TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Fighting Irish women’s basketball team (13-17, 8-10) lived up to their moniker after earning a signature ranked win on the road over No. 19 Florida State (22-7, 11-7), via a 70-67 decision. Notre Dame rallied down 11 point in the second half and received a huge 25-point outing behind a career high seven made threes from Sam Brunelle.
Brunelle’s seven three-pointers tied Alicia Ratay for the most in a game by a freshman and tied for second most overall. Furthermore, Brunelle notched her third 20+ point performance in the last four games.
— Notre Dame WBB (@ndwbb) March 1, 2020
Marta Sniezek also came up big late, scoring eight of her 10 points in the fourth. Mikayla Vaughn and Destinee Walker also finished in double figures with 12 and 10 points, respectively.
Notre Dame now enters this week’s ACC Tournament 6-3 over its last nine games and on a three-game winning streak.
How It Happened
Notre Dame spread the wealth in the opening quarter with five different players scoring baskets. On the other end, the Irish defense limited the Seminoles to one field goal for a near five-minute stretch. Both sides ended the period 6-of-16 (38 percent) from the field, but the Irish held a one-point edge, up 14-13.
The start of the second quarter was taken over by Florida State’s Nausia Woolfolk, who went 3-for-3 from three (4-of-5 start overall) to ignite a 10-0 run, pushing the home squad up 29-19. However, the Irish chipped away behind the shooting of Brunelle. In fact, Notre Dame produced a 9-1 run from 2:52-0:09, in which Brunelle scored seven straight.
Yet, Kiah Gillespie hit a mid-court buzzer beater to put the Seminoles up 35-30 at the break. Brunelle had 10 points in the period and led the Irish at the half with 13, while Woolfolk and Gillespie combined for 29 of the team’s 35 points.
The Irish, which had only four turnovers at the half, coughed up three in the opening three minutes of the third, as FSU built its largest lead of the game at 41-30. However, from that moment till the end of the quarter, the Irish went 8-of-10 from the field, which included a Brunelle buzzer-beating three-pointer to pull Notre Dame within two at 52-50.
Brunelle hit her sixth three of the contest to kick off the Irish scoring in the fourth, then Sniezek pushed Notre Dame ahead at 7:46, up 55-54. Walker, Sniezek and Vaughn all contributed baskets as the Irish traded blows with the Seminoles and found themselves tied at 61 apiece with 3:45 remaining.
At 2:30, Brunelle hit her career best seventh trey of the game, momentarily putting the Irish up 64-63. Sniezek then stepped up in a huge way for the Irish, connecting on back-to-back layups to give the Irish a 68-66 lead with 41 seconds left. The go-ahead layup marked her eighth point of the period.
Fast forward to 12.5 seconds on the clock and it was Florida State’s ball out of a timeout. FSU’s Sammie Puisis missed the three and Sniezek grabbed the rebound. With five seconds left, Walker converts 1-of-2 from the line, thus 69-66 Notre Dame.
Drama ensued with 1.5 seconds left as Florida State’s Ekhomu was fouled on a three-point shot. The Seminole hit just 1-of-3 as the Irish gutted out the 70-67 victory.
- Today marked the 10th meeting between Notre Dame and Florida State. The Irish lead the all-time series 10-0 with a 4-0 mark in Tallahassee.
- With the win, the Irish picked up their third ranked victory on the season.
- Irish end the regular season 6-3 in their last nine games.
- Brunelle earned her third 20+ point performance in the last four games with 25 points on Sunday. She now has six on the year which leads all ACC freshmen.
- Brunelle made a career high seven made three-pointers in the contest. That number ties Alicia Ratay for the most in a single game by a freshman. It also ties for the second most overall in a single game.
- Walker logged her ninth straight game in double figures and 25th of the season after notching 10 points.
- Sniezek collected a charge in the third quarter and now boasts 33 on the year.
- Sniezek earned her third double-digit scoring effort with 10 points, including eight in the fourth.
- Vaughn earned her ninth double-digit scoring game with 12 points. It also marked the seventh time she’s reached double figures on the road.
With a 8-10 league record, the Irish will be a No. 10 seed in the ACC Tournament and will play on day one. Therefore, Notre Dame will look to run the gauntlet of five games in five days, starting with No. 15 seeded Pitt on Wednesday, March 4.