One game at a time: A journey through Notre Dame's 2021-22 women’s basketball season

Gayle Bell
ND Insider

A running game-by-game breakdown of Notre Dame’s 2021-22 women’s basketball season:

March 26 — Game 33

N.C. State 66, Notre Dame 63

Record: 24-9, NCAA Sweet Sixteen

Notre Dame’s overall youth and top-seeded North Carolina State’s overall experience seemed to collide in the final minutes as the Wolfpack rallied late to stun the Irish in the NCAA Tournament  Sweet 16 matchup at Bridgeport, Conn.

Top-seeded N.C. State avenged a 69-66 regular-season loss to the Irish and advanced to its first Elite Eight since 1998.

Mar 26, 2022; Bridgeport, CT, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish forward Maddy Westbeld (34) reacts after being defeated by the NC State Wolfpack at Webster Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The Pack’s Raina Perez stole the ball from ND’s Dara Mabrey high in the Irish forecourt and converted it into a layup with 14.8 second remaining to give NC State its first lead, 64-63, since early in the second quarter.

Fifth-seeded Notre Dame’s Maddy Westbeld then missed an open 3-pointer with four seconds left.

Perez secured the rebound, was fouled with 1.5 ticks remaining and sank both free throws for the final count.

The Irish, because they were out of timeouts, had to inbound from their own baseline.

Sonia Citron’s heave from about 65 feet was both tardy and off the mark.

State outscored ND 15-4 over the final 5:53, erasing a 59-51 deficit for the win.

The Irish led by 10 points on four occasions, the last at 51-41 with two minutes remaining in the third quarter.

In the fourth period, though, ND committed seven of its 16 turnovers on the day, while NC State coughed up four of its 10.

March 21 — Game 32

Notre Dame 108, Oklahoma 64

Record 24-8, NCAA second round

Tradition-gushing Notre Dame had played 92 NCAA Tournament women’s basketball games without ever posting a night this prolific.

With Dara Mabrey scoring 29, Sonia Citron 25 and Maya Dodson 20, the Irish ruled at both ends while setting a program tourney record for points during an obliteration of host Oklahoma.

Notre Dame's Dara Mabrey (1) celebrates a 3-point basket in the first half Monday in Norman.

► Game 32:108-64! Notre Dame women headed to the NCAA Sweet 16 after blowout of host Oklahoma

The fifth-seeded Irish advanced to a Sweet 16 matchup against top seed North Carolina State (31-3) on Saturday in Bridgeport, Conn.

The Irish roared to leads of 35-12 through one quarter and 60-25 by halftime to set a program standard for points for one NCAA Tourney half.

March 19 — Game 31

Notre Dame 89, UMass 78

Record 23-8, NCAA first round

Olivia Miles unleashed just the second Notre Dame triple-double in NCAA Tournament women’s basketball history, while Maddy Westbeld, Maya Dodson and Dara Mabrey divided 55 points almost evenly, as the fast-starting, offensively-smooth Irish opened their postseason with with a victory over Massachusetts at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.

Notre Dame's Sam Brunelle (33) and Olivia Miles (5) celebrate after a first-round game against Massachusetts in the NCAA women's college basketball tournament Saturday, March 19, 2022, in Norman, Okla. (AP Photo/ Mitch Alcala)

►Gamed 31:Olivia Miles delivers triple double as Notre Dame opens March Madness with win over UMass

Second-year ND coach Niele Ivey notched her first NCAA Tourney win in her first try.

Miles scored 12 points, dished 11 assists and grabbed 11 rebounds to join Skylar Diggins-Smith in 2012 as the lone Irish players with NCAA Tourney triple-doubles.

Westbeld scored 19 points, Dodson 18 and Mabrey 18.

Irish senior guard Abby Prohaska made her first appearance in nearly seven weeks after suffering a Feb. 1 eye injury and undergoing surgery.

She delivered an immediate spark with six points and two steals off the bench in the opening period as ND racked up its most points in any quarter this season while jumping out to a 32-17 advantage.

The Irish led by as many as 18 points at 84-66 with 4:28 remaining in the game. The Minutewomen got no closer than the final margin.

March 5 — Game 30

Miami 57, Notre Dame 54

Record: 22-8, ACC Tourney semifinal

The Irish fell to Cinderella team Miami in Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament semifinals, ending their body of work for the season in advance of when the NCAA Tournament committee convenes to make its selections.

