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Friday, April 19, 2024
The Observer

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Notre Dame women’s basketball looks ahead to Clemson

After a big road win, the Irish host Clemson on Senior Night

After Monday’s road win against Duke, Niele Ivey’s Irish return to Purcell Pavilion to take on Clemson (11-15, 4-10 ACC). The two teams have not met this season. Their last meeting was a Jan. 19, 2023, bout in South Carolina, and Notre Dame was able to secure the win by three points. 

So far this year, Notre Dame is yet to lose to a team under .500. Clemson has had a difficult season and is in the midst of a three-game losing streak. The Tigers have not defeated a ranked team all season long. And while many Irish fans think Notre Dame’s 100-71 loss against South Carolina was bad, Clemson lost to the same team by 69.

Clemson is led by graduate forward Amari Robinson, averaging 17.4 points per game. Robinson is shooting 54.9% from the field; however, the Tigers struggle to rebound the ball, especially on the offensive glass. No Clemson player averages over seven rebounds per game. 

Clemson rarely fouls, with its opponents averaging 12.7 free throw attempts per game. That may be of note to freshman guard Hannah Hidalgo, who commonly has some of her best games when able to draw contact in the lane.

For the Irish, the team looks to avoid some of the mental lapses and early turnovers that have cost them throughout the past month, especially in home losses to Syracuse and North Carolina State.

In postgame comments to ESPN after Monday’s win, Hidalgo mentioned the need to start strong, regardless of the opponent.

“[We] just don’t take any game for granted,” she said. “[We] just start out strong and play every game like it’s our last game.”

Although the game is not the last home contest of the season, Notre Dame will celebrate Senior Night. Six players will be honored: guards Anna DeWolfe and Sarah Cernugel and forwards Maddy Westbeld, Kylee Watson, Becky Obinma and Natalija Marshall.

Niele Ivey is 2-2 against Clemson in her career. 

The team will look to continue its momentum into the weekend. On Sunday, Notre Dame heads to Chestnut Hill to take on Boston College before wrapping up the season at home with two tough ranked matchups against Louisville and league-leading Virginia Tech.

In the meantime, Thursday’s action tips off at 7 p.m. on ACC Network Extra.

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