ND Women’s Basketball
Notre Dame prepares to take on DePaul in first away game of season
Courtney Becker | Friday, November 16, 2018
The No. 1 Irish will face both their first road test and ranked opponent of the season against No. 15 DePaul in Chicago on Saturday.
Notre Dame (2-0) is coming off a 75-55 win over Pennsylvania on Monday, a night when they continued to celebrate the program’s second national title by hanging its 2018 championship banner from the rafters at Purcell Pavilion. Despite the festivities and 20-point victory, Irish head coach Muffet McGraw said after the game she was not impressed by her team’s performance, particularly on offense.
“Our inability to execute against the zone was something that we really have to work on — well, actually we don’t have to work on it, we’re not good at it,” she said. “We have a lot of issues right now.”
One of the problems McGraw pointed to was the absence of senior guard Marina Mabrey, who has been sidelined all season with a reported leg injury. Missing the team’s top 3-point shooter in Mabrey showed beyond the arc, as the Irish shot 13 percent from deep in the first half.
“We need another guard,” McGraw said. “I thought Abby came in and gave us great energy on defense, but we need another guard. … I think we really miss Marina.”
McGraw classified Mabrey’s condition as “day-to-day,” emphasizing that the team is “going to be patient because it’s early in the year” and they do not want to exacerbate the injury.
Without Mabrey, McGraw said she would like to get the ball inside to Brianna Turner more frequently, as the graduate student forward is “capable of a double-double every night.” Turner notched her second in as many games against Pennsylvania, putting up 16 points and grabbing 10 rebounds on the night after getting 11 and 11 in the season opener against Harvard on Nov. 9.
Notre Dame’s bigs have a history of playing well against DePaul (1-0). The last time the Irish took on the Blue Demons, senior forward Jessica Shepard posted a career-high 39 points to go along with 11 rebounds on the way to a 91-82 victory.
The Irish will be the first big test for the Blue Demons, who are coming off a 73-64 win over Green Bay on Nov. 9, since they exited the 2018 NCAA Tournament with an 80-79 second-round loss to Texas A&M — the team Notre Dame went on to defeat in the Sweet 16.
Notre Dame will face DePaul on Saturday in Chicago. Tip-off is scheduled for 2 p.m.