Nov 1, 2013, 11:03 AM EDT
The Notre Dame Women’s Basketball team tipped off the season with Wednesday night’s exhibition game against California University of Pennsylvania. In typical fashion, Purcell Pavilion was filled to the rafters as the Irish took down the Vulcans in a 118-49 victory.
As if the score isn’t telling enough, the Irish were dominant to say the least. All players in uniform Wednesday night not only saw action, but scored as well. The absence of seniors Natalie Anchowa, Ariel Braker and Kayla McBride didn’t faze the Irish, as the rest of the team put their talent on display in the 69-point victory.
Veteran guard, Jewell Loyd picked up right where she left off last season. Not only playing well, but also establishing herself as a leader of the young Irish team. Loyd was praised by the home crowd (who roared at the mere mention of her name), as well as by coach Muffet McGraw.
“I thought Jewell played really well,” said McGraw, “She attacked the basket more.”
Attack the basket she did, scoring 27 points in the victory. Fellow veterans Michaela Mabrey (with 15 points) and Markisha Wright (with 16 points) performed just as expected. The sophomore and junior remained the consistent playmakers they were last season. Along with boosting the score, the vets provided advice and direction to the freshman, showing them the ropes while allowing them to find their rhythm.
Wednesday night’s show was most definitely stolen by the freshman foursome. Lindsay Allen, Taya Reimer, Diamond Thompson, and Kristina Nelson started their Notre Dame careers strong, combining for 49 of the night’s 118 points. Nelson and Thompson, although showing promise, struggled to find their rhythm, scoring 9 points between the two. This however, was not the case for Allen or Reimer who combined for a total of 40 points.
Guard Lindsay Allen proved to be the real deal, shaking off the nerves (if there even were any), and within minutes looking like a natural. Composed and focused, Allen raked up 13 points while managing only one turnover. Coach McGraw sung her praises as well.
“I was really pleased with Lindsay Allen. She ran the team well.”
A large part of the team’s success came from leading scorer, Taya Reimer. In her first game for the Irish Reimer put up 27 points, getting off to a near perfect start on offense. The 6-3 forward made her presence known on both sides of the ball, playing physically, and just plain shooting well.
Despite the impressive offensive effort, the team struggled on the other side of the ball.
“I was very disappointed in our defense,” remarked McGraw, “I was very disappointed with everyone on defense.”
However, despite any defensive struggles, it is safe to say that the season ahead looks promising for the Irish. With veterans leading the way, and fresh faces in the mix, the team looks poised for yet another outstanding season.
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