Sonia Citron returns in the 61-57 loss to UNC

NOW: Sonia Citron returns in the 61-57 loss to UNC

SOUTH BEND, Ind – The Irish fall to 10-3 after a tough loss to North Carolina.

Notre Dame's share of injuries continues but it was bittersweet with the return of Sonia Citron.

Citron was in the starting lineup in her first game back since injuring her right leg on November 15, 2023 vs Northwestern.

It was a slow start as the Irish allowed UNC to go on a 6-0 run and Notre Dame struggled shooting the ball finishing 31% for the game. The struggles continued from 3pt range. In her first game back, Citron was the best 3pt shooter (3-7) and finished the game 18 points in 38 minutes.

Leading the pack for the Irish was none other than Hannah Hidalgo. The freshman notched 17 points and 11 rebounds in the loss.

Defensively, Notre Dame slowed down the Tar Heels guard Deja Kelly (6 points) but had their hands full with Lexi Donarski (13 points) and Indya Nivar (16 points).

Head coach Niele Ivey played just a 6 player rotation in Thursday's game after scratching Maddy Westbeld, who suffered a concussion injury in their last game against Pittsburg.

"Tough, honestly, tough, tough, tough loss today. I thought it came down to a couple possessions. I thought that we had, you know, great fight had moments and we started off slow in the first quarter. But then I thought we had good moments of coming back defensively and actually executing offensively, especially in the second half," Ivey said.

"On the bright side, just excited that Sony Citron's back, I was really proud of her fight for the last seven weeks for her to come back. But also come into this game, you know, barely practicing, playing 37 minutes and being our leading scorer. As you can see, she's our glue," Ivey added.

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