After playing four of their last five games away, Notre Dame women’s basketball has two straight home games in the next four days. Both games will be played against ranked teams beginning with Thursday night’s matchup with No. 20 Maryland in the recent ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
Where: Notre Dame, Ind. – Purcell Pavilion
When: Thursday, December 1 – 6:30 p.m. EST
network: ESPN2 – Beth Mowins (PBP); Deb Antonelli (Analyst)
radio: ND Radio Network, 99.9 FM WQLQ in South Bend – Sean Stire’s PBP
Let’s take a look at today’s matchup:
NOTRE DAME FIGHTS IRISH (6-0, 0-0 ACC)
head coach: Niele Ivey (40-19 – Season 3 at Notre Dame)
Notre Dame is 6-0 up for the first time since the 2018-2019 season, the season after the program won its second national championship. The Fighting Irish defeated American University and Arizona State in the two games they played at the Goombay Splash in the Bahamas over Thanksgiving weekend.
Lauren Ebo scored 20 points and tacked nine rebounds in Notre Dame’s win over the Sun Devils on Saturday. The Texas Grad transfer was 8 for 14 at the free throw line and 6 for 10 from the field to lead five Irish players into double figures.
Sonya Lemon scored 15 points with seven rebounds while KK Bransford With 14 points and nine rebounds, she narrowly missed her first double-double of her career. It was still the third straight game in which the newcomer scored in double figures.
Expected Irish starting line-up
G Olivia Miles– 5-10, Soph. – 16.0 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 6.6 APG
G Sonya Lemon – 6-1, Soph – 15.3 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 2.3 APG
G Dara Mabrey – 5-7, 5th – 13.3 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 2.0 APG
f Maddy Westbeld – 6-3, Jr. – 7.2 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 10 Blk
f Kylee Watson – 6-4, Jr – 9.0 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 1.8 APG
Maryland Terrapins (5-2, 0-0 Big Ten)
head coach: Brenda Frese (541-142 in Season 21 in Maryland – 598-172 in 24th overall)
The Terps are led by a longtime head coach Brenda Frese, who has guided Maryland to 11 consecutive NCAA tournaments, with bids in 17 of the last 18 seasons (excluding 2020) overall. She led the Terps to the 2006 national championship and two other Final Four appearances.
Maryland’s two losses are to current No. 1 and defending champions South Carolina and DePaul. The Terps also have a win over current No. 21 Baylor.
Maryland freshman Mila Reynolds hails from South Bend and comes off the bench in 6.6 minutes averaging 1.7 points and 1.4 rebounds. Reynolds helped lead the South Bend Washington Cougars to the 3A Indiana State Championship. Her sister Amiyah will also play for Maryland next season.
Planned starting lineup
G Believe Masonius– Stats – 8.5 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 1.7 APG
G Shyanne seller – Stats – 11.9 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 2.3 APG
G Diamond Miller – Stats – 17.6 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 14 BLK
G Meyers Abbey – Stats – 15.3 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 2.3 APG
G Elisa Pinzan – Stats – 4.8, 1.1 RPG, 3.6 APG
WHERE TO LOOK
Notre Dame endured its toughest test of the season so far in last Saturday’s win over Arizona State. Like the Irish, the Sun Devils went unbeaten and led Notre Dame 34-31 at halftime. It was the first time this season that the Fighting Irish went from a half-time deficit. Notre Dame prevailed over ASU 54-31 in the second half for an 85-65 win. The Irish also easily gained the rebound lead, 45-29. Thursday’s Test will be even tougher for the Irish as Maryland will be the first team they face this season.
Maryland has five Division One transfers on the roster, with an AP Honorable Mention All-American Abby Meyers (Princeton) and All-AAC transmission Elisa Pinzan (USF) currently in the starting lineup. Meyers is the Terps’ second-best scorer at 15.3 points per game and leads the team with 19 three-pointers. Pinzan leads Maryland with 3.6 assists per game. All SEC transmission Lavender Briggs (Florida) started six games but has recently come off the bench.