Mar 5, 2022; Greensboro, NC, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish guard Olivia Miles (5) shoots over Miami Hurricanes forward Lola Pendande (21) during the fourth quarter at Greensboro Coliseum Complex. Mandatory Credit: William Howard-USA TODAY Sports

►Game 30: After ACC semifinal loss, Notre Dame women are on pause

The Irish are sure to be in the field, but far from sure to be among the top 16 teams in the committee’s eyes.

Those top 16 get the chance to host during the first two full rounds.

No. 20-ranked ND logged a draining 16 games in 52 days to get to this point, but now must pause for eight days until the pairings are announced March 13.

Mar 5, 2022; Greensboro, NC, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish guard Sonia Citron (11) dribbles against Miami Hurricanes forward Lola Pendande (21) during the fourth quarter at Greensboro Coliseum Complex. Mandatory Credit: William Howard-USA TODAY Sports

Irish freshmen Sonia Citron and Olivia Miles combined for 17 points, nine rebounds, nine assists and three steals.

March 4 — Game 29

Notre Dame 71, Georgia Tech 53

Record: 22-7, ACC Tourney quarterfinal

Freshman Olivia Miles scored 17 points and tied an ACC Tourney record with 13 assists as third-seeded ND (22-7) advanced to a semifinal Saturday against seventh-seeded Miami (19-11) at Greensboro Coliseum.

Mar 4, 2022; Greensboro, NC, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish forward Maya Dodson (0) shoots over Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets center Nerea Hermosa (20) during the third quarter at Greensboro Coliseum Complex. Mandatory Credit: William Howard-USA TODAY Sports

► Game 29:Notre Dame women's basketball team roll past Georgia Tech, and avoid Louisville rematch

Sophomore Maddy Westbeld scored 17 points — her second-best output in her last 16 games — and added a team-high eight rebounds against the Yellow Jackets (21-10).

Sam Brunelle delivered 14 points off the bench — her top output in her last 10 games — while drilling 4-of-8 on 3-pointers.

Feb. 27 — Game 28

Louisville 86, Notre Dame 64

Record: 21-6, 12-5 ACC

A nightmare this horrific usually requires a moment to at least close one’s eyes, but it felt like Notre Dame didn’t even get the benefit of blinking.

No. 4 Louisville hastily turned the regular season finale showdown against the No. 14 Irish into a virtual no-contest, shredding the hosts 31-3 through one quarter and leading 45-4 by 4:13 into the second on its way to a 22-point victory that was never in doubt.

Feb 27, 2022; South Bend, Indiana, USA; Louisville Cardinals guard Hailey Van Lith (10) approaches Notre Dame Fighting Irish guard Olivia Miles (5) as she walks away from an altercation in the first half against the Louisville Cardinals at the Purcell Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

► Game 28:Fourth-ranked Louisville women make a statement in testy crushing of No. 14 Notre Dame

ND (21-7, 13-5) will be the No. 3 seed and have a double bye before facing an opponent to be determined. North Carolina State clinched its first regular-season ACC title on Sunday night and will be the tournament's top seed. Louisville is the No. 2 seed, putting the Irish and the Cardinals on a possible semifinal rematch on Saturday. North Carolina is the No. 4 seed, also getting a double bye.

Feb. 24 — Game 27

Notre Dame 77, Clemson 56

Record: 21-6, 12-4 ACC

Feb 24, 2022; South Bend, Indiana, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish guard Sonia Citron (11) comes out of the game in the second half against the Clemson Tigers at the Purcell Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

SOUTH BEND — Triggered by a double jolt of electrifying performances from Maya Dodson and Sonia Citron, Notre Dame secured its coveted double bye.

ND’s oldest star in Dodson and newest in Citron both posted sparkling lines as the No. 14-ranked Irish downed Clemson to improve to 13-0 at Purcell Pavilion this women’s college basketball season.

► Game 26:Dodson, Citron pave way to double bye in ACC tourney for Notre Dame

Dodson scored 22 points, made 10-of-12 shots from the field, grabbed nine rebounds and swatted away five Tiger tries.

Feb. 18 — Game 26

Notre Dame 72, Georgia Tech 66 OT

Record: 20-6, 11-4 ACC

In its most resume’-enhancing road victory of the women’s basketball season, unrelenting Notre Dame coughed up a 10-point lead over the final 7:17 of regulation, but dug in for an overtime win over Georgia Tech in Atlanta.

Freshman Olivia Miles scored 18 points, dished eight assists, made three steals and shook off both a shaky final few seconds in the fourth quarter and some elbow pain from a late fall as the 19th-ranked Irish broke their tie for fourth place in the Atlantic Coast Conference with the No. 16 Yellow Jackets.

