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ND Women’s Basketball

Staff Predictions: ND Women’s Basketball

, , and | Thursday, March 19, 2015

Greg Hadley


When Connecticut tore apart Notre Dame in last year’s NCAA title game, the Irish missed injured forward Natalie Achonwa sorely. When the Huskies repeated the dominating performance this year at Purcell Pavilion, the Irish once again felt the loss of their top rebounder, Brianna Turner.

But anyone who thinks one player was the difference between victory and defeat for the Irish in these contests wasn’t paying attention. The Huskies’ size in the post was and is more than Turner or any other single player can contain. There is only one team in the country that can beat Notre Dame. Unfortunately, that only means more heartbreak for Muffet McGraw and her squad.

PREDICTION: Notre Dame loses to Connecticut in the title game.

Samantha Zuba

Senior Sports Writer

After the Irish lost to Connecticut in last season’s championship, they lost key pieces of their title game run.

Kayla McBride and Natalie Achonwa graduated. But Notre Dame gained a talented freshman class who contributed immediately. Michaela Mabrey stepped into a starting role. Taya Reimer and Brianna Turner have provided a solid post presence, and Jewell Loyd has been nearly impossible to stop.

Once again, the Irish have what it takes to reach the championship game. This time around, they’ll have their revenge against Connecticut, both for last season’s title game and for a loss earlier this season.

After getting tougher as the season wore on, the Irish look ready for a championship.

PREDICTION: Notre Dame defeats Connecticut in the title game.

Mary Green

Assistant Managing Editor

Last year, the Irish were doomed as soon as Natalie Achonwa went down. Without her, they couldn’t stack up against Connecticut’s bigs in the championship game.

The Irish couldn’t be so unlucky two tournaments in a row.

Brianna Turner wasn’t on the court during Notre Dame’s first loss this season, a beatdown from the Huskies. Taya Reimer was absent from the second Irish defeat, an upset at the hands of Miami.

With those two players, Notre Dame is simply a different team.

Reimer has played full-throttle in the second half of the season, and Turner is as strong as she’s been all season. That in-the-zone duo will guide the Irish past the Huskies and to the championship in Tampa.

PREDICTION: Notre Dame defeats Connecticut in the title game.

Renee Griffin

Sports Writer

The Notre Dame team of today is not nearly the same one that met Connecticut in last year’s tournament, but it’s not the one that fell to the Huskies in December either — and not just because of the presence of Brianna Turner. The Irish haven’t lost since Jan. 8, and still Muffet McGraw insists they have their best basketball ahead of them.

All season long, Notre Dame showcased the offensive firepower provided by Turner, Taya Reimer, Lindsay Allen and of course Jewell Loyd.

When the Irish combine that with the improvements in defense and discipline they made at the back end of the season, they’ll finally be able to beat the Huskies and anyone else they come across on their path to an NCAA title.

PREDICTION: Notre Dame defeats Connecticut in the title game.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

About Greg Hadley

Greg Hadley is a senior from Rockville, Maryland, majoring in political science with a minor in Journalism, Ethics and Democracy. He served as The Observer's Editor-in-Chief for the 2015-2016 term and currently covers Notre Dame baseball and women's basketball.

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About Samantha Zuba

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About Mary Green

Current Assistant Managing Editor, former Sports Editor of The Observer | Follow Mary on Twitter: @maryegreen15

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About Renee Griffin

Notre Dame senior, formerly of Farley Hall. Originally from Lake Zurich, IL, majoring in American Studies with a minor in Journalism, Ethics and Democracy. Enjoys talkin' about practice.

Contact Renee