Virginia clobbers Notre Dame women

Tribune Staff Report
ND Insider

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Virtually doubled up through three quarters, Notre Dame went on to suffer its most lopsided women’s basketball loss to an unranked team in nearly 31 years Sunday, getting blistered 90-60 at Virginia.

It happened against a team, no less, that was nowhere close to ranked, the Cavaliers moving to merely 8-12 overall, 3-6 in the Atlantic Coast Conference, with the victory.

The Irish — coming off a comprehensive 76-53 win over Miami that had inspired renewed hope for a continued turnaround — instead fell to 7-13 and 2-6 with their ninth loss in their last 11 games.

Virginia led 53-29 at halftime, 73-37 through three quarters and by 38 points on three occasions early in the fourth period.

“I thought Virginia played really well. They made a ton of shots and credit our defense to that — we gave them a lot of easy looks and they took advantage of it,” Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw stated. “We looked like a young team today.”

Freshman Carole Miller scored 18 points, senior Jocelyn Willoughby 17, freshman Shemera Williams 15 and senior Dominique Toussaint 14 for the cruising Cavs, who overwhelmed Notre Dame in a variety of manners.

Freshman Kylie Kornegay-Lucas added game highs of 11 rebounds and 10 assists.

By the end of the third quarter, Virginia had outscored the Irish 40-10 in paint points, 20-2 in fast-break points, 35-4 in bench points and 10-4 in second-chance points.

The Cavaliers finished with easily their most convincing win of the season and beat ND for the first time in nine meetings, their last victory in the series coming in January 1988.

Irish freshman Sam Brunelle, playing in the city she was born in and about 15 miles from where she was raised, led all players with 21 points and three blocked shots, but had little help much of the way. She was just 6-of-17 from the field, but with four 3-pointers, and 5-of-6 at the line.

Katlyn Gilbert added 16 points on 6-of-18 from the field to go with 4-of-4 at the stripe.

Recently hot Destinee Walker tumbled to 2-of-12 from the field and 6-of-10 at the line on her way to 11 points, and seven of those came in the fourth quarter. Mikki Vaughn added five points.

ND point guard Marta Sniezek, also returning to her home state, closed at just one point and three assists against four turnovers. Averaging 6.0 assists on the season going in, Sniezek had none through three quarters to go with three turnovers.

The Irish sustained their widest margin of defeat against an unrated opponent since losing 108-77 at Loyola of Chicago on Feb. 18, 1989.

Virginia, besides winding up with whopping advantages in the paint, on the break and off the bench, also finished with 28-13 dominance in points off turnovers and a 47-35 edge in rebounding.

Notre Dame made just 18-of-56 shots from the field for 32% with five triples to the Cavs’ 34-of-72 for 47% with six long-distance makes.

Virginia scored on its first three possessions of the game to grab a 7-0 lead that it never relinquished. ND committed four of its 22 turnovers within the opening 3:22.

The Irish got as close as 11-9 at the 3:46 mark of the first quarter, but the Cavs outscored the visitors 31-9 over the next 10 minutes to seize permanent control.

Notre Dame comes home for a Thursday visit by No. 5 Louisville (20-1, 9-0).

NOTRE DAME (7-13): Brunelle 6-17 5-6 21, Vaughn 2-3 1-2 5, Gilbert 6-18 4-4 16, Sniezek 0-0 1-2 1, Walker 2-12 6-10 11, Cosgrove 1-4 2-2 4, Keyes 0-0 0-0 0, Benz 0-0 0-0 0, Cole 1-2 0-2 2, Murdock 0-0 0-0 0, Murdock 0-0 0-0 0, Totals 18-56 19-28 60

VIRGINIA (8-12): Jablonowski 3-3 0-0 6, Kornegay-Lucas 1-7 2-4 4, Miller 7-12 4-4 18, Toi 2-3 0-0 6, Willoughby 6-11 4-4 17, Jefferson 2-2 3-4 7, Lawson 0-1 0-0 0, Stojsavljevic 0-1 0-0 0, Horton 1-5 0-0 3, Toussaint 6-13 1-1 14, Williams 6-14 2-4 15, Totals 34-72 16-21 90

Notre Dame;12;17;8;23—60


3-Point Goals_Notre Dame 5-21 (Brunelle 4-12, Gilbert 0-1, Walker 1-6, Cosgrove 0-2), Virginia 6-16 (Toi 2-3, Willoughby 1-1, Horton 1-2, Toussaint 1-5, Williams 1-5). Assists_Notre Dame 14 (Gilbert 3), Virginia 25 (Kornegay-Lucas 10). Fouled Out_None. Rebounds_Notre Dame 35 (Walker 2-4), Virginia 47 (Kornegay-Lucas 4-11). Total Fouls_Notre Dame 20, Virginia 23. Technical Fouls_None. A_5,117.

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