Feb. 13 — Game 25

Louisville 73, Notre Dame 47

Record: 19-6, 10-4 ACC

Sam Brunelle got sidelined by injury in the first quarter, Maya Dodson got temporarily sidelined by foul trouble in the second quarter and overmatched, outworked Notre Dame got whipped the remainder of the way by Louisville.

The No. 3-ranked host Cardinals handed the No. 18 Irish their worst loss of the season at the KFC Yum! Center.

► Game 25:Ugly, ugly loss ... Things spiral out of control as No. 3 Louisville blows out Notre Dame

Louisville’s Hailey Van Lith makes the bucket against Notre Dame’s Maddy Westbeld. Feb. 13, 2022

Louisville Notredame 10

Louisville (22-2) improved to 13-1 in the Atlantic Coast Conference, a half-game behind frontrunning North Carolina State at 14-1.

With the ND up 13-12, Brunelle suffered a right shoulder sprain at 1:45 remaining in the opening quarter while jockeying for defensive position on the block against the Cardinals’ Emily Engstler.

With Brunelle already out for the afternoon, Dodson, ND’s premier post player at both ends, picked up a pair of fouls less than a minute apart, the second at 3:54 left in the second quarter with the Irish trailing 21-19.

Dodson sat the rest of the half and Louisville pounced, outscoring the Irish 11-2 for a 32-21 lead at the break.

Feb. 10 — Game 24

Notre Dame 69, Miami 53

Record: 19-5, 10-3 ACC

Feb 10, 2022; South Bend, Indiana, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish forward Maddy Westbeld (34) shoots in the second half against the Miami Hurricanes at the Purcell Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

SOUTH BEND — Sophomore Maddy Westbeld celebrated her birthday by scoring a game-high 21 points, draining a career-high four 3-pointers and grabbing eight rebounds as Notre Dame downed Miami at Purcell Pavilion.

► Game 24:Women's basketball: Maddy Westbeld has a happy birthday in Irish win over Miami

The No. 18-ranked Irish built a 53-33 lead through three quarters by holding the Hurricanes (12-10, 5-7) to 11 points during each of the first three periods.

Freshman Sonia Citron scored 15 points, grabbed eight rebounds, dished five assists and snatched three steals for ND.

Feb. 6 — Game 23

Florida State 70, Notre Dame 65

Record: 18-5, 9-3 ACC

A ferocious fourth-quarter charge came up short as Florida State beat Notre Dame for the Seminoles’ first-ever women’s basketball win over the Irish at the Tucker Center in Tallahassee.

No. 20-ranked ND trailed 56-38 with less than eight minutes to go before drawing as close as two points twice over the final 1:42.

►Game 23:Women's basketball: Notre Dame rally comes up short at Florida State

FSU (11-10, 5-6 Atlantic Coast Conference) entered the day 0-11 all-time against the Irish, but outscored the visitors 22-9 in the third quarter to take a 51-38 lead into the fourth.

ND (18-5, 9-3) was paced by freshman Olivia Miles with 17 points and four assists, although she missed a wide-open 3-pointer that would’ve knotted the game at 62-62 with two minutes to go.

Maya Dodson added 15 points and game highs of 10 rebounds and four steals for the Irish. Freshman Sonia Citron scored 15.

Feb. 3 — Game 22

Notre Dame 68, N.C. State 55

Record 18-4, 9-2 ACC

Feb 3, 2022; South Bend, Indiana, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies guard Azana Baines (15) goes up for a shot as Notre Dame Fighting Irish forward Sam Brunelle (33) and guard Sonia Citron (11) defend in the first half at the Purcell Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Freshman Olivia Miles scored 24 points, converted 3-of-5 on 3-pointers and dealt four assists as streaking Notre Dame capped its first-ever 4-0 league homestand with a victory over Virginia Tech in women’s college basketball at Purcell Pavilion.

The No. 20 Irish (18-4, 9-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) exhibited no hangover after Tuesday’s 69-66 conquering of third-ranked North Carolina State.

► Game 22:Home sweet home as Irish finish off Hokies to cap 4-0 ACC homestand

Instead, they won their fifth straight game overall, matching their initial five outings for their best run of the season, and improved to 11-0 at home.

Feb. 1 — Game 21

Notre Dame 69, N.C. State 66

Record 17-4, 8-2 ACC

SOUTH BEND — It was “emotional” throughout and “euphoria” afterwards as Notre Dame held on to stun No. 3-ranked North Carolina State at Purcell Pavilion.

