brunelle tried spearheading the rally by scoring 11 of her 19 points in the final period alone. Brunelle connected on two treys in the quarter, including one with 10 seconds left to cut the deficit to one. Brunelle also got a final three-point attempt up at the buzzer to tie the game, but the shot came up just short.


Four Notre Dame starters all rank within the top-12 in the ACC in minutes played. Destinee Walker ranks second in the league, averaging 36.5/game. Sniezek ranks fourth with 35.8, Gilbert sixth with 34.5 and Brunelle ninth with 33.8.


Sniezek is averaging 6.0 assists per game, which ranks fourth in the ACC and 22nd in the nation. Meanwhile, her 1.5 A/TO ratio ranks eighth in the league.

Furthermore, her 24 assists through the first four games of a season is the most since Lindsay Allen dished out 25 in the first four of the 2016-17 season. Allen had 34 after five games and went on to record 282 that season which holds the program record. 


Coach McGraw noted before the season that this year’s crop will pride itself on defense. Though last week didn’t go Notre Dame’s way against Tennessee and Michigan State, the Irish can certainly be proud of the fact they forced 28 Lady Vol turnovers, including 10 in a six-minute span in the fourth quarter. It marked the most turnovers forced since Notre Dame caused 25 against Tennessee on Jan. 18, 2018. Then, the Irish forced 20 MSU turnovers, thus totaling 48 in the two-game span.

— ND —