SOUTH BEND

Louisville’s black-clad Cardinals deposited Notre Dame into a quick black hole, and never let the Irish out during an 86-54 women’s basketball victory Thursday night at Purcell Pavilion.

Gary native and junior guard Dana Evans scored 17 points, dished six assists and made three steals in less than three quarters as No. 5-ranked Louisville (21-1, 10-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) cruised to its 13th straight win.

Undermanned and overmatched Notre Dame (7-14, 2-7) suffered its 10th loss in its last 12 outings and stands alone in 14th place in the 15-team ACC.

The Cardinals, with an all-business approach befitting that mostly black attire, roared to a 9-0 lead in the opening 2 minutes, 40 seconds, and steadily stretched the spread from there.

Louisville led 27-11 after one quarter and owned a double-up advantage of 50-25 at 1:21 to go until halftime, before the Irish scored the final four points before the break.

The visitors’ largest lead was 86-50 with 2:45 to go.

Senior swing Jazmine Jones and senior forward Kylee Shook — who both joined Evans in sitting out all of the fourth quarter — likewise joined her in having their way until then.

Jones finished with 14 points, nine rebounds and four assists in 25 minutes, while the 6-foot-4 Shook stuffed ND to the tune of six blocks to go with 12 points and six boards in 22 minutes.

Katlyn Gilbert led the Irish with 18 points and was 8-of-8 at the line. Sam Brunelle added 17 points and nine rebounds, but also had six of her team’s 16 turnovers.

Notre Dame suffered a program-record eighth home loss of the season, dropping to 3-8 with four regular-season home contests remaining.

ND’s only home losing season came in 1980-81, its first in NCAA Division I, when it went 6-7.

The Irish have never closed below .500 at home under 33rd year coach Muffet McGraw, with their lone .500 finish being 7-7 in 1991-92.

By halftime, Louisville stood 21-of-33 from the field for 64% with four 3-pointers, while ND was at 11-of-31 for 35% with a pair of treys.

The Cardinals continually created and converted from open seams against the Irish 2-3 zone.

Louisville also proved highly opportunistic. While ND had just seven turnovers at the break, one less than the visitors, the Cards turned their takeaways into 13 points and the Irish theirs into seven.

UL prevailed for the first time in its last six visits to Purcell, its last victory here coming in February 2009.

Though she came off the bench, Yacine Diop flirted with a triple-double for the Cardinals, winding up at nine points, nine rebounds and a game-high seven assists in 28 minutes.

Elizabeth Balogun scored 11 points, giving Louisville four players in double figures.

Mikki Vaughn scored eight points to go with five rebounds and five assists for the Irish.

Destinee Walker, averaging 13.9 on the season for ND, netted just three points, closing at 1-of-10 from the field over 25 minutes.

Point guard Marta Sniezek had five points, three assists and four turnovers for the hosts.

Before the game, a moment of silence was observed in memory of Notre Dame student Annrose Jerry, 21, and former Irish athletic director Gene Corrigan, 91, who both died last week.

Notre Dame plays its next two games on the road beginning with Sunday’s 2 p.m. contest at Georgia Tech (14-7, 5-5).

Louisville hosts the U.S. Women’s National Team in a 2 p.m. exhibition Sunday on ESPN.

Former Irish stars Skylar Diggins-Smith and Kayla McBride, who is a current ND part-time assistant, are both on the national team that will face the Cardinals.

(10) comments

Jim Raynor

We just don't have any elite athletes on our team anymore. We have some nice players, but really just average, and most of the other ACC teams I have seen have better athletes now. I don't see light at the end of the tunnel anytime soon. We had a nice run, though.......

larry D

You could not have said it better.

Mountain Man

Jim R & Larry D: Anaya Peoples would have been in the running for ACC Rookie of the year. Sam Brunell is now a strong candidate for that Honor. If not, she will make the ACC Rookie Team. Are they as you say average athletes? Next year way better than this and with three good recruits in 2021 back in the Top Ten and will stay there.

Jim Raynor

I think both are decent players and will get better, but not going to be elite like players like Jackie Young, Gabby Williams, Sabrina, Jewel, Skylar, Brianna Turner, Arike, etc. And from what I see, other ACC teams have now caught and surpassed ND. UV had 3 freshmen on their team and hung 30 on us. I think ND will be better next year, but only a .500 at best. But that's ok, parity has arrived in NCAA women's BBall. Always an ND fan......

rays1969

Peoples will be an elite player but she is hurt. I think she has the most talent on the team even at a young age. Bruenelle will also be elite and hopefully ACC Freshman of the year. Destiny Walker is a former McDonalds All American and a good player who has spent most of her career injured. This is her 1st healthy year. Hopefully she will return for another year. Katlyn Gilbert has the skills to be elite also. She missed most of her freshmen year. Vaughn is also a good player but has missed alot of time due to injury. They are young, very inexperienced and this is a marathon and not a sprint. The men's team were in the same boat last year and you can see the improvement this year. They are not where they need to be either but they are getting better and the same will happen with the women. They will win some more games yet this season but with the new players on the way and possibly adding an experienced transfer better days are ahead. The returning players will use this season as motivation going forward. They played hard all four quarter last night.

ndfan97

This really sucks but next year HAS to be better. McGraw can’t afford any transfers. Idk even with Jackie if this team would be any better. She would have literally had to average 30 a game with these players. ND has to hit the transfer portal this off season as well. I knew that they wouldn’t be back in the elite 8 this year, but I thought they would compete better than this...

pgarver

I knew this year was going to be tough. We had nobody with any real experience returning. These ladies are gaining a lot this season, the #3 class coming in this summer, we will be back! Go Irish!!

Bernard12

Jack, it's golden parachute time.

PAIRISH9

I think we all hope the incoming class will help get this team back to the elite. However, right now, this team is not even competitive most nights. A blowout loss to a title contender like Louisville is one thing but a 30 point disaster to very average Virginia is alarming. I truly expected improvement as the season progressed but the same mistakes keep occurring. The defense is terrible and the turnovers continue. Certainly youth, inexperience and injuries have contributed but the on court product is just not good. Nobody is questioning the effort being put forth, but right now they are not even competitive against average teams. It's nobody's fault and everybody's fault. Hoping things get turned around.

NotaNole16

Something just doesn't deem right behind the main scene. There has been no improvement even in fundamentals since the season began. The players make the same mistakes over and over. I hear that Muffet passed on a couple of top 20 players during recruiting for this year??? Looks to me like we definitely could have used them. I hope they get straightened out....Go Irish!!

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