Notre Dame Women’s Basketball continues its short two-game home streak with a game Thursday night against Florida State. The Fighting Irish play their first game without Dara Mabreywho sustained a season-ending injury on Sunday.
Where from: Notre Dame, Ind – Purcell Pavilion
When: Thursday, January 26 – 8:00 p.m. EST
network: Regional Sports Network – Tom Werme and Fallon Stokes
radio: ND Radio Network, 99.9 FM WQLQ in South Bend – Sean Stire’s PBP
Let’s take a look at today’s matchup:
#7 NOTRE DAME FIGHTS IRISH (16-2, 7-1 ACC)
head coach: Niele Ivey (50-21 – Season 3 at Notre Dame)
Notre Dame went 8-1 at home this season with Sunday’s 78-54 win over Virginia. Sonya Lemon led the Irish by 20 points, thanks in large part to 6 for 7 from 3-point range. She hit her first six 3s before missing her last try in the fourth quarter. Citron just missed a double-double with a game-high nine rebounds. Lauren Ebo added 15 points from the bench during Olivia Miles scored 12 points and gave away seven assists.
The result was good news, but there was also a lot of bad news for the Irish on Sunday. Mabrey suffered a cruciate ligament tear and a fractured tibial plateau in his right knee early in the game, ending the graduate student’s college career. Mabrey had started every game of her 135-game career, the first two at Virginia Tech and the last three at Notre Dame.
Expected Irish starting line-up
G Olivia Miles– 5-10, Soph. – 15.6 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 7.1 APG
G Sonya Lemon – 6-1, Soph – 13.6 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 2.1 APG
f Kylee Watson – 6-4, Jr – 6.6 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 17 BLACK
f Maddy Westbeld – 6-3, Jr. – 10.4 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 26 BLK
#24 FLORIDA STATE SEMINOLS (18-4, 7-2 ACC)
head coach: Brooke Wyckoff (18-4 in Year 1, 28-13 in Year 2 overall)
Brooke Wyckoff will become the fourth freshman head coach Notre Dame has faced in the last five games. The Florida State graduate played in the WNBA from 2001 to 2009 before returning to her alma mater in 2011 as an assistant. Wyckoff led the Seminoles to the NCAA tournament as FSU’s interim head coach in the 2020-2021 season Sue Semrau took a one-year leave of absence. Wyckoff returned to her role as assistant head coach last season, finally taking over the program when Semrau resigned last March.
The Seminoles are led by freshman Ta’Niyah Latson. The 5-8 guard leads the ACC with 23.6 points per game. She is 30 to 83 with 3-pointers and has hit 142 of 163 (87%) from the free throw line. She was named ACC Rookie of the Week nine times out of a possible eleven this season.
Planned starting lineup
G Ta’Niyah Latson – Stats – 23.6 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 3.2 APG
f Makayla Timson – Stats – 13.1 PPG, 9.0 RPG, 54 BLK
G Sara Bejeda – Stats – 11.9 PPG, 1.9 RPG, 2.5 APG
f Erin Howard – Stats – 7.7 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 1.4 APG
G Jasmine Massengil– Stats – 5.7, 4.5 RPG, 3.9 APG
WHERE TO LOOK
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For the first time this season, Notre Dame will have to change their starting XI following Mabrey’s injury at the end of the season. She was part of Notre Dame’s starting five, which started the team’s first 18 games together. Despite a recent dip in shooting, Mabrey also leads the Fighting Irish with 33 3-pointers this season. Citron is closest at 24 after being tied at six against Virginia.
The most likely move is for KK Bransford to start their first career. The newcomer currently has an average of 7.9 points in 20.8 minutes. She has featured in all 18 games, hitting double figures six times, including ten times against UVA on Sunday. Enrolled in mid-season Cassander Prosper will probably see more minutes too. The 6-2 freshman has played in all seven possible games since joining the team right after Christmas. She averages 3.4 points, 2.7 rebounds and 10.1 minutes per game.
The Seminoles and Irish are Nos. 1 and 2 in the ACC in offense scoring, averaging 85.8 and 79.7 points, respectively. But the Irish have the No. 3 defense (58.0), while FSU is penultimate in the conference with 66.9 points. Florida State’s best win is over North Carolina #15/19. Her two ACC losses go to Boston College (in OT) and Louisville.
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Contents of the Irish breakdown
2023 Scholarship Table
Football plan 2023
Notre Dame 2023 Scholarship Offers
Notre Dame 2024 Scholarship Offers
Grades of Recruitment Class 2023 – Offensive
Grades of Recruitment Class 2023 – Defense
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