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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Virtually doubled up through three quarters, Notre Dame went on to suffer its most lopsided women’s basketball loss to an unranked team in nearly 31 years Sunday, getting blistered 90-60 at Virginia.

It happened against a team, no less, that was nowhere close to ranked, the Cavaliers moving to merely 8-12 overall, 3-6 in the Atlantic Coast Conference, with the victory.

The Irish — coming off a comprehensive 76-53 win over Miami that had inspired renewed hope for a continued turnaround — instead fell to 7-13 and 2-6 with their ninth loss in their last 11 games.

Virginia led 53-29 at halftime, 73-37 through three quarters and by 38 points on three occasions early in the fourth period.

“I thought Virginia played really well. They made a ton of shots and credit our defense to that — we gave them a lot of easy looks and they took advantage of it,” Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw stated. “We looked like a young team today.”

Freshman Carole Miller scored 18 points, senior Jocelyn Willoughby 17, freshman Shemera Williams 15 and senior Dominique Toussaint 14 for the cruising Cavs, who overwhelmed Notre Dame in a variety of manners.

Freshman Kylie Kornegay-Lucas added game highs of 11 rebounds and 10 assists.

By the end of the third quarter, Virginia had outscored the Irish 40-10 in paint points, 20-2 in fast-break points, 35-4 in bench points and 10-4 in second-chance points.

The Cavaliers finished with easily their most convincing win of the season and beat ND for the first time in nine meetings, their last victory in the series coming in January 1988.

Irish freshman Sam Brunelle, playing in the city she was born in and about 15 miles from where she was raised, led all players with 21 points and three blocked shots, but had little help much of the way. She was just 6-of-17 from the field, but with four 3-pointers, and 5-of-6 at the line.

Katlyn Gilbert added 16 points on 6-of-18 from the field to go with 4-of-4 at the stripe.

Recently hot Destinee Walker tumbled to 2-of-12 from the field and 6-of-10 at the line on her way to 11 points, and seven of those came in the fourth quarter. Mikki Vaughn added five points.

ND point guard Marta Sniezek, also returning to her home state, closed at just one point and three assists against four turnovers. Averaging 6.0 assists on the season going in, Sniezek had none through three quarters to go with three turnovers.

The Irish sustained their widest margin of defeat against an unrated opponent since losing 108-77 at Loyola of Chicago on Feb. 18, 1989.

Virginia, besides winding up with whopping advantages in the paint, on the break and off the bench, also finished with 28-13 dominance in points off turnovers and a 47-35 edge in rebounding.

Notre Dame made just 18-of-56 shots from the field for 32% with five triples to the Cavs’ 34-of-72 for 47% with six long-distance makes.

Virginia scored on its first three possessions of the game to grab a 7-0 lead that it never relinquished. ND committed four of its 22 turnovers within the opening 3:22.

The Irish got as close as 11-9 at the 3:46 mark of the first quarter, but the Cavs outscored the visitors 31-9 over the next 10 minutes to seize permanent control.

Notre Dame comes home for a Thursday visit by No. 5 Louisville (20-1, 9-0).

NOTRE DAME (7-13): Brunelle 6-17 5-6 21, Vaughn 2-3 1-2 5, Gilbert 6-18 4-4 16, Sniezek 0-0 1-2 1, Walker 2-12 6-10 11, Cosgrove 1-4 2-2 4, Keyes 0-0 0-0 0, Benz 0-0 0-0 0, Cole 1-2 0-2 2, Murdock 0-0 0-0 0, Murdock 0-0 0-0 0, Totals 18-56 19-28 60

VIRGINIA (8-12): Jablonowski 3-3 0-0 6, Kornegay-Lucas 1-7 2-4 4, Miller 7-12 4-4 18, Toi 2-3 0-0 6, Willoughby 6-11 4-4 17, Jefferson 2-2 3-4 7, Lawson 0-1 0-0 0, Stojsavljevic 0-1 0-0 0, Horton 1-5 0-0 3, Toussaint 6-13 1-1 14, Williams 6-14 2-4 15, Totals 34-72 16-21 90

Notre Dame;12;17;8;23—60


3-Point Goals_Notre Dame 5-21 (Brunelle 4-12, Gilbert 0-1, Walker 1-6, Cosgrove 0-2), Virginia 6-16 (Toi 2-3, Willoughby 1-1, Horton 1-2, Toussaint 1-5, Williams 1-5). Assists_Notre Dame 14 (Gilbert 3), Virginia 25 (Kornegay-Lucas 10). Fouled Out_None. Rebounds_Notre Dame 35 (Walker 2-4), Virginia 47 (Kornegay-Lucas 4-11). Total Fouls_Notre Dame 20, Virginia 23. Technical Fouls_None. A_5,117.