Maya Dodson, often matched against Wolfpack All-American senior center Elissa Cunane, scrapped her way to game highs of 20 points, 10 rebounds and three steals as the No. 20 Irish conquered a top-10 team for the first time in eight tries since their 2019 national semifinal win over No. 2 Connecticut.

► Game 21:Women's basketball: Notre Dame gets 'emotional' in stunning win over N.C. State

Dodson called it an “emotional” contest, and used that same word when asked about seeing three of her teammates — Sam Brunelle, Sonia Citron and Abby Prohaska — each suffer head or facial injuries during the first half.

Notre Dame's Sam Brunelle, left, and Olivia Miles (5) hug as they celebrate with the team following a win over North Carolina State in an NCAA college basketball game Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2022, in South Bend, Ind. (AP Photo/Robert Franklin)

Citron was fine, Brunelle played limited minutes in the second half and Prohaska, who sustained a bloodied nose, did not return.

Olivia Miles scored 13 points, dished five assists and matched Dodson’s three steals as the Irish moved to 17-4 overall, 8-2 in the Atlantic Coast Conference and 10-0 at home.

Jan. 30 — Game 20

Notre Dame 83, Boston College 62

Record: 16-4, 7-2 ACC

SOUTH BEND — Playing with what freshman sensation Olivia Miles defined as a screaming sense of urgency, No. 20 Notre Dame pulled away from Boston College in the second half at Purcell Pavilion.

Jan 30, 2022; South Bend, Indiana, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish guard Olivia Miles (5) and guard Dara Mabrey (1) celebrate in the second half against the Boston College Eagles at the Purcell Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Miles poured in a career-high 30 points — her last one coming with 7:18 remaining for a 69-45 lead — and added six assists as ND improved to 9-0 at home.

► Game 20:Olivia Miles' career high 30 points leads Irish past Boston College

Maya Dodson added 12 points, grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds and matched her career high with six blocked shots.

Jan. 27 — Game 19

Notre Dame 83, Syracuse 62

Record: 15-4, 6-2 ACC

Notre Dame placed six scorers in double figures and again wore down depth-depleted Syracuse, pulling away late to beat the Orange 83-62 in women’s college basketball Thursday night at Purcell Pavilion.

Freshman Olivia Miles missed her second triple-double by one assist, collecting a team-high 17 points, 10 rebounds and nine dimes for the Irish.

► Game 19:No. 20 Notre Dame stays perfect at home with win over Syracuse

Sam Brunelle scored 15 points off the bench. Maya Dodson and Sonia Citron notched 13 apiece, with Citron also grabbing a game-high 12 rebounds. Dara Mabrey tallied 12 points and Maddy Westbeld 10.

Jan 27, 2022; South Bend, Indiana, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish guard Olivia Miles (5) talks to her teammates in the second half against the Syracuse Orange at the Purcell Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Jan. 23 — Game 18

Notre Dame 77, Pittsburgh 63

Record: 14-4, 5-2 ACC

One outing after laboring at crunch time, Notre Dame was at its best during that time, outscoring Pittsburgh 13-3 over the final six minutes to close out a touch-and-go road win over the Panthers.

Maya Dodson powered for 23 points, 12 rebounds and four blocked shots to pace an otherwise balanced ND attack.

► Game 18:Women's basketball: Notre Dame bounces back with win over Pitt

Olivia Miles tallied 14 points and dealt six assists for the winners. Fellow freshman Sonia Citron added 12 points, seven rebounds and three steals. Dara Mabrey and Sam Brunelle netted 10 points each, and Maddy Westbeld eight.

Jan. 20 — Game 17

Boston College 73, Notre Dame 71

Record: 13-4, 4-2 ACC

Boston College stormed back from at least a 12-point deficit over the final 14 minutes to stun the Irish at Chestnut Hill, Mass.

Notre Dame led by a high of 55-41 inside of 2:40 remaining in the third period, but then allowed a 15-0 Eagle spree to fall behind 56-55.

►Game 17:Women's basketball: Boston College rallies to edge No. 19 Notre Dame, 73-71

The Irish steadied themselves well enough for their own 7-0 run and a 62-56 advantage at 7:18 to go, then a 67-61 lead at 4:54 showing.

BC, though, outscored the Irish 12-4 the rest of the way.

Sam Brunelle led a balanced Irish attack with 15 points off the bench. Sonia Citron and Maya Dodson tallied 13 points each.

