SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The Notre Dame women’s basketball squad (6-9, 1-2) boasted a 10-point lead over Syracuse (8-6, 2-1) in the fourth quarter, but the Orange stormed back to tie the game with a three-pointer with six seconds remaining. Syracuse then went on to win 74-63 in overtime.
Destinee Walker, Mikki Vaughn and Sam Brunelle combined for 53 of the team’s points with Walker leading the way with 25 points. Walker shot 8-of-17 from the field with four made three-pointers to record her third 20+ scoring effort on the year.
Vaughn logged her first career double-double with 16 points and a career-high tying 11 rebounds. Brunelle finished with 12 points and seven boards.
How It Happened
Walker scored nine of the team’s first 13 points before totaling 12 for the quarter on 4-of-8 shooting (2-of-5 from three). Walker’s hot hand kept the Irish in striking distance as they trailed 20-16 after the opening period.
Vaughn took over the offense in the second, scoring 10 of the team’s 15 points. Trailing 26-20 with 6:02 remaining till half, a Sam Brunelle three garnered some momentum for Notre Dame before Vaughn scored six straight points for the visitors. With 45 seconds left, Brunelle tied it with a mid-range jumper at 31-all, giving her seven points at the half.
Notre Dame outscored Syracuse 18-10 in the third in which Walker (10 points) and Brunelle (five points) combined for 15 of the team’s points. Vaughn gave the Irish their first lead in the opening 20 seconds at 33-31. Later, Brunelle scored five straight for the Irish before Walker tallied six straight.
The Irish defense only allowed one Orange field goal over the final five minutes of the quarter, giving them a 49-41 lead heading into the fourth.
Up six with 6:29 left in the game, Walker came up big again with her fourth three-pointer of the game, extending the Irish lead to 58-49. Syracuse then rallied with a 7-0 run, cutting the lead to 58-56, with 2:55 left (coincided with Vaughn fouling out of the game).
Peoples answered at the 1:31 mark with a big offensive board and two made free-throws, pushing the lead to 60-56. The Orange later converted one free-throw and connected on a game-tying three with six seconds left.
Syracuse carried the momentum into overtime, scoring the first 11 points, before taking it 74-63.
- Today marked the 37th meeting between Notre Dame and Syracuse. The Irish win streak of 21 straight came to an end. Notre Dame still leads the series 34-3.
- Walker recorded her third 20+ scoring performance on the year and 10th of her career with 25 points.
- Vaughn notched her first career double-double today with 16 points and 11 rebounds. It also marked her second straight game with double-digit points.
- After tying her career high of 17 points at Pitt, Vaughn has now scored 33 points over the last two games.
- Brunelle logged her 11th double-digit scoring game on the year with 12 points.
- Sniezek took a charge today, totaling 18 on the season now. She has taken a charge in eight straight contests.
- Peoples recorded her fifth double-digit rebounding effort on the year after reeling in 11 boards. It also marked her fifth in the last six games.
- Sniezek dished out 10 assists, marking her second double-digit assist performance on the year.
The Irish return home for two games inside Purcell Pavilion. Up first, the Irish will host Boston College on Thursday, Jan. 9, at 7 p.m. ET, on ACCNX. Then, the Irish will welcome in No. 9 NC State for a big Sunday showdown on Jan. 12, at 4 p.m. ET, on ACCN.