Notre Dame Women's Basketball: ND women looking good beyond the stats
great to have another game Tuesday or Wednesday to keep the momentum
going. But at the same time, we went a long time without a break. We
just had a stretch where we had four games in nine days. Their bodies
probably need a rest. Mentally, we’re fine. We only took one day off
in that nine-day stretch, and I thought the conditioning looked pretty
good. I was pleased with everything, the attitude, the energy.”
Proud to defend
Notre Dame’s defense has been on an impressive run since the second
half of the Duke game. The Irish trailed, 36-20, and then limited the
No. 6 Blue Devils to 18 points in the second half, rallying from 18
down to win 56-54. That second half is part of a stretch in which the
Irish have limited opponents to 23 points or fewer in eight of their
last nine halves of basketball. The exception was Creighton’s 37
points in the second half of a game that Notre Dame played its
reserves in most of the time after taking a 30-3 lead.
“We take a lot of pride in our defense,” McGraw said. “This team
really surprises me. A lot of teams can really score, but they just
want to outscore teams. They don’t really care about defense. This
team takes so much pride in defense, and the steals.
“There’s a friendly competition on the team about steals, but it’s
pretty intense. They’re all in on it. They want us to be ranked in the
top 10 in steals. They’d like to be No. 1 in the nation in scoring
defense. We’re not close, but it’s a good goal.”
UConn is first in scoring defense, allowing 39.9 points a game. The
Irish rank 48th, giving up 53.8. East Carolina is No. 1 in the nation
in steals at 17.9 a game, but the Irish are No. 6 at 15.9.
Diggins leads the steals race with 33, and Brittany Mallory is second with 30.