|Game 18:||at Pitt (10-8, 1-6)|
|When:||Sunday January 22 | 2 p.m. ET|
|Or:||Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania | Petersen Event Center|
|Listen:||99.9WQLQ-FM | ND radio network|
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The #22 Notre Dame women’s basketball team (7-2) finally returns to Indiana State for a game, but stays on the road one last time, making the short trip to Valparaiso (0 -7). The Fighting Irish board against the Beacons on Wednesday, Dec. 8 at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN+. The Irish are 27-0 against Valpo.
RING OF HONOR – COACH MCGRAW
A Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer, a two-time national champion, an empowering voice for women and many of her former players – simply put, former GOAT Notre Dame women’s basketball head coach Muffet McGraw has won countless honors and accolades for his legendary career; so it’s fitting that the next women’s basketball Ring of Honor inductee is none other than Coach McGraw.
McGraw becomes the seventh female Ring of Honor inductee, joining six of her former proteges: Ruth Riley-Hunter, Skylar Diggins-Smith, Niele Ivey, Beth (Morgan) Cunningham, Kayla McBride and Natalie Achonwa.
McGraw’s ring of honor ceremony will take place before Notre Dame’s home game against Purdue-Fort Wayne on Dec. 12. This contest will begin at 2 p.m. ET. The contest will also host the program’s annual Teddy Bear Toss, which will take place at halftime.
ACC FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK X3
For the third time in four weeks, goaltender Sonia Citron is your ACC Rookie of the Week. Citron is certainly poised to challenge 2019 alumnus Brianna Turner’s record six weekly ACC freshman awards.
It’s also important to note that the ACC has deemed fellow freshman Olivia Miles ineligible to win the ACC Freshman of the Week/Year due to her signing up early last winter and participating six games away.
They were the two super freshmen from Notre Dame who paved the way for the Irish in road games at Michigan State and #2 UConn.
Sonia Citron scored a career-high 29 points in the win at MSU, including 21 in the second half (13 in the 4th quarter). Next, Citron was the only double-digit Irish player at UConn, finishing with 19 points. In total, in 60 minutes of play, Citron had 48 points on 58.3% shooting with 10 rebounds and just one turnover.
Then there was Miles, who had an 11-point, 11-rebound double-double at MSU — his third of the season. Then she flirted with a triple-double at UConn, finishing with the stat line of 8 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists.
SONI STATS – RECORD PERFORMANCE AT MSU
Citron led the Irish to victory at MSU with a career-high 29 points — the most off the bench in program history. Additionally, she became the 8th different Irish rookie to score 29 or more points in a game:
Bri Turner – 29 on 11/14/14 + 29 v UNC on 01/15/15 Lindsay Schrader – 29 v BC on 03/19/06
Marina Mabrey – 29 vs. Clemson on 02/16/17
Arike Ogunbowale – 30 vs. Central Michigan on 11/11/16 Skylar Diggins-Smith – 31 vs. Vermont on 3/23/10
Sam Brunelle — 31 vs. Depaul on 11/12/19
Alicia Ratay – 32 vs. UNC on 12/4/99
A PAIR OF SUPER FRESHMEN
The future of the program is bright with freshmen Sonia Citron and Olivia Miles and their versatile skills.
Citron, a 6-1 guard, was all over the court for Coach Ivey, ranking in the team’s top 4 in points, rebounds, assists and steals. So not only is Citron making early waves for ACC Rookie of the Year (Possibly National), but also No. 6 Woman – she’s averaging 12.4 points off the bench.
Additionally, Citron is one of only 5 freshman guards nationwide to average at least 10 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 assists (Miles as well). She’s also a defensive threat, leading the team in steals with 1.8 per game.
Finally, she was phenomenal from the charity strip, shooting 89.7%, which leads all players in the ACC. She is 26 for 29 on the year. She was 15 for 16 last week in two games against Michigan State and UConn.
Then there’s Olivia Miles. She’s averaging double-digit points (11.1), ranks 2nd in the nation in assists (7.1) and happens to have 6.3 boards/game at point guard. Iowa’s Miles and Caitlin Clark are the only two Division I players to average at least 10p/6r/7a.
And we’re certainly not skipping Miles’ 7.1 assists/game average, which ranks 2nd overall in the nation. That’s the highest APG average in ND since Lindsay Allen’s 7.6 in the 2016-17 season. Also for reference, the ND single season record is 8.8 apg by Mary Gavin in the 87-88 season, while the highest freshman ND average is 4.5 by Gavin as well .
Miles’ dynamic game is also highlighted by his 3 double-doubles -> 2 in points/rebounds + 1 in points/assists. The 3s are currently the most out of all Division I freshman guards.
Notre Dame is the only school in the ACC with three different players with double-double performances. Olivia Miles leads the way with three as mentioned in the note above. Fellow freshman Sonia Citron earned her first double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds in the win over Fordham on Nov. 18. Finally, there’s Maddy Westbeld, who notched a 15-point, 18-rebound double-double in Game 2 against Western Illinois. The 18 rebounds was not only a career high, but also tied the Purcell Pavilion single-game rebound record.
SHARING THE WEALTH AND EXECUTING
The Irish currently have 5 players with a double-digit average, showing the depth of this year’s squad. Notre Dame did a great job spreading the wealth, leading the ACC and ranking 16th in the nation in assists/game (18.4). They have distributed more than 30 players twice this season.
Notre Dame is also ranked 22nd in the nation in blocks/game (5.6) and 26th in rebounds/game (43.78).
You’ve heard of the Killer B’s on a baseball team, but the Irish are rolling with the M&Ms team this season.
Maya – averaging 10.7 points and a team-high 8.1 rebounds. She ranks in the top 30 in the nation for offensive blocks and rebounds/game. His 3.0 blocks/game ranks 2nd in the ACC and 9th nationally, while his 3.9 offensive boards/game ranks 3rd in the ACC and 29th nationally.
Mady – 7 straight double-digit games to kick off the season before it ended at Michigan State. She leads the Irish in scoring (13.7) knocking down 50.0% of his shots.
Miles – has a double-digit scoring average (11.1), ranks 2nd in the nation in assists (7.1) and happens to have 6.3 boards as a point guard. 3 double doubles rank her 2nd in the ACC.
Mabrey – averaging the third-most points (11.3), second-most assists (3.4) and second-most steals (1.3). She ranks in the ACC top 10 in 5 categories – the best of any Irish player. His 2.2 lines/game ranks 6th in the ACC while his .408 3PT FG% ranks 6th.
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