GREENSBORO, N.C. – The No. 10 seeded Notre Dame women’s basketball team (13-18) engaged in a back-and-forth battle with No. 15 seeded Pittsburgh (5-25) on Wednesday. The game was tied at 65-all with under 10 seconds to go when the Panthers hit the go-ahead jumper for the 67-65 final. The Irish had a chance with 2.1 seconds remaining after advancing the ball, but couldn’t connect on the in-bounds play.
Katlyn Gilbert shone bright in today’s ACC Tournament game, pouring in 20 points, in which 16 were scored in the second half. Gilbert also recorded six rebounds and three steals, including the steal which led to the breakaway layup to tie the game at 65-all.
How It Happened
Notre Dame got off to an 11-3 start behind 5-of-10 shooting from Walker, Vaughn and Brunelle. The Panthers only points of the quarter came from beyond the arc, converting four, to close the gap to 13-12. However, the Irish scored last behind a Marta Sniezek three-pointer (just her third of the season) to end the period up 16-12.
The Irish opened up a seven-point lead after a pair of Walker free-throws at 7:59 in the second, but the Panthers roared back with a 13-2 run, claiming their first lead of the game at 29-25 at 3:38. Notre Dame reclaimed the lead with a 6-0 run, which was powered by a Brunelle three. Yet, Pitt’s hot shooting continued through the end of the period, as they made nine of their last 11 shots to go up right at the buzzer, 34-33.
Pitt tacked on three more triples in the third to start 9-of-14 from deep. The Panthers ultimately built its largest lead of the game at 49-41 at the 3:15 mark. Walker chipped away at the deficit with four straight points from the free-throw line, as a Gilbert layup at 1:23 made it a 6-0 run. Pittsburgh tallied the final bucket of the period to enter the fourth up 51-47.
Gilbert scored four of the team’s first six points to reclaim the lead for the Irish, 53-51, at 8:45. Gilbert tallied another jumper at 7:13 in the fourth to tie the game at 57-all. Yet, a three minute scoring drought gave Pittsburgh a 61-57 lead with 4:17 remaining.
Gilbert ended the drought with 4:07 left, as Sniezek followed with back-to-back baskets to pull within one possession at 65-63. Fast forward to 21 seconds left and Gilbert comes up with a huge steal and breakaway layup to tie the game.
On the other end, Pittsburgh’s Dayshanette Harris broke through the Irish defense and connected on a pull-jumper with 2.1 seconds on the clock. The Irish used their last timeout to advance the ball but the Panthers recorded a steal on the in-bounds pass to ice the game, 67-65.
- Today marked the 33rd meeting between Notre Dame and Pitt. Despite the loss, the Irish still lead the overall series, 29-4.
- With the loss, the Irish drop to 17-2 all-time in the ACC Tournament.
- Gilbert produced her 25th double-digit scoring game of the year and fourth of 20+ points. Gilbert scored 20 points on 9-of-16 shooting.
- Brunelle logged her 23rd game in double figures, and fifth straight, with 10 points.
- With two treys today, Brunelle finishes her season with 60 – the second most in a freshman season at Notre Dame.
- Walker notched her 11th straight game in double figures, and 26th of the season, after collecting 12 points. She will return for a sixth and final season.
- Sniezek collected a charge in the fourth quarter and finished with 34 on the year.
- With 11 points today, Sniezek tallied back-to-back games with double-digit points for the fourth time of her career. It marked her fourth double-digit scoring effort on the season.