Irish rally falls short in 65-59 loss to South Dakota State

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CANCUN, Mexico - Less than 24 hours from its previous game, the Notre Dame women’s basketball squad (4-4) returned to action on Friday, this time taking the floor against South Dakota State (5-2). Trailing by as much as 16 in the third, the Irish rallied all the way back to take the lead at the start of the fourth. When the dust ultimately settled however, the Jackrabbits emerged with the 65-59 victory.

Katlyn Gilbert earned her eighth consecutive game in double figures, leading the Irish in scoring for the fourth time this season with 17 points, connecting on 7-for-11 from the field. Anaya Peoples came close to registering a double-double again, supplying 15 points and eight rebounds. Destinee Walker rounded out the double-digit scorers with 12 points, her sixth on the year.

How It Happened

South Dakota State connected on six of its first eight shots, jumping out to a 15-2 advantage. Katlyn Gilbert ended the team’s 0-for-6 start from the field at the 3:12 mark, as Peoples and Sniezek later built on to the scoring spree to make it a 7-0 run. Walker later hit a pull-up jumper with seven seconds left (as all five starters recorded points in the first) to pull within seven at 18-11 after one.

Next, the Jackrabbits deployed another scoring run to begin a quarter, starting the second on a 6-0 spree. Walker and Peoples then combined for a 6-2 scoring spurt to cut it to 26-17 at the 4:51 mark. However, that marked Notre Dame’s last field goal of the quarter (3-of-13 shooting for the period), as South Dakota State went on to claim a 34-21 halftime lead.

The Jackrabbits built their largest lead of the game at the 7:07 mark in the third, up 40-24. However, the Irish found another gear for the remainder of the quarter, firing off a 21-5 scoring run to tie the game at 45-all heading into the fourth. Gilbert powered the scoring surge with 11 points in the period, followed by six points from Walker. As a whole, the team shot 8-of-12 in the period.

Peoples then kicked off the fourth with an and-one, pushing the Irish ahead 48-45 with 9:21 left. However, the tide turned back in favor of South Dakota State as the Jackrabbits emerged with a 61-54 lead with 1:46 remaining.

With 53 seconds left, Gilbert connected on a jump shot. Then Sniezek took her fourth charge of the game, resulting in a South Dakota State turnover. Five seconds later, Brunelle converted a corner three and it’s a one-possession ballgame, down 61-59.

Out of the timeout, South Dakota State converted on their possession, now up 63-59. Brunelle tried again from three twice more, but couldn’t get them to fall, as the Jackrabbits took it 65-59.

Notes

Notre Dame still leads the overall series, 2-1, against South Dakota State.

The Irish move to 13-2 in Thanksgiving week tournaments/showcases spanning over the last decade (since 2009-10 season)

With a seven-point outing, Brunelle’s record setting double-digit scoring streak comes to an end at seven games. Brunelle was the first Irish player in program history to start her career with seven double-digit scoring games, with the previous record being four.

Gilbert kept her career high double-digit streak rolling with 17 points versus South Dakota State, making it eight games in a row. She also lead the team in scoring for the fourth time this season.

Walker collected her sixth game in double figures with 12 points.

Peoples earned her sixth as well with 15 points. The freshman also tied her season high of four steals.

Sniezek took four successful charges in today’s game.

The Irish forced 22 South Dakota State turnovers, marking the fifth time this season Notre Dame has caused 20+.

Up Next

The Irish wrap their Cancun Challenge week with No. 21 South Florida on Saturday, Nov. 30, at 11 a.m. ET. The game will once again be streamed on FloHoops and be found on Pulse FM.