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Notre Dame Basketball

WBB |  ND Opens Conference Play at Home vs Pittsburgh

January 2, 2019

Second-ranked Notre Dame (12-1) begins ACC play at home Thursday evening against the Pitt Panthers (9-5) opening a challenging conference slate that features two other teams ranked in the top ten.  Third-ranked Louisville travels to ND next Thursday, January 10th, and the Irish will play at ninth-ranked North Carolina State on February 18th.

Notre Dame will also travel to Syracuse (11-2) in late February.  The Orange are currently ranked #14.  Virginia Tech with freshman Dara Mabrey playing a key role has just moved into the 25th spot in the coaches’ poll.  The Irish play the Hokies in Blacksburg on January 16th. 

The Irish will travel to Knoxville on January 24th for the lone non-conference game remaining in the regular season for the annual matchup with #10 Tennessee.

Pittsburgh is currently averaging 61.0 points per game, while surrendering 58.9.  The Panthers shoot 40.4% from the field, 35.6% from three, and just 65.6% from the free throw line.  They average 5.6 made threes per game.

Pittsburgh’s assist to turnover ratio is just 0.8 — they average 14.4 assists and 18.5 turnovers per game.

Nine different players have started at least one game for Pitt so far this season — and just one — Cassidy Walsh, has started all 14.  Walsh is a 5’7” senior guard, who is averaging 10.9 points per game. She leads the team with 27 made three-point baskets — she makes 37% of her long-range attempts.  

Pitt’s points-per-game leader — 5’7” senior guard Aysia Bugg — has been injured and hasn’t played since the fifth game of the season, a 29 point road loss at Georgetown.

No other players are averaging in double figures, but four other players in addition to Walsh are averaging over 20 minutes per game.  Jasmine Whitney is a 5’9” junior guard, who is second on the team in scoring at 9.1 points per game (35.2% from the field); Cara Judkins, a 6’2” sophomore center, who averages 6.5 points (52.1%) and 6.7 rebounds per game; 5’11” sophomore guard, Kyla Nelson, from the U.K., who is second on the team with 20 made threes (42.6% from deep) and averages 6.1 points; and Kauai Bradley, a 6’0” senior forward, who averages 4.9 points (34.3%). 

The Panthers have won their last three games — all come-from-behind efforts — against UNC Wilmington, St. Francis (PA) and Duquesne.

Irish Notes:  The starters were highly efficient in Sunday’s game vs Lehigh.  They scored 81 of ND’s 95 points by hitting 29 of 44 field goal attempts (65.9%). 5 from 7 from three (71.4%) and 18 of 22 free throws (81.8%).  The Irish shot 61.4% from the field overall — the fourth straight game they’ve topped 55% from the field.

Jackie Young is closing in on 1,000 career points.  She currently sits at 994. 

Arike Ogunbowale scored 23 points against Lehigh on Sunday to move to pass Ruth Riley (2,072 points) into fourth place in career points (2,077) behind Katryna Gaither, Beth Morgan Cunningham and Skylar Diggins-Smith.  

Television coverage will be available on ACCN and via the ESPN app.

In game updates will be posted below during Thursday’s game.

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