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Womens Hoops: Irish win, coach still not pleased

Joe Hettler | Monday, November 10, 2003

Irish coach Muffet McGraw wasn’t satisfied with her team’s play against Team Concept Sunday afternoon, despite Notre Dame’s 78-43 victory.

“Overall I was not as pleased as I was last game,” McGraw said. “Offensively we didn’t execute quite as well, and we didn’t run the ball quite as well. Defensively I thought we had more lapses then last game.”

Katy Fleck hit 9-of-11 shots for 21 points and grabbed seven rebounds and Courtney LaVere had 14 points and nine rebounds to lead Notre Dame to its second exhibition win of the preseason.

“I think we see a lot of things we need to work, and that’s what you really want to get out of a game like this,” McGraw said.

Team Concept was made up of predominantly Hungarian players and played a physical game against Notre Dame. The Irish play strong inside, but McGraw said her team needs to improve its toughness.

“I feel like we aren’t as tough as we need to be,” McGraw said. “That was a much more physical game then it needed to be. It was a great test for us mentally, because we got hit a lot, and I didn’t think we responded well.”

The Irish played solid defense and held Team Concept to only 23.3 percent shooting in the first half and 28.3 percent for the game. Notre Dame had 18 steals, led by Jacqueline Batteast’s four, and forced 29 turnovers.

McGraw said she was pleased with her team’s rebounding as the Irish won the battle of the boards 52-36. Batteast and freshman Crystal Erwin lead the Irish with 11 and 10 rebounds, respectively. Erwin scored nine points in 21 minutes.

The contest was sloppy at times, and several players for both teams took hard falls and got inadvertently hit in the face. Notre Dame’s Megan Duffy went down hard with just over seven minutes left in the game and did not return.

Notre Dame jumped out to a 17-6 lead with about 14 minutes left in the first half on a Flecky layup. That lead was extended to 30-11 with just over six minutes left in the half, and Notre Dame went into intermission leading 40-21.

The teams went back and forth for much of the second half before Notre Dame began padding its lead late in the half.

McGraw said the key in preparing for its opening game against Auburn Nov. 14 is finding consistency in their play.

“[Consistency] was our problem all last year,” McGraw said.

“I think you’ve already seen that. We’ve had two games and had different people play well and you want to know [who’s going to play well].”