Sports, Winter, Basketball, Women's Basketball

No. 18 Notre Dame Hands Eagles 50-point Loss, 98–48

Halfway through the first quarter, Boston College women’s basketball led No. 18 Notre Dame 9–8. The Eagles kept pace with the Irish in the early minutes, and the game was back and forth. Then, the Irish flipped a switch. Notre Dame built its lead to one, 10, 20, 30, 40, then 50. The Eagles scored a season-low 48 points in their biggest loss of the season.    

“I would say it was as unlucky as it gets,” BC head coach Joanna Bernabei-McNamee said. “We couldn’t see the ball go in. For a lot of the game, I thought we still played hard on the defensive end and got after it.”

Hannah Hidalgo led a dominant Irish offense. Notre Dame (11–3, 2–2 Atlantic Coast) shot 56.9 percent from the field. The Irish took advantage of opportunities in the paint and forced BC (9–8, 1–3) into fouls and mistakes, while the Eagles made only a single three. 

Within a minute of the game, Notre Dame led 4–0, as the Irish were strong on transition and BC struggled to land its shots. In her first game back after suffering a concussion, Notre Dame’s Maddy Westbeld quickly opened the scoring for the Fighting Irish. 

Andrea Daley scored the Eagles’ first points with 7:30 left in the first quarter, and Westbeld responded with a three to give Notre Dame an 8–2 lead. 

Teya Sidberry nailed a 3-pointer, followed by a steal by Kaylah Ivey, but the Eagles couldn’t convert on the following chance. 

Sidberry continued her hot streak with five points in a row to bring BC within one. With 4:23 left to play in the first quarter, Nene Ndiaye gave BC its first lead of the game, bringing the Eagles to a 9–8 advantage. 

KK Bransford nailed a jumper for Notre Dame to make it 10–9, and a steal by Hidalgo—the leader in the NCAA in steals per game—widened Notre Dame’s lead. At the end of the first quarter, the Eagles trailed 14–11.

BC started the second quarter by forcing a turnover but failed to convert. Following a successful layup, Bransford made it a five-point Irish lead a minute in.

Anna DeWolfe and Hidalgo scored in succession, opening the gap to 10 points, as the Irish dominated 23–13 with seven minutes to go in the half.

Notre Dame continued to shut down the Eagles’ offense. The Irish went on an 11–0 run in the second quarter, leading the Eagles 27–13 with 5:42 left in the quarter.    

“You gotta control what you can control, and in my opinion, we did not do a good job in this game controlling the rebound,” Bernabei-McNamee said. “That’s something I thought we could have done a better job of.” 

Daley scored the Eagles’ first points of the quarter at 4:47. Hidalgo, who went on to lead the Fighting Irish with 27 points, quickly responded with a layup. 

The Eagles settled for shooting 3-pointers, which they failed to convert, only going 1 of 11 from downtown in the first half. 

The quarter ended with complete Irish domination, as Notre Dame led BC 39–20 and held the Eagles to eight points in the quarter. 

Sonia Citron opened the scoring for Notre Dame in the second half, propelling the Fighting Irish to a 41–19 lead. Sidberry later assisted Dontavia Waggoner in an easy transition layup to start the Eagles’ offense. 

Citron and Westbeld hit back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Irish a 57–25 lead over BC. Notre Dame continued to pile on points, and the Eagles couldn’t keep up. 

“It’s hard to be positive in this type of game but negativity never brings any good to anybody so you have to get to neutral,” Bernabei-McNamee said. 

Quickly into the fourth quarter, the Notre Dame lead reached 40.

“We didn’t compete hard enough with their size,” Bernabei-McNamee said. “That’s something we have to grow and get better at.”

The Eagles were also hurt on the line, shooting 5 of 11. Comparatively, Notre Dame converted 19 of its 26 attempts from the line. 

Waggoner stayed aggressive and led the Eagles offense. She put up 12 points and six rebounds. 

Bransford sealed off the Fighting Irish victory with a free throw that gave Notre Dame a 50-point lead to end the game 98–48. 

“We weren’t very good today, and the majority of that came from we didn’t make a shot,” Bernabei-McNamee said. “We had pretty good looks, and we just did not make them. Credit to Notre Dame for being a really good team … we’re gonna continue to say that we’re gonna continue to grow from these losses.”

January 12, 2024