Notre Dame women's basketball capsule

Staff reports
ND Insider

WHO: Florida State (9-6, 8-6 ACC) vs. Notre Dame (9-8, 7-6).

WHEN: Thursday, 7 p.m.

WHERE: Purcell Pavilion, Notre Dame.

WEB: ACC Network Extra.

RADIO: WQLQ (99.9 FM).

NOTING: The Irish, scrambling to earn an NCAA Tournament bid, can still finish as high as fourth in the ACC standings — in which case they’d grab the last of the coveted double byes in next week’s league tourney — or as low as ninth. … The Seminoles, currently deadlocked for fourth in the ACC with Syracuse, are listed as making the NCAA field in ESPN’s latest projections this week. ND was listed among the first four teams out, joined by fellow league clubs Clemson and Wake Forest. North Carolina was listed among the last four in despite a 6-9 conference record, giving the ACC seven teams. Bottom line to it all — much can still easily change, with the league tourney looking more pivotal than usual. … Florida State comes to Notre Dame off its 68-59 upset of then-No. 3 Louisville on Sunday and has won three of its last four. … For the Irish, playing at home for the first time since Jan. 17 and owning a 6-2 home record, this will be both their annual Pink Game and their Senior Day. The team will honor Destinee Walker, who has said this will be her last season, Mikki Vaughn, who has said she may make it her last season despite having up to two more years of eligibility, and former student manager/walk-on Nicole Benz, who was awarded a scholarship last fall, but has not appeared in a game this winter. … ND leaders are Maddy Westbeld (15.1 points per game, 7.6 rebounds), Dara Mabrey (12.2 ppg, 3.5 assists, 36-of-88 on 3s), Walker (12.1 ppg, 48-of-53 at the line with 23 straight makes), Anaya Peoples (9.4 ppg, 6.1 rpg), Sam Brunelle (8.9 ppg, 21-of-52 on 3s), Olivia Miles (8.0 ppg) and Vaughn (7.5 ppg 5.8 rpg, 1.6 blocks). … Brunelle and usual starter Abby Prohaska did not make the trip for Monday’s win at Pittsburgh, a game in which the Irish were coming off a COVID-related pause that wiped out two contests, but coach Niele Ivey indicated afterwards that both players would be back with the team upon its return to South Bend. … Pacing the Seminoles are Morgan Jones (14.4 ppg, 6.5 rpg), Kourtney Weber (13.1, 21-of-52 on 3s), Bianca Jackson (13.1 ppg, 3.5 assists), 6-3 post Valencia Myers (8.1 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 1.5 blocks) and Sammie Puisis (7.2 ppg, 5.1 rpg). Each is a junior except Puisis, a sophomore. … The visiting Irish rallied from 11 down to surprise No. 19 FSU 70-67 in last March’s regular-season finale and improve to 10-0 all-time against the Seminoles. … Florida State was among three current ACC teams that still had never beaten Notre Dame entering this season, along with Georgia Tech and Wake Forest, although Tech proceeded to defeat the host Irish in December. … ND closes its regular season Sunday when No. 6 Louisville visits.

QUOTING: “That’s everything we’ve been working for, preseason and all year long. That’s what we’ve been working towards, so that’s absolutely the goal, and where we’re headed.” — Maddy Westbeld, Notre Dame freshman, on how important it remains to reach the NCAA Tournament.

Notre Dame’s Destinee Walker will be honored during Thursday’s home game against Florida State, which will be both the program’s annual Pink Game and their Senior Day.