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Short-Handed Notre Dame Falls to NC State On The Road

By Sean Stires,


NC State beat a short-handed Notre Dame team by a 69-65 score

Down two of its regular players, Notre Dame women’s basketball came up short in a 69-65 loss on Sunday at No. 20 North Carolina State (15-5, 6-4 ACC). The Fighting Irish (17-3, 8-2) trailed by as many as 16 points without the services of Dara Mabrey , who is out for the rest of the season with a knee injury, and Lauren Ebo , who missed her first game of the season with a lower leg injury.

After slow starts in recent games, Notre Dame led 20-15 at the end of the first quarter thanks to a 3 for 6 start and seven first quarter points from Maddy Westbeld . The junior forward finished with a team-high 19 points and 13 rebounds for her first double-double since Dec. 29 at Miami.

Notre Dame’s shooting disappeared in the second quarter, though. They hit just 3 of 13 shots overall, including misses on all seven 3-point tries. NC State used at 8-0 run and led 34-29 at halftime. The Irish missed six of their last seven shots of the half.

After the Irish scored the first points of the second half on a bucket from Westbeld, NC State went on a run, highlighted by a three-pointer from Diamond Johnson , to make it 42-31 with 6:08 to play in the third. They would go up by as many as 16 before the Irish made a late push to get back into the game.

Westbeld hit a pair of 3s for the Irish in the third, but Johnson, who scored a game-high 20 points, matched her both times. Westbeld had 17 points and 10 boards by the end of the quarter.

The Irish made a furious fourth quarter comeback. They got their deficit into single digits for the first time since early in the second quarter when Nat Marshall’s free throw made it 62-53 with 5:48 remaining. Back-to-back triples by Cassandre Prosper , who had 11 points scored in double figures for the second time in her nine games in an Irish uniform, made it a 62-39 game to cap an 11-0 run with 4:27 to play.

The Irish got within two points, but could not push any closer. Olivia Miles , who celebrated her 20th birthday Sunday, finished with 13 points, six rebounds and five assists. Sonia Citron also finished in double figures with 11 points.

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