Photo Credit: Maeve Ryan

Jersey Native Hannah Hidalgo Leads Notre Dame To Third Straight Sweet 16

In the past year, NCAA women’s basketball has taken the world by storm, with players emerging into the spotlight with their play. One of these players is Merchantville, New Jersey native Hannah Hidalgo. The freshman phenom has been electric thus far for Notre Dame, especially considering the shoes she had to fill were those of injured junior point guard Olivia Miles, who missed the entire season due to a knee injury. 

Hidalgo continued her historic season Monday afternoon when Notre Dame took on Ole Miss in the round of 32 at Purcell Pavilion with a trip to the Sweet 16 on the line. 

Coming into this matchup, important factors for the Fighting Irish were to stay out of foul trouble and have the momentum on their side for the whole forty minutes. Notre Dame did just that, being led by their young star. Hidalgo got the party started for the Irish, scoring their first points of the day, and from that point on, the big three of Hidalgo, Sonia Citron, and Maddy Westbeld took over.

Notre Dame came into this matchup with a burst of energy that propelled them to score 21 points and hold Ole Miss to 9 in the first quarter. This same style of play followed the Irish into the second quarter, and even when Ole Miss tried to make a push, the Irish stayed calm and collected. In this half, Hidalgo was a menace on both sides of the court, forcing steals on the defensive side and dishing out assists on the offensive side. 

Heading into the third quarter, Notre Dame had a 17-point lead, and the game was completely in their control. Hidalgo continued to play her game, which was no match for the Ole Miss players and helped Notre Dame reach a 24-point lead in the third quarter.

Everything was going the Irish’s way this game, and a late 8-0 run by the rebels wasn’t going to get in the way of a Notre Dame victory. Hidalgo ended the game with 19 points, 4 assists, and 4 steals in the win to seal a third consecutive Sweet 16 trip for the Irish. Westbeld and Citron ended with 15+ points, making Notre Dame 7-0 when the big three scores 15+.   

Next up for the Fighting Irish and Hidalgo:

A trip to New York’s capital, where they will face three-seeded Oregon State on Friday, where the Irish will look to continue dancing in March. 

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Adriana Leone