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

Anthony Anderson
Tribune Correspondent
Notre Dame's Maya Dodson, shown Nov. 14, 2021, in Syracuse, N.Y., scored 26 points in a 72-70 loss to Duke on Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022.

Notre Dame missed three potential game-tying shots in the lane during the final 12 seconds as host Duke rallied for a 72-70 women’s basketball victory over the Irish on Sunday afternoon 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.

Elizabeth Balogun scored 27 points for the Blue Devils (10-2, 1-1), including the fast-break bucket with 30 seconds left that put Duke up 72-70.

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

That break was set up when ND’s Olivia Miles coughed up the ball in the Irish forecourt.

The Devils trailed 57-48 in the opening minute of the fourth quarter before bouncing back for the win.

► More:From Stanford to Notre Dame: Inside Maya Dodson's winding journey to the No. 22 Irish

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► ND couldn’t cash in on its trifecta of inside tries at the end.

“I thought we got some good looks,” Irish coach Niele Ivey said. “They just came up short. It was exactly what I was looking for. I went to Maddy (off the timeout), we got some offensive rebounds (one by Dodson, one by Sonia Citron). … The ball just didn’t go in for us in that moment.”

For Westbeld, ND’s leading scorer on the season heading into the day at 14.5 points per game, it was just her third field goal try, and her only miss. She finished with four points.

Dodson closed at 13-of-23 from the field and added a game-high nine rebounds.

Citron scored 14 points for the Irish and made 6-of-11 from the field.

► Duke drained 10-of-20 shots from 3-point range, carving up both the zone and man-to-man looks presented by ND.

Miela Goodchild hit both her fourth-quarter tries from distance and Celeste Taylor 2-of-3 as the Devils outscored the Irish 24-15 in the final period.

“We’re at their place and they shot well in their home,” Ivey said of Duke, which entered the day at 32% from outside the arc. “I thought some of those looks we didn’t get a chance to get a hand in their face.”

With defensive ace Abby Prohaska still out due to a concussion suffered in the Dec. 22 win at DePaul, ND used just seven players.

“I absolutely believe Abby could’ve helped us defensively,” Ivey said, “getting a charge, loose ball, 50-50 ball or something like that, but I felt like everybody did what they could do.”

► Miles, one of the nation’s premier freshmen, blended magical moments with costly ones for Notre Dame.

She made a slick steal of Duke’s forecourt inbound at three seconds to go, but standing some 85 feet from the basket when she did so, she initially dribbled before not getting a long pass into the forecourt in time for a desperation shot.

More within her control, she committed that largely unforced turnover at 34 seconds to go that led to Balogun’s game-winner.

“I trust her and she knows that,” Ivey said of Miles. “Ultimately, I like the ball in her hands. She makes spectacular plays. Obviously, the ball slipped out of her hands (on the play at 34 seconds). … Sometimes, you have to grow through it, and she will.”

Miles finished with 13 points, six rebounds, a team-high four assists, three turnovers and two steals.

Who's hot

Dodson’s 26-point performance came on the heels of her career-high 28 at DePaul, making her the first Irish player since Arike Ogunbowale in February 2018 to tally at least 25 in back-to-back games.

Over the two contests, Dodson has hit 26-of-44 from the field, grabbed 17 rebounds and blocked three shots.

Who's not

The Irish from the line.

Though they attempted just five free throws against Duke, they also made just one, while the Devils were 4-of-5 during a game in which virtually every point was critical.

Over its last six outings, ND is 28-of-46 at the stripe for 60.9%, after going 80-of-112 in its opening eight games for 71.4%.

Worth noting

Per ACC Network, Sunday’s contest was believed to be the first-ever in college basketball matching up two female head coaches who have been NBA assistants.

Ivey assisted for a season with the Memphis Grizzlies before returning to ND as head coach in 2020.

Kara Lawson spent that same season with the Boston Celtics before taking over at Duke.

Up next

The Irish get a week to prepare for next Sunday’s visit by fifth-ranked North Carolina State (12-2, 3-0). The Wolfpack will first host No. 24 rival North Carolina (12-0, 2-0) on Thursday.

No. 15 Duke 72, No. 17 Notre Dame 70

NOTRE DAME (11-3): Dodson 13-23 0-2 26, Westbeld 2-3 0-1 4, Mabrey 2-4 0-0 5, Miles 6-14 0-0 13, Peoples 1-4 0-0 2, Brunelle 3-4 0-0 6, Citron 6-11 1-2 14, Team 0-0 0-0 0, Totals 33-63 1-5 70

DUKE (10-2): Akinbode-James 2-3 0-0 4, Gordon 5-10 0-0 12, Balogun 11-16 2-3 27, Goodchild 5-5 0-0 13, Taylor 5-13 0-0 12, Williams 1-3 0-0 2, de Jesus 0-0 0-0 0, Day-Wilson 0-7 2-2 2, Volker 0-1 0-0 0, Team 0-0 0-0 0, Totals 29-58 4-5 72

Notre Dame | 19 | 21 | 15 | 15 — 70

Duke | 16 | 21 | 11 | 24 — 72

3-Point Goals_Notre Dame 3-8 (Mabrey 1-1, Miles 1-5, Citron 1-2), Duke 10-20 (Gordon 2-6, Balogun 3-5, Goodchild 3-3, Taylor 2-4, Day-Wilson 0-1, Volker 0-1). Assists_Notre Dame 15 (Miles 4), Duke 17 (Gordon 4). Fouled Out_None. Rebounds_Notre Dame 34 (Dodson 5-9), Duke 27 (Williams 2-5). Total Fouls_Notre Dame 7, Duke 10. Technical Fouls_None. A_3,354.