Irish cruise to a road victory at Wake Forest…
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – In just its second game since the holiday break, the No. 20/19 Notre Dame women’s basketball team (12-3, 3-1) came ready to play, rolling to a 74-64 victory over the Wake Forest Demon Deacons (12-5, 2-4) on Thursday night. Sam Brunelle, Maya Dodson, Olivia Miles and Dara Mabrey all finished in double figures, scoring all but nine of the team’s points.
It was both a season and game high 22 points for Mabrey, recording her second 20-point effort of the season. Mabrey was also 7-of-8 from the free-throw line.
Miles earned double-double No. 6 on the year, as the nation’s assist leader dished out 12 assists to go with her 15 points. It marked her fifth double-digit assist performance and 11th game in double figures.
Next, Brunelle finished in double figures for the fourth time this season, pouring in 16 points. The junior was an efficient 7-of-12 from the field. Lastly, Dodson posted her fourth game in double figures over the last five games with 12 points on 6-of-12 shooting.
How It Happened
There was no rust in the Notre Dame offense from the long layover between games, as the Irish jumped out to a 16-2 start over Wake, converting six of their first nine shots. Mabrey hit three treys in the quarter, including one at the buzzer from the center-court logo, pushing the Irish ahead 20-12.
In fact, Mabrey was already in double figures after a pair of free-throws at 8:57 in the second quarter. The Notre Dame defense did its part as well, collecting four turnovers in a two-minute span to keep the distance up 28-16 at 4:43. Ultimately, the Irish outscored the Demon Deacons 17-10 in the quarter, which was capped by another long three, this time by Sam Brunelle.
At the half, Notre Dame boasted a 37-22 lead on 13-of-32 (41 percent) shooting. Mabrey led with 11 points, followed by seven from Brunelle. Westbeld and Miles each had six points, as the latter also dished six assists. Sonia Citron led with seven boards.
Dodson and Miles combined for an 8-0 run to start the third, forcing another Wake timeout, now up 45-22 at 7:23. Later on, starting at 3:19 left in the period, Brunelle caught fire, scoring seven straight points for the Blue and Gold. Next, a nifty pass from Miles to Mabrey at the buzzer kept the Irish rolling, up 58-34.
The score was only deceivingly close thanks to the fourth quarter, where the Demon Deacons outscored the Irish 30-16.
The Irish will finally get to play inside Purcell Pavilion once again, marking the first time since Pitt on Dec. 19. Notre Dame is set for a top-25 battle against No. 21/18 North Carolina on Sunday, Jan. 16, at 1 p.m. ET. The game is on RSN, so for the Northwest Indiana community, be sure to check the Marquee Network.