CANCUN, Mexico – The (RV) Notre Dame women’s basketball squad (4-3) tried to overcome a turnover heavy game (25 total), but the late rally against Florida Gulf Coast (6-1) came up just short, falling 69-60, in game one of the Cancun Challenge.
Anaya Peoples led the Irish in scoring, tying her season high of 19 points, while nearly achieving her first double-double with a season best nine rebounds. Fellow freshman Sam Brunelle recorded her second double-double in three games with 11 points and 12 boards. Lastly, Katlyn Gilbert rounded out the double-digit scorers with 14 points on 6-of-12 shooting.
How It Happened
Brunelle scored the first seven points, pushing the Irish to an early 7-2 advantage. However, after a Sniezek layup at 5:43, which put the Irish up 9-2, Notre Dame didn’t score for the remainder of the quarter. As a result, Florida Gulf Coast produced a 12-0 run, which later extended into a 16-0 run, spilling into the second quarter.
Peoples then ended what was a seven-minute drought at the 8:22 mark. Cosgrove and Brunelle then followed, resulting in a 7-0 Irish run to pull within two at 18-16 at 6:54. Yet, the Eagles recaptured the momentum with back-to-back treys on consecutive possessions to go up 26-19, and eventually 30-21 at the half.
Brunelle nearly had a double-double at the midway point with 11 points and nine boards. Turnovers continued to haunt Notre Dame, committing nine in the second quarter for a total of 14 at the half.
The Irish utilized three-point plays to slowly chip away in the third. Gilbert and Sniezek each hit treys, while Peoples scored on two and-ones in the quarter, all resulting to the Irish pulling within four at 41-37 at the 5:01 mark. Yet, Florida Gulf Coast connected on two three’s of their own in the final 1:37 of the quarter to go up 55-45 heading into the fourth.
Facing their largest deficit of the game, 63-47, with 6:42 remaining, the Irish continued to fight back, firing off a 10-0 run to cut the deficit to six with 2:35 left. Yet, it was FGCU’s Davlon Wingate who converted back-to-back layups to stymie the rally and finish off the 69-60 victory.
Peoples was a major reason on the late rally, scoring nine points in the third and six in the fourth.
- Today marked the first ever meeting between Notre Dame and Florida Gulf Coast.
- Today also marked just the third ever Thanksgiving Day game in program history.
- The Irish suffer their first Thanksgiving week tournament/showcase loss spanning over the last decade (since 2009-10 season), moving their record to 13-1 in that span.
- Notre Dame and FGCU are two of just four programs in Division I to win 25 or more games in each season since 2010-11, with the other two being UConn and Baylor. Notre Dame’s current streak sits at 10.
- Brunelle added on to her program record this afternoon with her seventh straight double-digit scoring effort, supplying 11 points. Brunelle is the first Irish player in program history to start her career with seven double-digit scoring games, with the previous record being four.
- Brunelle also recorded her second double-double in a three-game span, reeling in 12 rebounds.
- Gilbert kept her career high double-digit streak rolling with 14 points versus FGCU, making it seven games in a row.
- Peoples tied her season high of 19 points and achieved a new season best with nine boards.
It’ll be a quick turnaround, for the Irish return to action in less than 24 hours, challenging South Dakota State on Friday at 11 a.m. ET.