Notre Dame Women's basketball: How this team matches up against longtime rival DePaul

Anthony Anderson
Tribune Correspondent
The last time Notre Dame played DePaul, Sam Brunelle, left, had a career-high 31 points in the Irish loss.
Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports


WHO: No. 20 Notre Dame (10-2) vs. DePaul (11-2).

WHEN: Wednesday, 8:30 p.m. ET

WHERE: Wintrust Arena (10,387), Chicago.

TICKETS: Available.



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

ABOUT NOTRE DAME: The last time the Irish played DePaul, in December 2019 at home, they fell 105-94, one of just two games in the last 23 years that ND has given up 100 points to anybody. The 94 by the Irish was the most they’ve ever scored in a loss, too. Then-freshman Sam Brunelle tallied a still-career high 31. … Sophomore Maddy Westbeld leads a balanced Irish attack at 13.9 points to go with 6.8 rebounds and 52.2% from the field. Freshman Sonia Citron is adding 12.3 points and 32-of-35 at the line for 92.2%; freshman Olivia Miles 12.0 points, a nation-leading 7.8 assists, 7.0 rebounds and 1.8 steals; Dara Mabrey 10.9 points and 29-of-69 on 3s for 42%; and Maya Dodson 9.7 points, 6.9 boards and 2.8 blocks. Brunelle and Anaya Peoples have combined for 11.1 points and 7.0 rebounds. … The 2019 loss to DePaul ended a streak of 11 wins by the Irish in the all-time series against their longtime rival. … Like the Blue Demons, ND’s two defeats this season have each come away from home and each against ranked teams.

ABOUT DEPAUL: The Blue Demons are averaging 99.9 points during their current seven-game winning streak, have cracked 100 in five of their last six outings and lead the nation on the season at 92.2 per contest. … The team’s losses are to current No. 4 Arizona, 75-68, and at current No. 23 Texas A&M, 95-75. … Individually, home-grown freshman sensation Aneesah Morrow is setting the pace. The 6-foot-1 forward is averaging 18.7 points, 12.2 rebounds, 3.0 steals and 2.3 blocks to go with 51.6% from the field, all team-best figures. She was ranked No. 20 among 2021 recruits by MaxPreps after leading Chicago Simeon to a state title in 2020, but did not crack ESPN’s Top 100. … Also in DePaul’s starting lineup, which has been the same every game, are guards Sonya Morris (17.1 ppg, 3.8 assists), Deja Church (14.2 ppg, 89.4% on free throws) and Lexi Held (13.8 ppg, 5.8 assists, 2.5 steals, 29-of-68 on 3s for 42.6%), all seniors, and sophomore Darrione Rogers (10.8 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 27-of-59 on 3s for 45.8%). The deep Demons are also getting 17.6 points per game off their bench, which includes two former starters. … DePaul’s 20-26 all-time against ND. Only UConn (39-13) and Tennessee (22-8) have beaten the Irish more. Demon head coach Doug Bruno is 747-358 in his 36th year, with four Sweet 16 appearances, including 13-20 against ND. … DePaul’s 7-0 at home this season.

QUOTING: “It’s gonna be a track meet. Just knowing DePaul from past games, it’s really hard to play them in Chicago. … They’re face-paced, they play four guards, it’s a really hard offense to defend, so we have our hands full. They’re a tournament-tested team, really amazing coaching staff with Doug Bruno. I’m looking forward to it, though, because I think that’s really going to show us before the break where we really are.”

— Niele Ivey, Notre Dame coach.