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No. 9 Louisville routs Irish, 82-49

| Monday, February 17, 2020

The Notre Dame women’s basketball team faced off against the No. 9 University of Louisville on the road Sunday. The Irish women were unsuccessful in the game, losing to the Cardinals 49-82. This leaves the Irish with an overall record of 10-16 and 5-9 in conference play.

This was the team’s last road game before an upcoming three-game home stretch. Irish head coach Muffet McGraw is looking to finish the season with as close to a winning record as possible. The Irish women have made a lot of progress since the start of the year, growing both as individuals and as a unit.

Hannah Huelskamp | The Observer
Irish junior center Mikayla Vaughn plays defense in the post during Notre Dame’s 76-53 win over Miami on Feb. 8.

A few Irish players stood out among the crowd Sunday. Among these was junior Mikayla Vaughn. The center was the highest scorer for the Irish, putting up 16 of the Irish’s 49 total points. She was 8-10 from the field, making her the highest percentage scorer on the team. 

Also putting up significant points for the Irish was grad-transfer Destinee Walker. The 5-10 guard put up 12 points and four rebounds against the Cardinals.

Walker has been an integral part of this Irish team’s system and efficiency this season. McGraw has, on multiple occasions, expressed the importance of Walker’s shooting ability to the team. A player who can hit the three ball is a major part of any successful program.

One of the biggest drawbacks of this game was the number of turnovers committed by the Irish. The Irish allowed 13 turnovers in the first half alone. To complement this, Louisville scored 24 of their points off of turnovers. Their ability to score in transition was a major strength in their victory.

With a much deeper roster than Notre Dame, the Cardinals had 33 points scored by bench players, compared to zero from Irish bench players. 

The Irish starting five each played for at least 29 minutes, leaving very little playing time to their three subs. After losing so many of last year’s starters, it feels strange to watch the Irish struggle to field an uninjured, fully operating starting five.

Unfortunately, this loss against the Cardinals did not paint an unfamiliar picture for the Irish women. This is the 11th time that the Irish have lost by 10 or more points this season.

With that, the Irish are looking to close the season off with a bang. A three-game home stretch under the lights at Purcell Pavilion is sure to send these women in the right direction.

The next game for the Notre Dame women is against the Virginia Tech Cavaliers. The game will be played at home Thursday. The game is set to be a hard fought battle and a test of this team’s ability to overcome adversity.

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