Notre Dame women's basketball preview capsule

Staff reports
ND Insider


WHO: Wake Forest (6-3, 3-2 ACC) vs. Notre Dame (5-5, 3-3).

WHEN: Thursday, 4 p.m.

WHERE: Purcell Pavilion, Notre Dame.

TV: ACC Network.

RADIO: WQLQ (99.9 FM).

NOTING: ND guard Katyln Gilbert, who suffered a late-December foot injury in practice and has missed the last three games, is in a cast and could be out at least two more weeks, coach Niele Ivey said Wednesday. Gilbert, an ACC all-freshman selection last season, is averaging 5.6 points in 27.4 minutes over the five games in which she has appeared. … Sam Brunelle, who was hit in the nose and missed the fourth quarter of the team’s 64-61 loss at Boston College last Thursday, is expected to play against Wake Forest, but will be wearing a protective face mask if she does. … The Demon Deacons and the Irish both faced BC in their most recent outings. Three days after ND relinquished a 12-point lead in the last three minutes of its loss to the Eagles, host Wake had no such trouble, rolling to a 68-48 victory on Sunday. … The Deacs are led by 6-2 senior forward Ivana Raca, averaging 16.6 points and 9.6 rebounds to rank in the top five in the ACC in both. Senior guard Gina Conti is at 14.0 points, 4.0 assists, 1.7 steals and 30-of-32 free throw shooting. Christina Morra’s averaging 10.7 points, Alexandria Scruggs 9.4 and freshman sharpshooter Jewel Spear 9.1, including 20-of-47 accuracy outside the arc. … Wake’s three losses include double-digit decisions at No. 4 North Carolina State and against No. 14 Arkansas, while its six wins include 68-59 over No. 24 Missouri State. All three of the Deacs’ true road games until now have been within their home state of North Carolina, with a 1-2 mark to show for it. They also went 2-1 at the Gulf Coast Showcase in Fort Myers, Fla. … Irish leaders are freshman Maddy Westbeld (15.4 ppg, 7.0 rpg), Destinee Walker (12.4 ppg, 35-of-40 at the line), Dara Mabrey (11.4 ppg, 3.1 apg, 20-of-44 on 3s), Anaya Peoples (10.3 ppg, 6.5 rpg) and Brunelle (8.6 ppg, 15-of-33 on 3s). … Wake is one of two ACC teams left that ND still has an all-time perfect record against. The Irish are 8-0 vs. the Deacs, including a 75-71 win last season in Winston-Salem, and 10-0 against Florida State. Notre Dame suffered its first-ever loss to Georgia Tech on Dec. 13. … The Irish have followed up each of their first four losses this season with wins.

QUOTING: “We had them (down 12) with like three minutes to go, so we took it personally. We came back home, we watched the film, we went over it, we learned from it and we put that game behind us, and now we’re ready for Wake and we’re ready to get our revenge game. We’ve done really well at bouncing back, so we’re excited and we’re ready to show what we have again.” — Anaya Peoples, Notre Dame guard, on the team’s mood since the loss to the Eagles, who the Irish play again Sunday.

Notre DameÕs Sam Brunelle (33) looks to pass around Virginia TechÕs Taylor Geiman (35) during an NCAA basketball game on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020, in South Bend, Ind. (AP Photo/Robert Franklin)