Notre Dame women fall to Syracuse in overtime

Tribune Staff Report
ND Insider

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Notre Dame’s practically empty output over the final six-plus minutes of regulation was exceeded only by its entirely empty output over the first three-plus minutes of overtime.

With that combination, the Irish suffered a disheartening 74-63 women’s basketball loss to Syracuse on Sunday evening at the Carrier Dome, costing them a game they’d led virtually throughout the third and fourth quarters.

The Orange stormed to the first 11 points of the extra period for a 71-60 lead at 1:53 remaining before the Irish finally tallied too late at 1:40 to go.

Trailing 58-49 at 6:29 left in the fourth quarter, Syracuse outscored ND 11-2 to force OT.

Kiara Lewis’ 3-pointer for the Orange against tight defense from Marta Sniezek at six seconds showing in regulation sent the game to the extra session at 60-60.

The Irish (6-9, 1-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) had led from Mikki Vaughn’s basket that made it 33-31 just 19 seconds into the third period until that triple by Lewis.

Following Lewis’ score, a game-winning attempt by freshman Anaya Peoples for Notre Dame was blocked by Digna Strautmane. Sniezek then made a steal and got off a desperation 3-pointer that was off the mark, resulting in OT.

Syracuse (8-6, 2-1) snapped a 21-game overall losing streak to the Irish and a 15-game home losing skid to ND, winning as a host for the first time since February 1989.

Destinee Walker — 25 points, six rebounds, 4-of-9 on 3-pointers — and Vaughn — 16 points, 11 rebounds, three blocked shots, 7-of-8 from the field — each starred for the Irish, but each also fouled out, Vaughn at 2:55 to go in regulation with her team up 58-54 and Walker late in OT.

With the presence of the 6-foot-3 Vaughn gone in the middle, the Orange pounced inside in overtime, scoring the first six points in the lane over the first 84 seconds, then adding the seventh on a free throw after an offensive rebound a second later.

Notre Dame finished just 5-of-22 from the field and 3-of-6 at the line spanning the fourth quarter and OT, and also committed eight turnovers during those final 15 minutes.

The only points by the Irish over the final six-plus minutes of regulation and first three-plus minutes of OT came on a pair of Peoples free throws at 1:31 remaining in the fourth quarter for a 60-56 lead.

Peoples, though, missed two others at 30 seconds left in regulation, setting the stage for Lewis’ game-tying shot.

Lewis, a junior guard, scored a game-high 28 points. She was just 6-of-17 from the field, but mixed in three treys and got to the line 18 times, hitting 13.

Sophomore forward Emily Engstler added 22 points and a game-high 15 rebounds for Syracuse.

Freshman Sam Brunelle scored 12 points and grabbed seven rebounds for the Irish.

Peoples hauled in 11 boards, but closed at 0-of-7 from the field and 4-of-8 at the line.

Sophomore Katlyn Gilbert, ND’s leading scorer on the season going in at 14.6 per game, was held to six points and made just 3-of-15 from the field.

Sniezek compiled an odd and busy line. She never scored while taking six shots, but dealt a game-high 10 of her team’s 17 assists, made a game-high six steals and coughed up a game-high seven turnovers.

She also drew an opposition charging foul for the eighth consecutive game, pushing her season total to 18, one shy of the unofficial program record.

The Orange — coming off a 90-89 overtime victory Thursday over No. 8-ranked and previously unbeaten Florida State — won despite making just 7-of-35 field goals over Sunday’s middle two quarters, including just 2-of-17 outside the arc.

Notre Dame, which trailed by a high of 18-10 at less than seven minutes into the game, steadied itself from there, forging a 31-31 tie by halftime.

The Irish then outscored the hosts 18-10 in the third quarter and took 10-point leads on three occasions in the fourth.

The last of those came at 55-45 with 7:39 to go on the last of Vaughn’s 16 points.

They grabbed their 58-49 lead at 6:29 showing on a Walker 3-pointer, the last of her 25 points.

Baskets were difficult to come by for each team most of the way.

The two sides shot similarly from the field, with Notre Dame going 23-of-71 for 32.4% with six 3-pointers and Syracuse hitting 25-of-78 for 32.1% with seven 3-pointers, but the Orange added 17-of-25 from the line to ND’s 11-of-21.

They also won the second-chance point count 24-15.

Syracuse coach Quentin Hillsman beat Irish counterpart Muffet McGraw for the first time in 17 career tries. The Orange won for just the third time in 37 total meetings against Notre Dame.

The Irish are home for their next two games, hosting Boston College (8-6, 1-2) on Thursday and No. 9-ranked North Carolina State (14-0, 3-0) next Sunday

NOTRE DAME (6-9): Brunelle 5-16 0-2 12, Vaughn 7-8 2-3 16, Gilbert 3-15 0-0 6, Sniezek 0-6 0-0 0, Walker 8-17 5-8 25, Cosgrove 0-2 0-0 0, Cole 0-0 0-0 0, Peoples 0-7 4-8 4, Totals 23-71 11-21 63.

SYRACUSE (8-6): Strautmane 4-11 0-0 9, Finklea-Guity 2-4 2-2 6, Cooper 2-11 0-1 5, Engstler 10-18 0-0 22, Lewis 6-17 13-18 28, Djaldi-Tabdi 0-3 0-2 0, Colome 0-2 0-0 0, Hyman 1-9 2-2 4, Washington 0-3 0-0 0, Totals 25-78 17-25 74.

Notre Dame 16 15 18 11 3 —63

Syracuse 20 11 10 19 14 —74

3-Point Goals_Notre Dame 6-19 (Brunelle 2-5, Gilbert 0-2, Sniezek 0-2, Walker 4-9, Peoples 0-1), Syracuse 7-36 (Strautmane 1-7, Cooper 1-9, Engstler 2-6, Lewis 3-8, Colome 0-1, Hyman 0-4, Washington 0-1). Assists_Notre Dame 17 (Sniezek 10), Syracuse 12 (Cooper 3). Fouled Out_Notre Dame Vaughn, Walker, Rebounds_Notre Dame 55 (Vaughn 11), Syracuse 55 (Engstler 15). Total Fouls_Notre Dame 19, Syracuse 17. Technical Fouls_None.A_4,306.

Syracuse coach Quentin Hillsman beat Irish counterpart Muffet McGraw, pictured on Dec. 11, 2019, for the first time in 17 career tries.