Women's basketball: Pittsburgh at Notre Dame preview

Anthony Anderson
Tribune Correspondent


WHO: Pittsburgh (8-3, 0-1 ACC) vs. No. 21 Notre Dame (9-2, 1-0).

WHEN: Sunday, 2 p.m.

WHERE: Purcell Pavilion (9,149), Notre Dame.

TICKETS: Available.

WATCH: ACCNX (subscription required).


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

Notre Dame women's basketball season statistics

ABOUT PITTSBURGH: The Panthers, coming off an 89-54 loss to No. 2 North Carolina State, will be playing for the first time in nine days. … Pitt’s other two defeats have come against No. 23 Texas A&M, 57-46, and in overtime against South Dakota, both at the Paradise Jam on Thanksgiving weekend, and both without since-returned top scorer Jayla Everett. … The Panthers’ top wins include 72-60 over Northwestern (9-3), also at the Jam, and 64-54 at Ball State (6-3). … Everett’s averaging 15.9 points and 1.6 steals over eight games with 19-of-52 shooting on 3s for 36.5%. … Other Pitt leaders include Amber Brown (9.6 points, 6.5 rebounds per game), Dayshanette Harris (8.5 ppg) — she of the game-winning 5-foot floater along the right baseline with 2.7 seconds left to stun Notre Dame in the 2020 ACC Tournament — Liatu King (7.1 ppg, 9.5 rpg) and Rita Igbokwe (6.6 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 1.6 blocks). Five other players are averaging 3.1 to 5.7 points apiece. … The Panthers utilize 11 individuals at 11.7 to Brown’s team-leading 27.5 minutes per game. … Pitt entered the weekend ranked 16th in the nation in offensive rebounds per outing (16.2; ND’s at 14.0) and 25th in overall rebounding margin (plus-10.1; ND’s 31st at plus-9.3).

ABOUT NOTRE DAME: The Irish, 10-10 last season, can match that victory total just 12 games into this season with a victory over the Panthers. … ND jumped five spots to No. 18 in this week’s coaches’ poll to go with its one-spot movement to No. 21 in the AP poll. … Thanks to their November win at Syracuse, the Irish are early Atlantic Coast Conference tri-leaders with No. 2 North Carolina State and No. 15 Duke at 1-0. … Pitt is one of four league teams ND is scheduled to play twice during the regular season, joined by No. 4 Louisville, Boston College and Syracuse. … Irish leaders include Maddy Westbeld (14.0 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 52.8% from the field), Sonia Citron (12.1 ppg, 1.6 steals, 30-of-33 at the line for 90.9%), Olivia Miles, (11.2 ppg, nation-leading 7.5 assists, 7.1 rebounds), Dara Mabrey (11.1 ppg, 3.5 apg, 26-of-63 on 3s for 41.3%) and Maya Dodson (10.0 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 2.9 blocks). … Notre Dame stands 30-4 all-time against Pittsburgh, including 14-0 at Purcell. The Irish had won 12 straight meetings until that 67-65 Panther upset win in 2020, a contest that turned out to be ND coach Muffet McGraw’s last game. The visiting Irish captured last season’s lone matchup 59-48.

Maddy Westbeld (34) looks to shoot in the second half against Purdue Fort Wayne Sunday, Dec. 12, 2021, at the Purcell Pavilion.

QUOTING: “(Pitt’s) one of the best rebounding teams in the country and super athletic. They have some great pieces. We have to lock in defensively, do a good job on the boards and be ready for a team that will battle us.” — Niele Ivey, Notre Dame coach.

— By Anthony Anderson