No. 3 Notre Dame Crushes Ferris State 92-32 In Exhibition Opener


It’s not always easy to simulate a regular season matchup in an exhibition game. For the No. 3 Notre Dame Fighting Irish women, the competition may not have been what they’ll face in the ACC; but the fans did their best to give them that excitement from the crowd in the 92-32 drubbing of Division II Ferris State.

The second largest audience to see a preseason game, 8,174, watched the Irish move up and down the floor with the same torrid pace they have the last few seasons, and the defense once again was the key.

The Irish opened with a 29-0 run, forcing Ferris State to miss its first 12 shots, while turning the ball over nine times before Bulldog reserve Christina Branch scored their first points at the 10:12 mark of the first half. The junior All-American Jewell Loyd looked every bit the part, scoring 20 points on nine of 10 shooting, adding eight rebounds in her 16 minutes. 

Coach Muffet McGraw has praised her front court players all preseason, and they did not disappoint in their first outing. Freshmen Brianna Turner logged a double-double in her first game (13 points, 10 rebounds), while her post partner Taya Reimer had 10 points and 11 rebounds, and blocked five shots.

Junior captain Michaela Mabrey didn’t miss a beat, picking up right where she left off last season. Mabrey connected on four-of-eight three-pointers for 12 points. The Irish shot 48.6 percent from the field, with a stellar 61.1 in the first half. They also outrebounded the Bulldogs 51-30, while forcing 32 turnovers.

Coach McGraw was very pleased with the performance, but felt like the defense still had a lot of holes they needed to fill before the regular season begins. The rebounding should be a point of dominance for the Irish this year, even with the loss of Natalie Achonwa and Ariel Braker to graduation. Turner, Reimer, and Markisha Wright should all be able to contribute on the boards, and are very quick and talented post players that can help keep the fast pace Muffet likes to run.

The Irish open up their regular season on November 14 , when they welcome Umass Lowell to the Purcell Pavillion for a 6 p.m. tip.