Women's basketball: All you need to know about Notre Dame's game at Florida State

By Anthony Anderson
ND Insider
Feb 3, 2022; South Bend, Indiana, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish forward Maddy Westbeld (34) and guard Dara Mabrey (1) celebrate on the bench after an Irish basket in the second half against the Virginia Tech Hokies at the Purcell Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

WHO: No. 20 Notre Dame (18-4, 9-2 ACC) vs. Florida State (10-10, 4-6).

WHEN: Sunday, 2 p.m.

WHERE: Donald L. Tucker Civic Center (12,100), Tallahassee, Fla.

WATCH: ACC Network.

LISTEN: WQLQ (99.9 FM).

ABOUT NOTRE DAME: After a rare four-game conference homestand that left them 11-0 at Purcell Pavilion, the Irish hit the road, where they’re 7-4, including neutrals, and have lost twice, albeit by two points each, to unranked teams. … While scoring and rebounding remain remarkably balanced for Notre Dame, there are at least three other key categories in which there’s no doubt who rules for these Irish. Maya Dodson’s 58 blocked shots are three more than the next five players combined; Olivia Miles’ 162 assists are just two fewer than the next four players combined; and Dara Mabrey’s 50 3-pointers are nine more than the next two players combined. … As for that balanced scoring, Miles is at 14.0 per game, Dodson 12.6, Maddy Westbeld 11.5, Sonia Citron 11.0 and Mabrey 10.8. On the boards, it’s Dodson at 7.6, Citron 6.4, Miles 6.2 and Westbeld 5.9. … The Irish are 11-0 all-time against the Seminoles (4-0 in Tallahassee), their third-most wins against any opponent without ever losing, behind 28-0 against Valparaiso and 22-0 against Providence.

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

ABOUT FLORIDA STATE: The Seminoles are 8-3 at home. Notre Dame’s the only one of the ACC’s top four teams that they haven’t already faced, and they faced each of the other three on the road, losing 68-64 at Georgia Tech, 75-62 at Louisville and 68-48 on Thursday at North Carolina State. … Possessing size galore and inconsistent outside shooting, FSU’s at 49.4% on 2s to rank 42nd of 356 Division I teams, but 29.7% on 3s to rate 207th. … Individual leaders for the deep Seminoles include 6-2 senior guard Morgan Jones (15.1 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 1.4 steals, 1.3 blocks), 6-2 freshman Makayla Timpson (8.1 ppg, 60.6% from the field), Bianca Jackson (7.8 ppg), O’Mariah Gordon (7.2 ppg, 2.9 assists), 6-5 junior center River Baldwin (6.2 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 55.6% from the field), Sammie Puisis (6.2 ppg, 31-of-85 on 3s for 36.5%), Sara Bejedi (5.6 ppg) and 6-3 Valencia Myers (5.3 ppg, 4.9 rpg). … Similar to ND, FSU has been at its best over the middle two quarters, outscoring its opponents 34.5 to 27.8 on average. Notre Dame’s margin is 39.4 to 29.3. The Seminoles are plus-5.3 on the boards per game, with the Irish at plus-7.9.

QUOTING: “Watching them shine I think is my biggest reward, because there’s so much that goes on behind the scenes. It’s long film nights. It’s so much stuff. It’s hard. It’s very challenging. (They’ve) got school work. They have so many things they have to deal with. COVID. And just to see that they love the game, and it’s showing, I'm so blessed to be part of it and grateful.” — Niele Ivey, Notre Dame coach, on the on-court chemistry her team is displaying.

— By Anthony Anderson