NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Notre Dame women’s basketball squad (5-5) rallied from 18 down to claim a lead midway through the fourth quarter, but Minnesota (6-1) immediately retaliated with a late 17-2 run to claim a 75-67 B1G/ACC Challenge victory.
“Really disappointed in the defense, and for as bad as we were offensively in the first half we came all the way back, but then couldn’t find (Gadiva Hubbard) in our zone. We need to be smarter. Just a lack of awareness where their shooters were,” Karen & Kevin Keyes Family Head Coach Muffet McGraw said.
Sam Brunelle led the Irish with 19 points on 9-of-18 shooting. Katlyn Gilbert registered all her points in the second half to total 15 to go with her seven boards. Anaya Peoples recorded career highs in both rebounds (14) and assists (6) to go with her nine points. Marta Sniezek tallied a season-high 10 points, while Destinee Walker rounded out the double-digit scorers with 12 points.
How It Happened
Turnovers plagued the Irish in the first quarter. Notre Dame committed nine to be exact, allowing the Gophers to capture an 8-0 run to take a 15-9 advantage. Sniezek led the Irish with five points.
Notre Dame suffered a seven minute drought that went from the end of the first into the first four minutes of the second. Combine that with the fact that Minnesota’s first half offense was powered from seven three-pointers, and the Gophers built their largest lead of the game, up 18 points (33-15) with 2:19 till halftime.
However, Notre Dame fired off a quick 6-0 run to end the half, cutting the deficit to 33-21. Brunelle scored six points in the second to lead the Irish at the half with eight.
After missing its first shot of the third quarter, Notre Dame went on to convert nine of its next 13 field goals, cutting the deficit to single digits at 51-43. Walker and Gilbert combined for 15 of the team’s 23 points in the quarter, as the Irish trailed 53-44 heading into the fourth.
Brunelle kicked off the fourth with an and-one, and on the next few possessions Gilbert extended it to a 7-1 Irish run and a three-point ballgame down 54-51. Next, a Brunelle layup at 5:33 gave the Irish their first lead of the game since the opening two minutes, up 57-56.
However, a Hubbard three-pointer at 4:25 kicked off a 17-2 Minnesota run in which the Gophers connected on three from deep. Minnesota then rode the momentum to a 75-67 victory.
- Tonight marked the third meeting between the Irish and the Gophers, as Minnesota moves to 3-0 in the overall series.
- The Irish are now 6-1 in the B1G/ACC Challenge since joining the league for the 2013-14 season.
- The Irish are 23-2 against Big Ten opposition since the 2009-10 season. .
- Gilbert kept her career high double-digit streak rolling with 15 points vs. Minnesota, making it 10 games in a row. Gilbert scored all 15 points in the second half.
- Sniezek took a charge tonight and has now taken 13 charges on the season.
- Sniezek scored a season high 10 points.
- Peoples recorded career highs in both rebounds (14) and assists (6).
- Notre Dame tallied a season best 44 points in the paint.
The Irish head to Gampel Pavilion in Storrs, Connecticut, to challenge the No. 4 UConn Huskies in the women’s Jimmy V Classic game. Tip is scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 8, at 4 p.m. ET, on ESPN.