|Game 11:||Notre Dame (5-5, 3-3) vs Wake Forest (6-3, 3-2)|
|Where:||Notre Dame, IN | Purcell Pavilion|
|Watch:||ACC Network | Sam Ravech & Monica McNutt|
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – In a rare college basketball instance, the University of Notre Dame women’s basketball team (4-4, 2-2) will get to ring a previous wrong when they once again host Georgia Tech (4-2, 2-1) on Sunday, Jan. 3. The rematch is scheduled to tip-off at 4 p.m. EST inside Purcell Pavilion, airing live on the ACC Network.
HISTORY WITH THE YELLOW JACKETS
The Irish were a perfect 13-0 all-time against Georgia Tech, until the Yellow Jackets invaded Purcell Pavilion on Dec. 13 and left with an 82-67 victory.
Maddy Westbeld nearly netted a double-double in the game with 21 points and nine rebounds. Dara Mabrey was the lone other Irish in double figures with 11 points. Both Westbeld and Mabrey were 3-for-4 from beyond the arc that day. The Irish will look to stop Lorela Cubaj who posted 16 points and 13 boards.
WESTBELD MAKING IMMEDIATE IMPACT
Maddy’s 16.9 ppg not only leads the team, but also ranks sixth overall in the ACC. Not to mention, her scoring average tops all ACC freshmen and ranks 10th among all freshmen in the country. Maddy will also be chasing the ND freshman scoring record held by Beth (Morgan) Cunningham – 17.9 ppg in 1993-94.
To truly show what kind of season Westbeld is having, she’s 1-of-3 freshmen in the country averaging at least 16 points, 7 rebounds & 1.5 steals.
How dominant has Westbeld been? Well, the freshman ranks in the top-15 in the ACC in seven different statistical categories: 6th in scoring (16.9), 12th in rebounding (7.5), 10th in FG% (.481), 11th in Steals (1.6), 12th in Blocks (1.0), 15th in O-Reb (2.5) and 9th in D-Reb (5.0).
TURN THE THREE AROUND
A season ago, the Irish ranked dead last in the ACC in three-point shooting percentage (.271). Fast forward to now and the Irish have recorded quite the renaissance from beyond the arc primarily thanks to the trio of Mabrey, Westbeld and Brunelle. In fact, the Irish are converting 38.1 percent from three, which ranks 3rd in the ACC and 27th in the country. All three are shooting over 40 percent from deep.
Mabrey leads the way at 48.6 percent, which ranks 2nd in the ACC and 35th in the country. In addition, her 2.3 made three-pointers/game ranks 12th in the league. Mabrey has been lights out in conference play, where she has converted 9-of-12.
Brunelle follows right behind, as her 48.1 percent ranks 3rd in the ACC and 39th nationally. Brunelle has made a three-pointer in all six games she’s played and is shooting 52.6 percent in conference play.
FIVE PLAYERS AVERAGING DOUBLE FIGURES
Westbeld (16.9 ppg), Walker (12.6), Mabrey (11.4), Peoples (10.8) and Brunelle (10.2) are all averaging double-digit points on the season. As a result, Notre Dame is the only school in the ACC with five players averaging double figures.
4TH QUARTER WILL
Against both IUPUI and Georgia Tech, Westbeld found another gear in the fourth quarter, trying to will her team on 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).
Brunelle then displayed some fourth-quarter fire at Miami (12/31), where she tallied 11 of her 13 points in the final period. Brunelle went off from three, going a perfect 3-for-3 from deep.
Not too often you have both a 2020 ACC Honorable Mention player and a Preseason All-ACC selection coming off your bench.
Destinee Walker has come off the bench for two straight games and led the Irish in scoring in each, totaling 31 points on a combined 11-of-24 shooting from the floor. In addition, she nearly achieved a double-double at Miami (12/31), earning 17 points & eight boards.
Then there’s Sam Brunelle who is averaging 10. 2 ppg. She played a huge factor in the wins over Virginia Tech and Miami, scoring 17 and 13 points, respectively.
FASTEST TO 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 still unlocked an achievement in the win over Virginia Tech on Dec. 17 – becoming the fastest program to reach 100 ACC wins. The Irish accomplished the feat in 116 games – NC State held the record prior at 132.
— ND —