Women's basketball: Previewing No. 22 Notre Dame vs. Valparaiso
WHO: No. 22 Notre Dame (7-2) vs. Valparaiso (0-7).
WHEN: Wednesday, 7 p.m. ET.
WHERE: Athletics-Rec Center (5,000), Valparaiso, Ind.
WATCH: ESPN+ (subscription required).
LISTEN: WQLQ (99.9 FM).
► From Stanford to Notre Dame:Inside Maya Dodson's winding journey to the No. 22 Irish
ABOUT NOTRE DAME: The Irish have never lost in 27 all-time meetings against Valparaiso, their most victories against any opponent without a defeat. Next-best is 22-0 against Providence. … ND’s won each of the last four matchups by at least 50 points (from December 2010 to December 2016), with two of those games coming at Valpo. … The Irish inched up two spots to No. 22 in this week’s AP poll, matching their preseason ranking last year for their highest rating over the last two seasons. Their losses are to No. 3 Connecticut and No. 21 Georgia. … Leaders on a highly balanced ND club include Maddy Westbeld (13.7 points per game, 7.3 rebounds), Sonia Citron (12.4 ppg, 1.8 steals), Dara Mabrey (11.3 ppg, 3.4 assists, 20-of-49 on 3s for 41%), Olivia Miles (11.1 ppg, 7.1 apg, 6.3 rpg; second nationally in assists to Iowa’s Caitlin Clark at 7.8) and Maya Dodson (10.7 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 3.0 blocks). … Citron’s coming off her third ACC Freshman of the Week honor in the last four weeks. Besides scoring 48 points over games at Michigan State and UConn last week, she committed just one turnover across 59 minutes.
ABOUT VALPARAISO: At 0-7, Valpo has matched its 2013-14 club for the program’s worst start in at least 48 years. … The Beacons (renamed from Crusaders in August) have one opponent in common with Notre Dame this season, losing 73-62 at Michigan State on Nov. 16 in one of their stronger outings. The Irish held off the host Spartans 76-71 last week. … Valpo leaders include Carie Weinman (12.3 ppg, 60.5% on 2s), Grace White (11.6 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 2.7 steals), Shay Frederick (10.0 ppg, 5.0 assists) and Leah Ernest (7.4 ppg in 16.9 minutes). … In an unusual collection of shooting numbers, the Beacons have attempted more 3-pointers than 2-pointers (182 to 179) even though they’re at just 28.6% outside the arc and 56.4% inside. … At a rebound margin of minus-14.4 per game, Valpo ranks 344th of 348 teams in Division I. … The Beacons, like the Irish, have one player from Indiana on their roster. They have seven from Illinois.
QUOTING: “I think every night it’s going to be somebody different, and that’s what I love about this group. I’m not too worried about that.” — Niele Ivey, Notre Dame coach, on Citron emerging as top scorer each of the last two games and whether the Irish need a definitive 1-2.
— By Anthony Anderson