(16) comments


Say good night, Muffet.


No point guard to control offense and break any pressure! No bench what so ever! Vaughn not a center, Walker and Gilbert way to soft to play at this level they are weak to the basket! Sam only player on team but see is out of position and very weak on defense so this team really cant beat an AAU team right now. Will lose to Louiville if he runs it up by 50!

Mountain Man

giants24: Walker made the ACC all rookie team and was a McDonalds All American. There are games where she has dominated on offense then dissapears the next. Gilbert is athletic, has a good mid - range game, steals frequently on defense, runs the floor well. She has struggled making layups under pressure, bad angles and a bit out of control and turns the ball over too much. Brunell has starting to hit three's more consistently over the last four games. Vaughn needs help. She is not a dominate post, but is efficient, a second good post will free her up to get the ball inside more. All four are keepers.


Seems the assistant coaches never contribute much at all during the game, only a few blank stares. I would say play the bench more for the remainder of this season, but the reality is, there is no bench. How did Muffet allow this situation to develop? I hope they can at least be competitive against the likes of Louisville and Florida State......Go Irish!!

Mountain Man

Nota Nole16: Easy answer to "How did Muffet let this happen?" Two transfers, injuries, one player leaves early and four Seniors graduate. "A Perfect Storm." They have liabilities this year that they can't address: Absolutely no bench, only one Post that can play at this level, can't play man to man for any length of time because of potential foul trouble early on, no easy buckets do to lack of rebounding. Next year, six players including two posts will address all of the above. They'll have depth, potentially a very good one. They will have size. They will be able to rebound and initiate fast breaks, as well as play man to man and press if needed.

jim masterson

How the mighty have fallen.

The SBT didn't bother sending a reporter to follow this game.

Love the university, love the kids, loathe the coach.


God, I love it. It just keeps getting better and better. I have been praying for this day since she allowed the kids to wear the "I can't breathe" shirts. Which actually accurately portrays the team's choking so often, but putting politics at the forefront should have gotten her fired.

Mountain Man

camerdf: "kids choking so often". Really? Is that what they are doing? Next year when they start winning on a regular basis again, will that have meant they've learned not to choke?

Mountain Man

jim masterson: At least you're honest, "loathe the coach". You can't have it both ways - Final four seven of the last ten years, two National Championships and then the crash and burn this year. She is a H.O.F. Coach. Like her or not, she and therefore the University have prospered with her. Also, have you noticed how many of her former players keep in contact with her, that tells you what they think, not to mention all three Assistant Coaches played for her.

Tom M

“Hate the coach” How about all the successes over the past umpteen years ?

They will be back - not this year but next year - bet on it !

Mountain Man

Tom M: Agreed!

Mountain Man

Some facts that may help everyone look forward to next year: Abby & Anaya back from injuries. The four incoming Freshman's high school teams are a combined 53 - 11 this year.Fairmont w' Maddy W is 14 -1, the one loss was by two points, they are ranked number two in Ohio: Allie C's team is 13 - 0 and are Defending State Champions in PA. St Francis w/Amirah R is 16 - 3 and is 8 - 0 in their conference in GA. Riverside H.S. w Asia H is 10 - 7 but have won five of last six games. Individual Avg's: PPG: 29.7, 24.4, 23, & 12.4 Reb: 12+, 8.2, 6.9 & 4.6


jim masterson

Mountain Man; Thanks for going easy on me.

I started to dislike quite a few years ago. A Myriad number of reasons.

The "can't breathe shirt" being one of quite a few.

The topper: last year pontificating on the Constitutional Amendment for equal pay.

Both OLU, and McGraw have profited.

Quite simply this is not the university I grew up loving for it's mission.

The message is perfection, the messengers are lacking.

Michael the Archangel

So because you're against equal pay and believe no restraint is necessary by police, you hate the coach who speaks out against unequal pay for women, which is established, and joins millions who condemn excessive police response. With five starters gone, two key injuries, and two transfers, the team is left with no depth and little experience. I'm with Mountain Man; I'm not discarding the coach based on one season.

Mountain Man

Michael the Archangel: I view MM as a Coach, Does she value her players? How do they view her? I did agree with a number of posters that her demeanor on the sideline this year was disconcerting. I just think she has never had to deal with the circumstances surrounding this years team. Her competitive nature, her many years of success and her emotional attachment to the school and all her teams have made it very difficult. Hopefully, this years trials and tribulations will lead to a better MM next year. (Even H.O.F. Coaches can learn. I think she has & will.)


Coach McGraw, always a class act. And still plenty of time for her to work her magic. Go Coach McGraw, go Irish!

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