Jan. 16 — Game 16

Notre Dame 70, North Carolina 65

Record: 13-3, 4-1 ACC

SOUTH BEND — Fueled by Dara Mabrey’s season-high 24 points, by Maya Dodson’s authoritative blocks, by a season-high home crowd and much more, No. 20 Notre Dame jetted to its most impressive win of the season over No. 21 North Carolina.

►Game 16:Women's basketball: Finding balance, Notre Dame nets biggest win of the season over Tar Heels

Jan 16, 2022; South Bend, Indiana, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish guard Dara Mabrey (1) celebrates with forward Maya Dodson (0) in the second half against the North Carolina Tar Heels at the Purcell Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Attendance at Purcell Pavilion was listed at 5,905, blowing by the previous season high of 4,983.

ND, which improved to 1-3 against currently ranked teams, was at home for the first time in 28 days, and the extra voltage delivered by the crowd was felt.

Dodson, the grad transfer from Stanford, scored 10 points and grabbed a team-high 11 rebounds to go with a game-high four blocked shots.

Jan. 13 — Game 15

Notre Dame 74, Wake Forest 64

Record 12-3, 3-1 ACC

Ready from the opening tip to bounce back from a COVID-imposed break, Notre Dame blitzed Wake Forest with a 16-2 spree to start the game in a win over the Demon Deacons in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Dara Mabrey scored a season-high 22 points for the Irish (12-3, 3-1 Atlantic Coast Conference). She made 6-of-11 shots from the field with three 3-pointers and 7-of-8 at the line.

Sam Brunelle added 16 points on 7-of-12 from the field with a pair of triples in 27 minutes off the bench. She also nabbed four of the winners’ 14 steals to match her career high.

► Game 15:Women's basketball: Notre Dame returns from COVID pause with bang, stomps Wake Forest

Olivia Miles finished with a dozen assists and three steals against just two turnovers to go with 15 points. Maya Dodson chipped in 12 points, five rebounds and three steals.

Jan. 2 — Game 14

Duke 72, Notre Dame 70

Record 11-3, 2-1 ACC

Notre Dame missed three potential game-tying shots in the lane during the final 12 seconds as host Duke rallied for a victory over the Irish at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, N.C.

Maya Dodson scored 26 points for ND (11-3, 2-1 Atlantic Coast Conference), but also had the last two misses, after Maddy Westbeld likewise misfired.

►Game 14:Notre Dame women's basketball: Final shots fail as Notre Dame falls to Duke

Dec. 22 — Game 13

Notre Dame 91, DePaul 86 

Record: 11-2, 2-0 ACC

Maya Dodson erupted for a career-high 28 points — including 10 over the final 4:24 — as No. 20 Notre Dame held on to end the Blue Demons’ seven-game winning streak at Chicago’s Wintrust Arena.

Notre Dame's Maya Dodson (0) during an NCAA basketball game against Ohio on Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021, in South Bend, Ind. (AP Photo/Robert Franklin)

Dodson finished 13-of-21 from the field and 2-of-2 at the line to go with eight rebounds.

Maddy Westbeld added 22 points (7-of-10 from the field, 8-of-10 at the stripe), while national assist leader Olivia Miles tallied 20 points and dished eight dimes.

► Game 13:Women's basketball: Dodson dominant as No. 20 Notre Dame fends off DePaul 91-86

Notre Dame women's basketball season statistics

Dec. 19 — Game 12

Notre Dame 85, Pittsburgh 59

Record 10-2, 2-0 ACC

The No. 21-ranked Irish pounded Pittsburgh at Purcell Pavilion for their 10th women’s basketball victory of the season.

► Game 12: Miles' double-double paces Irish past Pittsburgh

Olivia Miles triggered the Irish attack with 21 points, 11 assists, seven rebounds and a career-high six steals, all while committing just one turnover over 31 minutes.

Dec 19, 2021; South Bend, Indiana, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish guard Olivia Miles (5) drives to the basket as Pittsburgh Panthers guards Liatu King (2) and Emy Hayford (4) defend in the second half at the Purcell Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Fellow freshman Sonia Citron added 15 points, a game-high eight rebounds and three steals. Maddy Westbeld chipped in 13 points and Sam Brunelle 12 off the bench as ND moved to 2-0 in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Dec. 12 — Game 11

Notre Dame 78, Purdue-Fort Wayne 41

Record 9-2, 1-0 ACC

Former Notre Dame women's basketball coach Muffet McGraw was in for a big surprise.

Purdue Fort Wayne had momentary visions of pulling off one on Notre Dame, too, but the slow-starting Irish ignited soon enough to pull away at Purcell Pavilion.

