Win for the Seniors! That is what is on the mind of teammates on Senior Day. It’s even better when those being celebrated participate in the win. Katie Cole and Marta Sniezek dressed up one more time for the Irish at home. The pair contributed to the win in various ways. Sniezek took a charge that gave her a season total of 32 with one game to go. Sniezek also dished out fourteen assists in the win. Cole contributed with four rebounds, one assist and one block.
Sam Brunelle opened up the Irish scoring, and scored four of the seven points to start the game. Destinee Walker was the part of the tandem that gave the Irish an early 7-0 lead. The pair combined for sixteen of the Irish twenty on points of the first quarter. Walker was on fire as she drilled two additional three pointers including a buzzer better to end the first. Katlyn Gilbert contributed with four points. The closest the Tar Heels would come to the Irish is two points with 0:17 left in the first quarter. Defensively, Mikayla Vaughn had three defensive rebounds, a steal and two blocked shot. The Irish were 8-15 or 53.3% from the field, 3-4 from three-point range. The first quarter was very efficient for the Irish as they won the first quarter 21-16.
Brunelle once again opened up the quarter with points. This time she did from beyond the arc, followed by a layup. The three pointer brought Purcell Pavilion to it’s feet. But it wasn’t Brunelle who ultimately Purcell Pavilion over in the second quarter. Danielle Cosgrove was the one who fans were cheering for. Cosgrove drained her three pointers within three minutes. Brunelle finished out the second quarter with sevens points, Gilbert had four and Walker finished with two. Once again the offense worked very efficiently again in the second quarter. The Irish were 9-17 or 52.9% from the field, 4-6 from three-point range.
Defensively Brunelle excelled. Grabbing four defensive rebounds, and a block. Walker contributed two defensive rebounds, Kaitlin Cole had one defensive rebound along with Cosgrove. The Irish matched their first quarter tally with a 21-16 quarter score and go into the locker room with a 43-32 lead.
Coming out of the locker room, the Irish needed only to make an adjustment on defense. Offensively the Irish were a fine tuned machine. Gilbert put the first four points on the board for the Irish. Not only did Gilbert score those points, she ended up leading the team for the quarter with eleven points including three free throws and an assist. Defensively Gilbert had four rebounds and a steal. That was a total effort on Gilbert’s part. If there was a stepping out moment this was Gilbert’s moment.
The Irish defense played very aggressive. Allowing the offense to go on a 14-3 run during the first five minutes of the quarter in which their lead grew to twenty two points. The Irish defense only allowed nine points the remainder of the quarter. The Irish would win the third quarter 23-14 and go into the fourth quarter with a 66-46 score. As a team they shot fifty percent from the field. Another solid performance in a team effort.
The fourth quarter points doesn’t tell the whole story of how the quarter was played by the Irish. By the mid-point of the fourth quarter, two of the five starters (Brunelle and Vaughn) were on the bench for the Irish while the Tar Heels had all five starters on the court. By the 1:30 mark Coach McGraw emptied the bench and the subs made an appearance. Kathleen Keyes made an impact right away as she scored on a jumper that brought Brunelle to her feet in excitement. Catherine Murdock also made a lay up that brought Purcell Pavilion to it’s feet. The Irish finish the game with a final score of 83-65.
Players Of The Game
This game there were multiple stand outs that need to be recognized. When the team as a whole shots 52.4% (33-63 a season high), makes 60% of their free throws, and 47.1% from beyond the arc, it’s a total team recognition. The team had thirty points in the paint, thirty seven points from the bench and a season high twenty six assists, those are numbers to bank on for the future.