LOUISVILLE – It was a one-possession game at the start of the second quarter, but the Notre Dame women’s basketball team (10-16, 5-9) was outscored 49-24 over the next two periods, as the No. 9 Louisville Cardinals (23-3, 12-2) earned the 82-49 victory inside the KFC Yum! Center.
Junior center Mikki Vaughn led the Irish in scoring with 16 points on an efficient 8-of-10 shooting from the field, to go along with her six boards. She was joined in double figures by graduate guard Destinee Walker, who added 12 points, four boards and three steals. Marta Sniezek supplied nine points for the third time in four games, shooting 4-of-9, to go with her five rebounds.
“I thought Louisville played like the champion team that they are. They have so many weapons,” Karen & Kevin Keyes Family head coach Muffet McGraw said. “They are a great defensive team and they made it really hard on us. I was disappointed in our defense. The first half wasn’t too bad, but the third quarter was ugly.”
How It Happened
The Irish battled hard in the opening quarter, firing off an 8-0 scoring run over a 90-second span to jump out to an 8-4 advantage. In fact, Notre Dame started 6-of-8 from the field to garner a 12-10 lead at the first quarter media timeout. Vaughn powered the offense with six points in the first.
However, Louisville captured all the momentum in the second, where the Cardinals outscored the Irish 22-10 to claim a 40-26 halftime lead. The period was defined by a 15-3 Louisville scoring run spanning over four minutes, with Destinee Walker ending the Irish drought with a three at the 3:10 mark.
All-in-all, turnovers haunted Notre Dame, committing 13 in the first half. Irish shot 11-of-28 (.392) in the half compared to Louisville’s 17-of-35 (.486).
It was a similar theme in the third quarter, as the Cardinals outscored the Irish 15-2 to start. Vaughn was the bright spot for Notre Dame in the period, scoring eight of the team’s 14 points.
The Irish flashed a little spark in the fourth, firing off a 6-0 run over a 69-second span, but ultimately the Cardinals cruised for the 82-49 win.
- Today marked the 24th meeting between Notre Dame and Louisville and first time they met twice during the regular season. Despite the loss, the Irish still lead the all-time series, 16-8.
- Vaughn collected her seventh game in double figures with 16 points.
- Walker logged her fifth straight game in double figures and 21st of the season after recording 12 points.
- Walker is now 9-of-18 from three over the last three games.
The Irish return to Purcell Pavilion for a three-game homestand starting with Virginia Tech on Thursday, Feb. 20, at 8 p.m. ET on RSN.