► Game 11:Women's basketball: Irish dominate as McGraw is inducted into ND Ring of Honor

A 14-minute pregame ceremony saluting McGraw as the latest inductee into the ND basketball Ring of Honor was capped by athletic director Jack Swarbrick declaring to the crowd:

Former Notre Dame Women’s Basketball coach Muffet McGraw’s Ring of Honor banner shown Sunday, Dec. 12, 2021, at the Purcell Pavilion.

“The banner’s only the first part. There will be a statue outside Purcell Pavilion.”

McGraw-adoring Irish fans erupted in celebration of an announcement that many of them have been wondering about, whispering about and wishing on for years.

McGraw later said she was “overwhelmed” by the gesture. She described it as “a football thing” and something “I never imagined.”

Six Irish players netted between 10 and 12 points apiece as Notre Dame improved to 9-2.

Dec. 8 — Game 10 

Notre Dame 73, Valparaiso 56

Record 8-2, 1-0 ACC

Olivia Miles registered just the second-ever triple-double by a Notre Dame freshman, yet it was numbers she minimized that also figured prominently in the Irish shaking off winless-but-pesky Valparaiso.

Miles notched game highs of 13 assists and 13 rebounds to go with 11 points for the No. 22-ranked Irish, who were deadlocked 25-25 at halftime.

► Game 10:Women's basketball: Miles goes off for a triple double in Irish win over Valparaiso

Miles’ dazzling second half not only included 11 assists, nine points and eight boards, but just one scant turnover to go with all her ball-handling.

Maddy Westbeld tallied 20 points for ND while Dara Mabrey scored 14.

Dec. 5 — Game 9

UConn 73, Notre Dame 54

Record: 7-2, 1-0 ACC

The merriment of a Notre-Dame-Connecticut women’s basketball matchup turned abruptly somber even for the victorious Huskies in the final minute

For the visiting Irish, who were otherwise competitive, it trended somber throughout the final quarter, with No. 24 ND falling 73-54 to No. 2 UConn.

Dec 5, 2021; Storrs, Connecticut, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish head coach Niele Ivey watches from the sideline as they take on the UConn Huskies in the second half at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

► Game 9:Women's Basketball: Irish competitive, but No. 2 Connecticut too much Sunday

Huskie sophomore Paige Bueckers, the reigning national player of the year, suffered a non-contact injury while bringing the ball up the court in the closing minute.

Bueckers had torched Notre Dame all afternoon with game highs of 22 points, five steals and three drawn charges to go with four assists.

The Huskies outscored the Irish 13-0 over the first 3:49 of the fourth quarter to seize control at 64-44.

Notre Dame freshman Sonia Citron netted 19 points off the bench, but no other player reached double figures.

Dec. 2 — Game 8

Notre Dame 76, Michigan State 71

Record 7-1, 1-0 ACC

Freshman Sonia Citron proved nearly perfect for Notre Dame at Michigan State.

► Game 8: Big night for Citron as No. 24 Irish down Michigan State

Citron poured in 29 points — more than double her previous career high of 13 — and fellow frosh Olivia Miles flirted with a triple-double at 11 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists as the No. 24-ranked Irish downed  the Spartans in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge at the Breslin Center.

Notre Dame's Sonia Citron, right, celebrates a 3-pointer with Olivia Miles during the fourth quarter in the game against Michigan State on Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021, at the Breslin Center in East Lansing.

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Nov. 27 — Game 7

Notre Dame 64, Oregon State 62

Record: 6-1, 1-0 ACC

A freshman almost single-handedly flipped Notre Dame’s evening from an encouraging bounce-back display into a disastrous defeat, before the Irish escaped with a win at the Daytona Beach Invitational.

Oregon State guard Talia von Oelhoffen poured in 20 fourth-quarter points to lead the No. 16-ranked Beavers’ back from a 60-42 deficit at 7:39 remaining.

► GAME 7:Women's basketball: Notre Dame holds on for win over No. 16 Oregon State

OSU (3-2), which never drew even, had three chances to tie the game in the closing seconds, including Kennedy Brown going to the line at 0.7 remaining off her offensive board and Maddy Westbeld’s foul.

Brown, though, missed both free throws before ND’s Maya Dodson cradled her team-high ninth rebound, to go with her team-high 14 points, as time expired.

OSU became ND’s highest-ranked victim since the Irish downed No. 2 Connecticut at the 2019 national semifinals.

Nov. 26 — Game 6

Georgia 71, Notre Dame 67, OT

Record: 5-1, 1-0 ACC

Playing in a tight game at the wire for the first time this season, Notre Dame extended the contest to overtime, but ultimately fell from that wire in the Daytona Beach Invitational as No. 21-ranked Georgia rallied.

