Women's basketball: All you need to know about Notre Dame's game Sunday with rival UConn

By Anthony Anderson
Notre Dame's Sonia Citron (11) during an NCAA basketball game against Ohio on Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021, in South Bend, Ind. (Tribune Photo/Robert Franklin)

No. 24 Notre Dame (7-1) vs. No. 2 Connecticut (4-1).

WHEN: Sunday, noon.

WHERE: Gampel Pavilion (9,882), Storrs, Conn.

WATCH: FS1.

LISTEN: WQLQ (99.9 FM)

About Notre Dame

Sonia Citron’s 29 points in Thursday’s 76-71 win at Michigan State were the most by any Irish player coming off the bench since at least 1999-2000. Further, she was just two points from the single-game freshman standard since that time (Skylar Diggins had 31 against Vermont in March 2010 and Sam Brunelle 31 against DePaul in December 2019). … Leaders for a highly balanced ND club are sophomore forward Maddy Westbeld (14.5 points per game, 7.9 rebounds, 56.2 adjusted field goal percentage), Citron (11.6 ppg, 1.8 steals, 56.1 AFG), Dara Mabrey (11.6 ppg, 3.6 assists, 17-of-44 on 3s for 38.6%), Olivia Miles (11.5 ppg, 7.0 apg, tied for second in the country, 6.1 rpg) and Maya Dodson (11.3 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 3.0 blocks, eighth in the country). Additionally, Sam Brunelle and Anaya Peoples are at a combined 12.1 points and 7.5 rebounds. Five different players have led the Irish in scoring this season and five have led in rebounding. … Notre Dame’s meeting Connecticut for the first time since an 81-57 loss on Dec. 8, 2019, also at Gampel Pavilion.

About Connecticut

Atypically, the Huskies will be playing ND less than 40 hours after their last game, a 74-49 win Friday night in their Big East opener at Seton Hall. … UConn’s lone loss is 73-57 two weeks ago against No. 1 South Carolina in the Bahamas. … Connecticut will make its Gampel season debut after one game at the XL Center (the Huskies’ secondary home court), three neutral-site contests and Friday’s road date. UConn’s won 94.4% of its games at Gampel, which opened in 1990, and has won 16 straight home games overall. … The Huskies, who lead the nation in field goal percentage at 51.7, have all five starters back from last season’s 28-2 club that closed No. 1 in the AP poll. That includes sophomore and reigning national player of the year Paige Bueckers (21.0 ppg, 6.6 apg, 5.8 rpg, 2.2 steals, 60.8 AFG this season) and seniors Christyn Williams (17.2 ppg, 58.3 AFG), Evina Westbrook (10.8 ppg) and 6-5 Olivia Nelson-Ododa (7.2 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 2.2 blocks). … UConn also has the nation’s top-rated freshman in Azzi Fudd (7.5 ppg), but she did not play Friday due to injury and is expected to remain out until at least Dec. 15. … In his 37th season at UConn, Hall of Famer Geno Auriemma has coached his teams to more national titles (11) and more Final Fours (21) than any coach in men’s or women’s Division I history, to go with the best win percentage in the sport (1,123-145, .886).

Quoting

“I’m really excited, especially because it’s my first time against UConn, and especially that it’s away. I know the atmosphere is going to be crazy.” — Sonia Citron, ND freshman, on Sunday’s game, which will take place about two hours from her hometown of Eastchester, N.Y.