Jan 17, 2014, 1:54 PM EDT
Rachel Murphy, an official 2013-14 basketball beat writer for the In The Paint blog, is currently a sophomore at St. Mary’s College. Over the course of the year Rachel will bring you insight from within the student section, interviews with Fighting Irish players and stories from inside the team circle. You can follow Rachel (and the rest of the Notre Dame student beat writing staff) on twitter at @JrNDBloggers.
Notre Dame women’s basketball has come to play this season. Not only are the ladies showing up, but they are showing out. You could call it an all out domination.
Starting the season with an exhibition game victory of a comfortable 69 points, the Irish have kept that momentum going. Besides being 16-0 on the season, the women are working to extend their, so far, perfect 3-0 record in ACC play. In their sixteen games played thus far, the Irish have come out on top by an average of almost 32 points. Not too shabby.
Perhaps more impressive than their record, is the strength of the Irish freshman. Taya Reimer, Kristina Nelson and Lindsay Allen — all of whom were ranked in the top 75 players in the nation in high school—have lived up to their hype. Each have seen time in nearly every game and on top of that have made their presence known on both sides of the ball. They’ve put up points for the Irish while also helping to contain opponents.
As always, the Irish have been led by their big three: Kayla McBride, Natalie Anchowa and Jewell Loyd. Seniors McBride and Anchowa have taken leadership roles on the team, consistently putting up big numbers and anchoring the defense. Jewel Loyd has time and again assumed her position as the explosive component to the Irish offense. Together, all three ladies are the backbone of the Irish, and will continue to be throughout the tough season.
Playing their first year in the ACC, the Irish are looking poised to be one of the top teams, however this wont come without some challenges. The Irish schedule contains some hurdles that will prove to test the 2nd ranked Irish.
Maryland at College Park
January 27 @ 7:00 pm
The Irish are set to take on the 6th ranked (at time of publication) Terps on their home court. Maryland plays like a top-ten team every week, however they have some consistency issues. The Irish should be able to contain them however Notre Dame’s success just depends on which Maryland team shows up.
Duke in Durham
February 2 @ 2:00 pm
The Irish will face the 3rd ranked (at time of publication) Blue Devils for the first time in North Carolina. Playing at Duke is a challenge for any team. It is a hard arena to come into and win at, however the Irish are equipped to do so. Freshman point guard Lindsay Allen will be crucial for this win. If she shows up and maintains control of the court, she is a force to be reckoned with.
Duke at Purcell Pavilion
February 23 @ 1:00 pm
The Blue Devils will come back to play the Irish on their turf later that month. The first matchup will have an impact no matter which way it goes. If the Irish win, they could carry that momentum and build upon it in their home arena. If the Irish lose, they will play with a chip on their shoulder. That, accompanied by one of the best women’s college basketball home crowds in the nation, should give the Irish every advantage to take down Duke.
The Irish are set to play at Tennessee this upcoming Monday in the hopes of continuing their winning streak. Tip off is at 7:00 pm ET.
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