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ND Women’s Basketball: Notre Dame wants to keep its momentum after win over DePaul

Ken Fowler | Friday, January 20, 2006

Two years after Georgetown erased a six-point deficit in the final 55 seconds of Notre Dame’s Big East opener, the Irish return to McDonough Gym for the first time since that loss Saturday at 4 p.m. seeking revenge against the struggling Hoyas.

“I try not to think about it,” Irish coach Muffet McGraw said of Notre Dame’s 76-73 loss on Jan. 7, 2004.

Georgetown (8-8, 1-4 Big East) enters this weekend’s contest having lost four of its last five, while the Irish beat DePaul Tuesday in the Joyce Center to snap their own four-of-five losing streak.

McGraw said Notre Dame (11-5, 2-3 Big East) must build on its performance against the Blue Demons.

“It was a great game, I thought we played really well,” she said. “After watching the game, I thought … we got a lot of good contributions from a lot of people. That’s how you get confidence – by being able to contribute and knowing that play well.”

Senior point guard Megan Duffy scored 28 points, grabbed eight rebounds and doled out nine assists in the win.

The Irish went with a new look in the starting lineup against DePaul, and McGraw said the motivational tool paid off.

Charel Allen earned her first start of the year, scoring five points, and Breona Gray came off the bench and added 10 points in 31 minutes of action.

Post presence Lindsay Schrader scored nine points and brought down nine rebounds off the bench in the 78-75 win over tenth-ranked DePaul.

“I was trying to motivate her, and she thinks she answered the call,” McGraw said. “If you can’t score around the basket, it’s really tough to rely on that outside shot security.”

McGraw said she hopes for the same sort of offensive and defensive performance from her reserves Saturday.

“The offense, I think we need to keep that up,” she said. “I think we have to have that balance. … We just going to try to build on that and play well defensively.”

Notre Dame’s focus on the defensive end will be sophomore Hoya forward Kieraah Marlow, who leads Georgetown with 16.5 points per game.

“We can’t feel too good about ourselves [after the win against DePaul],” McGraw said. “And I think we’re ready to do that.”


u McGraw said she is still undecided on the starting five for Saturday.

“I think Duffy will start,” McGraw quipped. “It’s up for grabs.”

u Georgetown is averaging just 414 fans per home game this year at McDonough Gym, and McGraw said that could play a factor in the game.

“It’s hard to play in an atmosphere like that,” she said. “Even when the crowd’s against you, it’s night to have a crowd. It’s more like a high-school gym.”

u The Baltimore Sun reported Wednesday that McDonough High School (Pornfret, Mary.) senior guard Brittany Mallory, a perennial all-league selection in Baltimore, verbally committed to Notre Dame.

NCAA regulations prohibit coaches from commenting on recruits until national signing day.