All you need to know about No. 9 Notre Dame women's basketball Thursday at Boston College

Anthony Anderson
Tribune Correspondent

No. 9 Notre Dame (17-3, 8-2 ACC) vs. Boston College (14-10, 4-7).

  • WHEN: Thursday, 7 p.m.
  • WHERE: Conte Forum (8,606), Chestnut Hill, Mass.
  • LISTEN: WQLQ (99.9 FM; link at UND.com).

Last game:Shorthanded Irish come up short at N.C. State


As of late Tuesday night, ND’s Lauren Ebo was described as “day to day” by a team official regarding whether the grad center will return for Thursday’s game. Ebo missed Sunday’s 69-65 loss at now-No. 15 North Carolina State with a lower body injury. … The Eagles will be ND’s first rematch of the season. The host Irish rolled with stunning ease, 85-48, on New Year’s Day, leading 49-16 by halftime. Freshman KK Bransford had a career-high 17 points (5-of-5 from the field, 7-of-9 at the line). Olivia Miles tallied 17 as well. … ND’s lost three straight at Conte Forum over the last three seasons — by counts of 56-55, 64-61 and last winter’s 73-71. Only UConn and Louisville hold longer active home winning streaks over the Irish at four apiece. … Miles, part of the Wooden Award Top 20 watch list, is averaging 15.0 points, 7.2 rebounds, 7.0 assists and 2.2 steals to lead ND in each. … Fellow sophomore Sonia Citron is at 13.8 ppg, 6.3 rpg and 1.6 spg; Maddy Westbeld 10.7 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 2.7 apg and 1.5 blocks; Ebo 9.9 ppg and 7.0 rpg; Bransford 8.1 ppg; and Kylee Watson 6.3 ppg along with a team-leading 56.8% from the field. … While the Irish slipped from No. 7 to No. 9 in the AP poll this week, and to No. 8 in the coaches’ poll, they nonetheless entered Wednesday No. 6 in the NET ranking formula that historically carries strong weight with the NCAA Tournament selection committee. … Following the trip to BC, ND plays four straight at home, beginning with Sunday’s visit by No. 16 Duke, which is 8-2 in the ACC to share the league lead with the Irish.

Jan 26, 2023; South Bend, Indiana, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish center Lauren Ebo (33) comes out of the game in the second half against the Florida State Seminoles at the Purcell Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports


Demonstrating the sometimes unpredictable nature of the ACC, the Eagles followed up that New Year’s Day debacle at ND with a stunner of a win four days later at No. 9 NC State, 79-71, beating the same club that just downed the Irish on Sunday. BC’s gone 2-5 since its big win. … After playing just eight minutes in a 67-57 loss to Clemson, junior standout guard Dontavia Waggoner has missed the Eagles’ last two games — an 86-65 loss at Miami and a 74-60 win over Pittsburgh — with no reason listed by the school. Waggoner’s averaging team-leading figures of 13.1 points, 7.5 rebounds and 3.0 steals, and is one of three ACC players (joined by Duke’s Celeste Taylor and Virginia Tech’s Elizabeth Kitley) on the latest Naismith Defensive Player of the Year watch list. … Junior guard JoJo Lacey is averaging 11.4 points; freshman guard Taina Mair 10.9 ppg, 7.0 assists and 2.0 steals; 6-3 sophomore post Maria Gakdeng 10.7 ppg, 6.2 rebounds and 1.5 blocks (including six in the Jan. 1 game at ND); sophomore swing Andrea Daley 10.0 ppg and 6.2 rpg (she paced BC at ND with 17 points); and freshman T’Yanna Todd 9.6 points. … Mair leads Miles by a hair, 7.04 to 7.0, in the race for the ACC assist title. … The Eagles are 11-4 this season at Conte.

Notre Dame's Cassandre Prosper (4) knocks the ball away from Boston College's Dontavia Waggoner (24) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023 in South Bend, Ind. (AP Photo/Michael Caterina)


“I’m learning as I go with what I have. My top six, especially my core starters, they know my expectations of them. I know what to do with them. It’s just adding different pieces and trying to narrow the offense with such new players and different lineups. What I’m trying to do is simplify things with such different adjustments with injuries.” — Niele Ivey, Notre Dame coach, on alterations after the season-ending injury to Dara Mabrey and Ebo’s absence Sunday.

— By Anthony Anderson