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ND Women’s Basketball: No Rest

Laura Myers | Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Notre Dame hasn’t had a lot of time to rest since a physical victory over Pittsburgh Saturday, but when the No. 4/3 Irish step onto the court against Cincinnati tonight at Fifth Third Arena, they will face a Bearcats team that has not played in a week.

“I think a break like that is a good thing, especially in February,” Irish coach Muffet McGraw said. “But when you’re winning, you don’t really want time off. We’re on a roll. We want to keep on going.”

The Irish (21-1, 8-1 Big East) are 6-0 since losing to No. 1 Connecticut on Jan. 16.

The Bearcats (10-11, 3-6) last played in a Feb. 2 overtime victory over Louisville.
In that game, guard Kahla Roudebush was one rebound shy of a triple-double and finished with a line of 19 points, nine rebounds and 10 assists. Guard Sharees Ulis added 23 points.

Cincinnati has four players who average double figures, which could put pressure on a Notre Dame defense that gave up 76 points Saturday.

However, McGraw said the Irish should be able to fix the problem.

“We’re just going to work a little harder,” she said. “I thought our effort was poor in the Pittsburgh game. We didn’t put pressure on the ball, our press wasn’t effective. In general I thought it was mostly effort, so we can fix that right away.”

The Irish have also had trouble rebounding in their last few games, but were able to out-rebound Pittsburgh behind a 10-board effort by freshman guard Skylar Diggins. While the Bearcats trail their opponents in most categories, they do hold an average rebound advantage of 1.5.

“That’s an important part of the game for us,” McGraw said. “We need to get back to the basics of boxing out. Right now, Skylar is coming off of a double-double, [senior guard] Ashley Barlow, [senior guard] Lindsay Schrader and [junior forward] Devereaux Peters are doing great on the boards.”

Notre Dame holds a 5-0 all-time record against Cincinnati, making the Bearcats one of just two Big East opponents, along with Providence, whom the Irish have never lost to.
The Irish will look to continue that streak tonight at 7 p.m. in Cincinnati.

Note:
Freshman guard Skylar Diggins was named Big East Freshman of the Week Monday for the fourth time this season and the third time in the past five weeks.

She joins former Irish players Alicia Ratay and Jacqueline Batteast as the only freshmen to receive this honor four times in a season.

Diggins averaged 18.5 points, 7 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.5 steals per game last week.

Against Pittsburgh Saturday, she set career highs in points (23), rebounds (10) and free throws made and attempted (9-of-11). She also tied a career high with six assists.

“Coming off of the game she just had she had to be a pretty easy choice,” McGraw said. “She just gets better every game. She studies up and does whatever she has to do to help us win.”