Women's basketball: Previewing Notre Dame at Syracuse

By Anthony Anderson
ND Insider

Notre Dame (2-0, 0-0 ACC) vs. Syracuse (1-0, 0-0)

WHEN: Sunday, noon.

WHERE: Carrier Dome (49,262), Syracuse, N.Y.

WATCH: ACC Network.


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


The overhauled Orange are coming off a tumultuous offseason in which longtime coach Quentin Hillaman resigned Aug. 2 after several allegations of inappropriate behavior against him became public. The university has hired an outside law firm to investigate, and Vonn Read has been elevated to interim head coach after a decade as an assistant. … Eleven players transferred out following last season (including Kamilla Cardoso to South Carolina, Emily Engstler to Louisville and Kiara Lewis to Clemson), and seven others transferred in. … Headlining the arrivals are senior guards Chrislyn Carr and Christianna Carr — no relation. Chrislyn averaged 13.9 points and 5.0 assists in 2019-20 at Texas Tech, then sat out last year after transferring to Baylor. Christianna averaged 15.2 points last season at Kansas State. … Also aboard are grad students Jayla Thornton, the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference player of the year last season at Howard, where she averaged 11.5 points, and 6-3 forward Alaysia Styles, an arrival from powerhouse Maryland after averaging 4.9 points and shooting 60% from the field for the Terps. … In Syracuse’s 87-46 season-opening win Wednesday over Monmouth, Chrislyn Carr scored 15 points, Thornton 12 and Christianna Carr 11. … Junior guard Teisha Hyman, one of just three holdovers on the Orange, added nine points, nine rebounds and four steals. … Notre Dame leaders through two outings include Maya Dodson (19.5 ppg, 7.0 rebounds, 3.5 blocks, 61% from the field), Maddy Westbeld (14.5 ppg, 11.5 rebounds, 2.5 blocks), Sam Brunelle (12.5 ppg, 5-of-9 on 3s), Olivia Miles (10.5 ppg, 8.5 assists, 7.0 rebounds) and Dara Mabrey (10.5 ppg, 3.5 apg). … Despite all their superpower teams, this season marks just the second occasion in the last 11 years that the Irish have won both of their first two games by at least 25 points. … After Sunday’s oddly early Atlantic Coast Conference opener, no other ACC games are scheduled until Dec. 10. ND won’t face a league opponent again until Dec. 19. …  During pregame ceremonies, Felisha Legette-Jack will become the first individual in the 50-year history of Syracuse women’s basketball to have her jersey retired. Her No. 33 will hang from the Carrier Dome rafters. Legette-Jack, an Orange star in the late 1980s, was head coach at Indiana for six years and is in her 10th season at Buffalo. The Syracuse men’s program, which dates to 1901, has 15 retired jerseys.

Notre Dame’s Maya Dodson (0) shoots over Western Illinois’ Evan Zars (54) in the first half Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021, at the Purcell Pavilion.


“It’s the first away game for this group, so we have to make sure we’re focused and ready for 40 minutes from the tip. Also, Syracuse has a new coaching staff, they have a lot of different pieces, a lot of transfers, so we’re definitely gonna talk about maybe having to make some adjustments because it’s just a different team. Probably after that first timeout, we’ll have a little bit better idea of what type of identity this Syracuse team has. We just have to be prepared for anything.” — Niele Ivey, Notre Dame coach.

— By Anthony Anderson