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Sunday, March 3, 2024
The Observer

Irish hope to continue hot streak on road against Boston College

This season has not been one the Notre Dame women’s basketball team is accustomed to, but for the first time this season the Irish (10-14, 5-7 ACC) have gotten back to their winning ways. 

The Irish have won three games in a row, their longest streak this entire season. Notre Dame started their hot streak with a narrow win on the road over Georgia Tech (16-8, 7-6 ACC) 59-51. They stuck with their road warrior mentality and found another close victory over Wake Forest (12-12, 5-8) in Winston Salem, 75-71. Carrying the hot hand into Purcell Pavilion, the Notre Dame dominated against the worst-ranked team in the conference in Pittsburgh (4-19, 1-11 ACC). The Panthers managed to put up 52 points, but it was nothing compared to the offense of the Irish, who got 74 on the board by the end of the night.

The Panthers may have been no match for the Irish, but the same can not be said for the Eagles (13-10, 6-6 ACC) who are ranked two spots above the Irish in the conference standings and are coming off a win.

Graduate student guard Destinee Walker is carrying the hot hand for the Irish. The North Carolina transfer tallied 24 points in each of the last two Irish victories, marking the third time in her career she achieved back-to-back games with 20-plus points and the second time she has done so with Notre Dame this season. When Walker performs, the Irish tend to do well; in all 10 Irish wins she has notched double-digit games in the points column. 

Sophomore guard Katlyn Gilbert has also been playing well for the Irish during their hot streak. She averaged 14.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists in their wins over Pittsburgh and Georgia Tech, including 17 against Pittsburgh, marking a team-best 21 games with double-figure points. Her effort earned her the ACC Rookie of the Week honor, her first ACC accolade in her young career. 

Also heating up is freshman forward Sam Brunelle, who struggled adjusting to collegiate play early on. Brunelle shot a 13-68 from three through her first 14 games but as of late has picked it up. Since Jan. 5 she has gone 24-69 from deep, averaging 2.4 triples per game, ranking sixth in the conference in that period of time.

If the Irish can put all these pieces together, they may just find success on the road against Boston College in Chestnut Hill. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. Thursday inside Conte Forum and will be broadcast live via ACC Network Extra.