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Notre Dame Women's Basketball Pounds Clemson 74-47

Sonia Citron scored 14 of her team-high 16 points in the first half to lead the Irish to Thursday night's lopsided win over visiting Clemson
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Notre Dame, Ind. - Notre Dame needed a game like this. After a four-game stretch of grinding and sometimes ugly games, the Fighting Irish (20-6, 10-5) unleashed their fury on Clemson in a 74-47 win Thursday night at Purcell Pavilion.

Sonia Citron led five Fighting Irish players in double figures with 16 points. The junior scored 14 in a first half that saw her hit all four of her shots, two of them 3-pointers, and all four of her free throw attempts. Citron hit her first shot of the second half as well and her only miss was a third-quarter 3-point try.

The Irish started the game in a 14-4 early hole as Clemson (11-16, 4-11) came out shooting hot, hitting 5 of its first 8 shots. That included a pair of 3s from Amari Robinson. But Notre Dame followed with a 7-0 run, capped by the team’s first 3 of the night from Citron to tie the game at 16-16.

The Irish trailed 18-16 at the end of the quarter, but another 7-0 run in the second quarter gave them a 28-22 lead. Kylee Watson hit a pair of buckets in the run to give Notre Dame its biggest lead to that point. Watson just missed double figures with nine points with five rebounds and a pair of blocked shots.

Leading 37-27 at halftime, the Fighting Irish offense exploded in the third quarter. Maddy Westbeld and Hannah Hidalgo each scored seven points to help outscore the Tigers 22-9 to blow the game open in the quarter. Westbeld had 13 points and 12 rebounds on the night for her 10th double-double of the season.

Hidalgo matched her season-low with 10 points, but she dished out eight assists. One of them came on a highlight halfcourt bounce pass to Anna DeWolfe to make it 53-32 in a 14-3 Irish run. DeWolfe’s night ended with 12 points. KK Bransford rounded out Notre Dame’s double-digit scorers with 12 points as well.

Notre Dame entered the night tied with North Carolina for sixth place in the ACC standings and they remained tied after the Tar Heels upset sixth-ranked NC State 80-70 in Chapel Hill. If the season ended today, the Irish would be the No. 7 seed in the ACC Tournament due to North Carolina’s regular season win at Purcell Pavilion.

The Irish have three games remaining. They close out their road schedule this Sunday at Boston College and host first place Virginia Tech next Thursday and fourth place Louisville a week from Sunday. NC State and Louisville are both 11-4 in the conference, while Florida State is 11-5.

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