The Notre Dame Women’s Basketball team improved to 2-0 on the season with a victory over Penn on Monday night. Here are three takeaways from the game.
Prior to the game on Monday night, the Notre Dame Women’s Basketball team saw their National Championship banner raised to the rafters. When the game got underway, it was all Irish from the start. Another commanding third quarter from the defending national champs allowed them to walk away with a 75-55 victory over the University of Pennsylvania. Arike Ogunbowale led the way once again with 21 points and six assists.
Brianna Turner is finding her way
Brianna Turner missed the 2017-18 season recovering from a torn ACL. Now two games into her final season and it’s two double-doubles for Turner. Monday night she recorded 16 points and 10 rebounds. Many had worried about what form Turner might be in or how she would fit in alongside Jessica Shepard. Well, it doesn’t look like Turner has missed a beat, and Shepard added 17 points of her own on Monday night. The duo provides some of the most height the Irish have had in the starting lineup in years and they are proving they can play well alongside each other. As they become more familiar and Turner gets her feet under her, these two could become a very dangerous pair for the Irish’s opponents.
Jordan Nixon adds a bit of a different look at the point
When Marina Mabrey made the move to the point halfway through last season, it never truly felt like the Irish had a point guard, but just three guards that could handle the ball if necessary. The primary objective was just to get far enough down the court where she or Arike Ogunbowale could shoot it or at least get it down deep to Jackie Young or Jessica Shepard. But with Mabrey on the bench for the first two games of the season due to injury, freshman point guard Jordan Nixon is getting a shot at the play calling spot.
Nixon is a true point guard. She only took one shot in the game, but had five assists on the night. After having six turnovers in her debut, she limited that number to just two on Monday night. As Nixon becomes more comfortable with her surroundings, she will continue to develop into what many expect to be the next great point guard in the history of Notre Dame Women’s Basketball.
The Irish continue to take advantage of their depth
On Monday night against Penn, the Irish were able to get 12 players into the game. Of the starting five, just two went over 30 minutes, with Jackie Young and Arike Ogunbowale both putting in 33 minutes. This season the Irish finally have options off the bench, something they struggled to find last season. In total, they only got nine points from their bench, but the minutes they were able to eat up is what was most important. If the Irish are able to put away teams early and get their starters a break, it will be important come ACC play.
Notre Dame travels to DePaul on Saturday to face the 15th-ranked Blue Demons. The game tips at 2 o’clock eastern time.