It’s banner raising night for the Notre Dame Women’s Basketball team. The Irish will play host to the University of Pennsylvania on Monday night, where the National Championship banner will be raised. Here is a preview of the matchup.
Notre Dame Women’s Basketball opened up the season with a 103-58 win over Harvard on Friday afternoon. The focus now turns to Penn (1-0) as the Irish raise the National Championship banner. Arike Ogunbowale continued her excellent form in the season opener, dropping 30 points. Jessica Sheppard was right behind her, adding 28 of her own. Brianna Turner made her return on Friday night after missing last year due to injury.
The season opener against Harvard went about as good as one could hope for. Notre Dame scored over 100 points and were able to get 10 players into the game. No one in the starting lineup played more than 30 minutes, something the Irish were not able to do last year.
The deep bench could prove to be a large asset as the season progresses. Jordan Nixon got her first start at the point on Friday with Marina Mabrey out due to injury. If Mabrey is unable to go again on Monday night, Nixon will have a chance to improve on her debut for the Irish.
A big key for the Irish heading into the game against Penn is limiting turnovers. Against Harvard, the Irish turned the ball over 16 times. It might not have that big of an effect right now, but it is definitely something they need to clean up before ACC play begins.
Another thing to keep an eye on is the defense. Head coach Muffet McGraw has been less than pleased with her defense heading into the season and allowing 53 points against Harvard last week is something they will want to improve upon.
University of Pennsylvania
Penn has always been a tough task for the Irish. When the two teams met in Philadelphia last year, Notre Dame emerged victorious by the score of 66-54. Overall in the series, the Irish lead 4-0. Penn is coming off of a 58-51 victory over Sienna. A player the Irish will need to keep an eye on is junior Phoebe Sterba. Sterba put up 16 points and had four makes from three point land. The 6’1” guard will most likely be the defensive task for Jackie Young. The Irish need to do a better job of defending the three point line, so Sterba will be a good challenge.
How to watch
Tipoff for the matchup is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET. The game will be streamed on the ACC Network Extra.