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Notre Dame Looks to Keep Dancing Through the Sweet Sixteen

Written by: Jhett Garrett | Writer | Twitter/X: @JhettGarrett


Photo - University of Notre Dame Athletics


The Notre Dame women’s basketball team won both games during the open weekend of the NCAA Tournament, taking them into the Sweet Sixteen for a matchup with the Oregon State Beavers.



The Beavers came into the tournament as the number 12 team in the country, and a three-seed for the remainder of March. Following wins against Eastern Washington and Nebraska, they are set up for a date with the number nine ranked Fighting Irish.


The Irish currently ride a ten-game win streak and are led by freshman phenom Hannah Hidalgo. The New Jersey guard is averaging 16.5 points, 7.5 assists, three rebounds, and five steals through the first two games of the tournament, all while shooting 44% from the field. She has yet to score in single figures all season. With Oregon State lacking a true guard that will be able to handle the way Hidalgo plays defense, the Irish can create turnovers and run the floor in transition.


If the pressure that Hidalgo brings on both sides of the ball isn’t enough, it will be Sonia Citron who puts the nail in the coffin. In the Round of 64, Citron scored 29 points, brought in six rebounds, and four assists. She did this on a 13-20 shooting clip. Two days later, she scored 17 points, with 10 rebounds, and six assists. Averaging 23 points per game, Citron has been pivotal for the Irish on the path to another National Championship.



For Notre Dame to extend their season to the Elite Eight, it is going to have to be inside the paint, rather than outside. Oregon State is led by 6’4 sophomore Raegan Beers and 6’3 sophomore Timea Gardner. Together, they average 28.9 points per game and 16.9 rebounds. However, if the Irish can get the production out of Maddy Westbeld that she had in the Ole Miss game, they will cruise.


The 6’3 junior scored 20 points and pulled in five rebounds while poking two steals and blocking two shots. Westbeld, a Kettering, Ohio native, is averaging 14.2 points per game, 8.9 rebounds, and shooting 45.8% from the field. The huge part of having Westbeld against Oregon State is going to be her ability to spread the floor and shoot the three-ball. She’s shooting 37.3% from beyond the arc this season and went 2-3 against the Rebels in the Round of 32. It is going to be a tough matchup for Notre Dame, but Maddy Westbeld gives them the best chance to win.


Should the Irish get through the Beavers, they will have a matchup with either the in-state foe Indiana Hoosiers or familiar opponent South Carolina Gamecocks on Sunday.




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