December 1, 2023 

Locked On Women’s Basketball: Hannah Hidalgo’s impact and what to watch for in the ACC

Notre Dame takes down Tennessee, lessons from UNC vs South Carolina, and much more

As we enter the back half of the non-conference season, it’s time to take a look at the ACC and how its teams have faired so far. On today’s episode of Locked On Women’s Basketball, host Natalie Heavren is joined by ACC beat writer Mitchell Northam to look at who’s making the biggest impact at this stage, including Notre Dame’s star freshman Hannah Hidalgo.

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After last week’s ACC/SEC challenge, Northam says he came away impressed by Notre Dame’s winning performance against Tennessee: “To go on the road and to play that game without Olivia Miles and Sonia Citron and prosper — they came back from being 16 points down,” Northam said. “It really proved that to me even without those key players, this is still a team that’s going to be reckoned with in the ACC with Hannah Hidalgo and Maddy Westbeld leading the way.”

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In just her first season with the Fighting Irish, Hidalgo has already become a key player. Over seven games, she’s averaging 23.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and 5.7 assists per game, already making a compelling case for ACC Rookie of the Year.

“She’s somebody that’s going to be reckoned with and I’m fascinated to see what this Notre Dame team looks like, if and when Miles does come back, and if and when Sonia Citron does come back,” Northam said. “They just have all these really good guards now. So in the meantime, I think they’ll be fine with Hannah Hidalgo running things, but should Miles and Citron return in ACC play? I think that’s gonna worry a lot of opponents.”

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Northam and Heavren also discussed how Florida State can rebound from their blowout loss to Arkansas, a standout performance from UNC’s Alyssa Ustby against South Carolina, and how NC State has continued to succeed despite multiple transfers in the offseason. They also covered games to look out for in the remaining non-conference season, ACC representation in the Hall of Fame showcase, and key questions as we look toward the regular season.

Tune in to the episode to hear all about what’s happening in the ACC, and check out our coverage of the conference at The Next for even more updates and stories. Make sure to subscribe to the Locked On Women’s Basketball podcast to keep learning about women’s college basketball, the WNBA, basketball history and much more!

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