The Notre Dame women’s basketball team fell to North Carolina on Sunday afternoon, 78-73.
The Irish hit the road on Sunday afternoon coming off a win over Tennessee. It was not a strong performance on the road and Notre Dame paid the price. Marina Mabrey led Notre Dame with 20 points. Jessica Shepard and Brianna Turner added 19 points each in the losing effort. It was clear that the Irish desperately missed Jackie Young, who was out with an ankle injury.
Turnovers killed the Irish
Despite Jackie Young’s absence and the lack of scoring from Abby Prohaska or the bench, the Irish were still able to put up 73 points and shot the ball well at 49.1 percent. But the 20 turnovers really turned this game around. The Irish were not able to get anything going and failed to get into a rhythm. Any time that it seemed as if they were getting back into the game, North Carolina would steal the ball or the Irish would make a silly mistake to give the Tar Heels the ball back. Brianna Turner had a particularly clumsy day as she turned the ball over seven times. This has been a serious problem for the Irish over the past two years, but it was ultimately the final straw in today’s game.
Jessica Shepard joins elite company
Even in the defeat, there is still some positives to come out of this game. Jessica Shepard came into the game needing just 12 points to reach 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds for her career. She was able to record 11 of those points by the half and would ultimately finish with 19 on the day. Shepard now joins Ruth Riley as the only other player in Notre Dame history to reach the 2,000/1,000 mark.
The Irish will now travel to Clemson on Thursday evening. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. ET. The Tigers are 14-6 on the season and 5-2 in conference play. This will be the final game of a three game road trip for the Irish.