Brianna Turner Returns As No. 5 Irish Top St. Joseph’s, 64-50


After missing three games due to a shoulder injury, it was nice to see Brianna Turner back for the No. 5 Notre Dame Fighting Irish. She clearly enjoyed being back as she scored a game-high 19 points as the Irish topped coach Muffet McGraw’s alma mater Saint Joseph’s 64-50 at Purcell Pavillion on Sunday.

Wearing a black brace on her right shoulder, Turner seemed to show no effects from the injury picking up where she left off before the injury. Coach McGraw was ecstatic to have her back on the court for the Irish (11-1).

"“She definitely changes the game for us,” McGraw said. “We’ve really missed that over the last few games.”"

After jumping out to an early 8-0 lead, the Hawks (3-7) rallied to take a seven point lead halfway through the first half. Coach McGraw got on her girls, and the defensive effort took a noticeable upswing, as they went on a 26-7 run to take a 12-point lead into halftime. Another 8-0 start to a half put the Irish up 20. Jewell Loyd added 16 points for the Irish in the win.

The Irish caught the Hawks in the middle of a tough stretch, as they’ve lost four out of five, and seven straight on the road going back to last season – the worst skid in program history. But that didn’t keep them from pushing the Irish, and the Hawks got 16 points from Natasha Cloud and 15 points from  Ciara Andrews.

The return of Turner pairing back up with Taya Reimer in the post led the Irish to a 44-10 advantage in the paint, but the Hawks kept it close, pulling to within 10 with 4:58 to play after Cloud hit a jumper to cap a 15-3 run. Reimer scored two from the post to help create some breathing room, as she added 10 for the Irish. But the plan from the start was to pound the ball inside to the post with Reimer and Turner.

"“Our game plan was to go inside,” McGraw said. “We were trying to run a lot of stuff that would get us inside touches. We thought we had an advantage in the post.”"

The Hawks pace kept the Irish off-balance for much of the game, but in the end the return of Turner was too much for them to overcome, as she scored 10 in the first half – going 3-for-3 from the field and 4-for-4 from the line.

The Irish will travel to UCLA next Sunday.

Highlights courtesy of

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