The Bulldogs (5-0) scored the final eight points after the Irish (5-1) took a 67-63 lead at 1:48 remaining in the extra period.

Olivia Miles, in just her 12th collegiate game, poured in a career-high and game-high 24 points for ND, but was also charged with a career-high nine of her team’s season-high 25 turnovers.

► GAME 6:ND women's basketball: Notre Dame falls in OT to Georgia

Maya Dodson tallied 13 points and blocked four shots for the Irish.

Maddy Westbeld also netted 13 points, but was slowed by picking up her fourth foul at 6:14 to go in the fourth quarter with ND up 58-53.

Nov. 21 — Game 5

Notre Dame 94, Bryant 35

Record: 5-0, 1-0 ACC

SOUTH BEND — With six players scoring in double digits, the Irish buried Bryant at Purcell Pavilion.

It didn’t matter a bit that usual starter Anaya Peoples (flu-like symptoms), super sub Sam Brunelle (back spasms) and senior guard Katlyn Gilbert (flu) were each out, the first time this season that ND’s missed any of its scholarship personnel.

► GAME 5:Women's basketball: Irish improve to 5-0 with dominant win over Bryant

Olivia Miles dished 14 assists, three off the school record, against just two turnovers to go with 14 points and three steals.

Maddy Westbeld put in a game-high 19 points that included 8-of-10 from the field and grabbed nine rebounds.

Nov. 18 — Game 4

Notre Dame 71, Fordham 56

Notre Dame's Dara Mabrey (1) celebrates during the Notre Dame vs. Fordham University NCAA women's basketball game Thursday, Nov. 18, 2021 at Purcell Pavilion in South Bend.

SOUTH BEND — Notre Dame’s closest win of the young season still wasn’t that close in the end as the Irish re-pulled away for a victory over Fordham at Purcell Pavilion.

Dara Mabrey’s scorching start — 15 points in the opening quarter on her way to a game-high and season-high 20 on the evening — was accompanied by Maddy Westbeld’s 18 points, as well as by freshman Sonia Citron’s first double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds in 28 minutes off the bench.

► GAME 4:Women's basketball: Mabrey comes out firing as Notre Dame downs Fordham for 4-0 start

Nov. 14 — Game 3

Notre Dame 82, Syracuse 56

Nov 14, 2021; Syracuse, New York, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish forward Madelyn Westbeld (34) and Syracuse Orange guard Teisha Hyman (5) battle for the ball during the second half at the Carrier Dome. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Maddy Westbeld led a thunderous 21-0 finish with the first nine points of that spree as front-running Notre Dame pulled away down the stretch against host Syracuse in the Atlantic Coast Conference opener.

► GAME 3:Notre Dame women's basketball gets season's first road test at Syracuse

All three of Notre Dame's wins have come by at least 26 points.

Westbeld scored 19 points and added six rebounds despite sitting out all of the second quarter and finishing at 23 minutes.

Sam Brunelle added 17 points in 24 minutes off the bench.

Backcourt partners Dara Mabrey netted 16 points and Olivia Miles 10 to go with eight assists and seven rebounds.

Nov. 11 — Game 2

Notre Dame 76, Western Illinois 50

Record: 2-0, 0-0 ACC

A double dose of double-doubles — compliments of record-tying sophomore Maddy Westbeld and freshman Olivia Miles — were the remedy as Notre Dame overcame shaky shooting and a downtick in energy at Purcell Pavilion.

With Westbeld grabbing 18 rebounds to match the Purcell standard by an Irish player and tossing in 15 points, and with Miles netting 16 points and, clutching 11 rebounds, ND pulled away in the second half of its win over first-time opponent Western Illinois.

► GAME 2:Women's basketball: Western Illinois no match for the Maddy Westbeld & Olivia Miles show

Fans stand for the national anthem before the game between Notre Dame and Western Illinois Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021, at the Purcell Pavilion.

Nov. 9 — Game 1

Notre Dame 105, Ohio 69

RECORD: 1-0 overall, 0-0 ACC

Notre Dame's Maya Dodson (0) goes up for a shot against Ohio's Madi Mace during an NCAA basketball game on Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021, in South Bend, Ind. (AP Photo/Robert Franklin)

SOUTH BEND — The fans were finally back, Sam Brunelle demonstrated that she’s back, and Notre Dame players performed like a seamless, selfless bunch who had each other’s backs during the season opener.

