The Notre Dame women’s basketball team returned to action on Sunday afternoon against Lehigh. The win became the 900th of Muffet McGraw’s career.
Against the team where it all began, head coach Muffet McGraw picked up her 900th career win against Lehigh. After starting her coaching career at Lehigh, the Irish coach has now picked up 812 wins with the ladies in South Bend. She became the fourth fastest Division I coach to reach that mark. Arike Ogunbowale led the way for the Irish with 23 points and the Mishawaka, Indiana native Camryn Buhr scored 11 points for the visitors. In the end, the Irish were able to put away Lehigh for the 95-68 victory.
Defensive continues to struggle for the Irish
Sure, the Irish got the victory, but once again the defense struggled. It might not show up on the stat sheet, but there is definitely a lot of room for improvement for Notre Dame. When you look at the Irish defense, one big point of weakness is against the three point shot. Because they are playing a 2-3 zone, they struggle to put pressure out wide.
It begs the question, why does Muffet McGraw not switch to a man defense? Well, a lot has to do with the Irish having confidence in their abilities to get rebounds and score on the other end. This allows them to take a little bit of a risk with the 2-3 zone. With ACC play starting up on Thursday, this is definitely an area that the Irish must improve in.
Senior guards shine once again
It seems like a broken record at this point, but they keep on scoring. Seniors Marina Mabrey and Arike Ogunbowale both scored in the double digits once again on Sunday afternoon. Despite being off for a week, the Irish duo did not lose their shooting touch. Mabrey finished with 19 points, six rebounds, and seven assists, while Ogunbowale added 23 points of her own, good for her 10th 20-point game this season.
Even though the Irish struggled a bit to get good shots up early, these two were able to right the ship and lead the Irish to victory. With ACC play beginning this week, these two will have to continue to step up if the Irish want to make a run at another title.
ACC play starts for the Irish on Thursday night when they welcome Pittsburgh to town. Tip-off for that game will be at 7:00 p.m. ET at Purcell Pavilion and can be found on the ACC Network Extra.