|Game 12:||Notre Dame (6-5, 4-3) vs Boston College (5-6, 1-6)|
|Where:||Notre Dame, IN | Purcell Pavilion|
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame women’s basketball team (2-3, 0-1) looks to garner some momentum on Thursday when the Fighting Irish end their five-game homestand with undefeated Virginia Tech (6-0, 1-0) squad. Tip-off inside Purcell Pavilion is scheduled for 6 p.m. EST, airing live on the ACC Network with Jenn Hildreth and Rebecca Lobo on the call.
HISTORY WITH THE HOKIES
The Irish lead the all-time series against the Hokies, 11-2, with a 6-1 mark inside Purcell. In fact, it was just last season in which Virginia Tech earned its first win in South Bend, escaping with a 68-62 victory. Sam Brunelle was the bright spot in the matchup, netting 20 points behind six made three-pointers.
A FAMILIAR FOE
Back in the 2017-18 season, Jessica Shepard became the first transfer under then-head coach Muffet McGraw. Since, the Irish have welcomed in the likes of Destinee Walker, Marta Sniezek and of course Dara Mabrey. Of that group, Walker and now Mabrey are the only two who have/will face off against their old squads – both with ACC ties.
1 AWAY FROM 100
Before last season, Notre Dame had been nothing short of dominant since entering the ACC for the 2013-14 season. A 91-5 record in league play and 58 straight conference wins at home, which dated back to 2012 in the Big East. The Irish had won six straight ACC regular-season titles (eight straight when counting the final two years in the Big East) and had won five ACC Tournament crowns.
Even with last year’s 8-10 mark in conference play, the Irish can still achieve an ACC record on Thursday. Sitting at 99-16 in league play, with a win, the Irish can become the fastest team to 100 ACC wins.
*The current holder is NC State reaching 100 wins in 132 games.
Westbeld is chasing a record set by Brunelle last season, when she became the first Irish freshman to start her career with seven double-digit scoring performances – previous record was four.
Westbeld enters Thursday’s contest against Virginia Tech riding a five-game double-digit scoring streak.
WESTBELD MAKING IMMEDIATE IMPACT
Westbeld’s 18.2 ppg leads the team and ranks 4th in the ACC. Her scoring average tops all ACC freshmen and ranks 6th among all Division I freshmen.
Just to put into comparison – Beth (Morgan) Cunningham holds the ND freshman scoring average record with 17.9 ppg in 1993-94. She also boasts the record for consecutive 20+ scoring games for a freshman with five – Westbeld currently boasts two in a row.
The Ohio native is 1-of-2 Division I freshmen averaging at least 18 points and 7 rebounds – other being FGCU’s Kierstan Bell.
In addition, she ranks 6th in the country among freshmen in the Points+Rebounds+Assists/Game category with 28.0 — Tops among ACC freshmen.
”She’s been the most dominant player I’ve seen coming in as a freshman, outside of Arike and Skylar. She has a college body. Her work ethic is incredible. I knew she would make an immediate impact with this team.” – Coach Ivey
4TH QUARTER WILL
In the past two games, Westbeld has done everything she possibly could from a scoring perspective to try to will her team to victory. She scored 12 of her 22 in the 4th vs. IUPUI (12/6), then tallied 12 of her 21 points in the 4th vs. Georgia Tech (12/13).
TALE OF 2 SIDES OF THE COURT
On the offensive side of the court, the Irish are averaging 10 more points per game than last season, plus their 48.1 percent shooting from the floor ranks second in the ACC and 23rd in the country. In fact, Westbeld, Walker and Brunelle are all shooting 50 percent or higher with Peoples close at .482. However, on the defensive side of the ball, the Irish currently rank last in the league in scoring defense.
PEOPLES IN RARE GUARD COMPANY
Peoples is the only guard in the ACC with multiple double-doubles. In addition, she’s just 1-of-8 guards at a Power-Five school. Regardless of position, she’s 1-of-6 ACC players with 2 double-doubles.
Note that the most double-doubles by a guard in a season at ND was 12 from Jackie Young in the 2018-19 season.
— ND —