► GAME 1: Dodson, Brunelle pave way for Irish in season-opening win

On top of it all, Maya Dodson contributed in a manner that suggested she’s always been here.

With Dodson, the graduate transfer from Stanford, pumping in a career-high 25 points and blocking four shots during her official Irish debut as Notre Dame shredded Ohio at Purcell Pavilion.

Just a year ago, the visiting Irish lost 86-85 to virtually these same Bobcats in that opener.

Nov. 1 (Exhibition)

Notre Dame 104, Emporia State 46

At Purcell Pavilion, South Bend

Welcome to the Irish, Maya Dodson!

In her first game action in a Notre Dame uniform, the 6-foot-3 graduate transfer from Stanford wasted little time proving her worth against overmatched Emporia State (Kansas). 

Notre Dame's Maya Dodson (0) during the Notre Dame women's basketball media day Friday, Oct. 15, 2021 at the Rolfs Athletics Hall in South Bend.

She scored a game-high 24 points, grabbed eight rebounds and blocked a game-high five shots before sitting out the fourth quarter.

“Running’s my game,” Dodson said of her Irish debut. “It’s always been my game since high school, and I’m starting to get back to that after the injuries. I think with more games, it’s going to be even (better). Right now, I’m just getting used to the pace of getting back into a game, but running’s what I want to do, and use my size and my athleticism.”

► Game story: Notre Dame women, Dodson dominant in exhibition win over Emporia State

Season preview

► Notre Dame women all healthy as season is set to begin

When Notre Dame conducted an open women’s basketball practice for its fans before the start of the season, the most notable thing missing compared to the last several years was that nobody was missing. A positive development from the previous couple seasons.

Notre Dame head coach Niele Ivey during the Notre Dame women's basketball media day Friday, Oct. 15, 2021 at the Rolfs Athletics Hall in South Bend.

2021-22 ND WOMEN'S BASKETBALL SCHEDULE

(Purcell Pavilion homes games in ALL CAPS; all times Eastern)

NOVEMBER

1: EMPORIA STATE (exhibition), 7 p.m.

9: OHIO, 7

11: WESTERN ILLINOIS, 7 

14: At Syracuse, noon

18: FORDHAM, 7

21: BRYANT, 5

26: Georgia, 4:30, (Daytona Beach Invitational)

27: Oregon State, 7,  (Daytona Beach Invitational)

DECEMBER

2: At Michigan State, 8 (ACC/Big Ten Challenge)

5: At Connecticut, noon

8: At Valparaiso, 7

12: PURDUE-FORT WAYNE, 2

19: PITTSBURGH, 2

22: At DePaul, TBA

30: At Virginia, 7

JANUARY

2: At Duke, 2

9: N.C. STATE, 2

13 At Wake Forest, 7

16: NORTH CAROLINA, 1

20: At Boston College, 8

23: At Pittsburgh, 2

27: SYRACUSE, 8

30: BOSTON COLLEGE, 2

FEBRUARY

3: VIRGINIA TECH, 8

6: At Florida State, 2

10: MIAMI, 8

13: At Louisville, 2

17: At Georgia Tech, 8

24: CLEMSON, 8

27: LOUISVILLE, TBA

Roster

No. | Player | Position | Height | Class | Hometown | High school

0 | Maya Dodson | Forward | 6-3 | Gr. | Alpharetta, GA | St. Francis/Stanford

1 | Dara Mabrey | Guard | 5-7 | Sr. | Belmar, N.J. | Manasquan/Virginia Tech

2 | Trinity Cha | Guard | 5-5 | So. | Irvine, Calif. | Crean Lutheran

5 | Olivia Miles | Guard | 5-10 | Fr. | Phillipsburg, N.J. | Blair Academy

10 Katlyn Gilbert | Guard | 5-10 | Sr. | Indianapolis | Heritage Christian

11 | Sonia Citron | Guard | 6-1 | Fr. | Scarsdale, N.Y. | The Ursuline School

12 | Abby Prohaska | Guard | 5-10 | Sr. | Liberty Township, Ohio | Lakota West

15 | Natalija Marshall | Forward | 6-5 | So. | Queens, N.Y. | Christ the King

21 | Anaya Peoples | Guard | 5-10 | Jr. | Danville, Ill. | Schlarman High

25 | Sarah Cernugel | Guard | 5-4 | So. | Westmont, lll. | Hinsdale Central

33 | Sam Brunelle | Forward | 6-2 | Jr. | Ruckersville, Va. | William Monroe

34 | Maddy Westbeld | Forward | 6-3 | So. Kettering, Ohio | Fairmont