NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Notre Dame women’s basketball squad (10-14, 5-7) won its third game in a row after prevailing over the Pittsburgh Panthers (4-19, 1-11), 74-52, completing the season sweep. Despite missing nearly the entire third quarter due to foul trouble, Destinee Walker still finished with a game-high 24 points, connecting on 4-of-7 from three.
Katlyn Gilbert continued to be rock-steady with a solid 17-point outing to go with her six rebounds and five assists. Sam Brunelle also reached double figures with 10 points, connecting on multiple treys for the ninth time over the last 10 games.
The Irish reached 50 rebounds for the third time this season as Mikki Vaughn led the way with 10 boards. Katie Cole, Marta Sniezek and Gilbert also combined for 17 rebounds. In addition, the Irish converted a season best nine treys as Cosgrove tied her career high of two three-pointers.
“First time we out-rebounded a team in awhile and that was key for us today. Destinee really played well – 24 points in 25 minutes. When she plays well, we play well,” Karen & Kevin Keyes Family head coach Muffet McGraw stated.
How It Happened
Gilbert scored the first five points for the Irish before Pitt was able to produce a 7-0 run to go up 10-5. The Irish immediately countered thanks to two and-ones from Walker, with a Cosgrove trey mixed in as well, thus regaining the lead at 14-10. However, the Panthers were able to fire off another 7-0 run to end the quarter up 17-14.
Brunelle, who only played two minutes in the first after acquiring two fouls, made an immediate impact starting the second, converting back-to-back treys within the first minute to tie the game at 20-all. Yet, Brunelle picked up her third foul at the 7:48 mark and sat the remainder of the first half.
In her absence, Walker and Gilbert combined for 14 of the team’s 18 final points of the half. Walker boasted 14 points at the break while Gilbert supplied 11 of her own. On the defensive side, the Irish held Pitt to without a field goal from 9:32-3:07, garnering a 38-31 advantage at the midway point.
Foul trouble continued to badger the Irish in the second half when Walker went to the bench with four fouls at 8:38 in the third. In Walker’s absence, the Irish received a pretty balanced attack for the period, receiving scoring contributions from Sniezek, Walker, Brunelle, Cosgrove and Gilbert – all resulting in a 58-48 lead heading to the fourth.
The Irish completely locked down the Panthers in the fourth quarter, starting the period on a 14-0 scoring run before Pitt finally got on the board with 1:35 remaining. Walker returned to the lineup two minutes into the period and made an immediate impact once more, scoring eight quick points behind two treys and a layup.
The crowd and home bench alike erupted at the 1:03 mark, when volleyball product and newly acquired Kristin Baer entered the game and scored her first career basket.
Today marked the 32nd meeting between Notre Dame and Pitt. The Irish lead the all-time series 29-3, with a 14-0 mark at home.
Gilbert tallied her team best 21st double-digit scoring effort with 17 points.
Walker logged her 19th game in double figures with 24 points. It also marked her team best seventh game with 20+ points.
Walker ultimately scored 24 points in 25 minutes of play.
Vaughn collected her third double-digit rebounding game of the season after reeling in 10 boards, one shy of her career high.
Brunelle logged her 18th game in double figures with 10 points behind two treys.
Brunelle converted multiple treys for the ninth time over the last 10 games, knocking down 2-of-7 this afternoon.
The Irish earned three straight wins for the first time this season.
Cole tied her career high in rebounds with five.
The Irish look to exact some revenge on the road when they travel to Boston College on Thursday, Feb. 13. Tip is set for 7 p.m. ET on ACCNX.