Blue and Gold Illustrated

April 2023

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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BLUEGOLDONLINE.COM APRIL 2023 47 WOMEN'S BASKETBALL student guard Dara Mabrey was lost for the year with an ACL tear, Citron be- came Notre Dame's most prolific three- point threat. She averaged 2.5 three- point attempts in games Mabrey was available for. She upped that mark to 4.9 after Mabrey's injury, nearly doubling it. In two ACC Tournament games, Cit- ron only attempted 5 threes for an aver- age right back down to 2.5 per game. She played more of a point guard role with- out Miles. She can't do it all. Even Miles can't. Miles was a 22.8 percent three- point shooter this season. It's hard to stay consistent as a deep shooter when you're doing so much else on both ends of the floor. In Citron's case in the ACC Tournament, it was difficult to even get shots up from beyond the arc as the team's primary ball handler and best on-ball defender. Notre Dame is at its best when Miles is the former. And Citron is at her best when she has Miles to play off offen- sively. The Irish got to a point of find- ing an identity in one month without Mabrey. In two and a half games with- out Miles, their identity offensively was Citron. Defensively, it was all-out harassment. The margins for error narrowed considerably and the over- all ceiling lowered like a parking garage collapsing during an earthquake. March was meant for players like Miles to have their moments. And for the teams they play for to subsequently prosper. Notre Dame is at a serious dis- advantage if its superstar point guard can't give it a go. "That just requires everybody to step up like we did the game and a half, re- quiring pretty much everybody," Ivey said. "We need everybody to step up and do a little bit more, handle the offense, handle the ball, getting some more de- cision making positions. "We've showed that we can do it, so we just have to do it a little bit more consistently." ✦ Niele Ivey Wins ACC Coach Of The Year Two years ago, Notre Dame head coach Niele Ivey went 10-10 in her first season on the job. This year, she led the Irish to an ACC regular-season championship and a Coach of the Year award to go along with it. Ivey was bestowed the prestigious honor by the league Feb. 28. Ivey has quickly followed in the footsteps of her mentor, Muffet McGraw, who was a four-time Associated Press Coach of the Year winner in her legendary coaching career that spanned four decades. Only 45 years old, Ivey — the first Black female head coach to win an ACC regular-season championship — is just getting started. "A dream come true," Ivey said. "A list of so many amazing coaches that have received that award before me. Obviously, Muffet McGraw. I'm honored. Blessed. I was speechless when I found out. Tears. Such an amazing moment for me and accomplishment. "I wouldn't have this award if it wasn't for this amazing team and staff." Notre Dame qualified for the NCAA Tournament in 24 straight seasons under McGraw. After missing the Big Dance in McGraw's last season and in Ivey's first, Ivey has the Irish back in the tourney for the second consecutive campaign. Last year, the Irish reached the Sweet 16 and were a few possessions away from upsetting North Carolina State to reach the Elite Eight. Ivey has the Irish's sights set on another deep run in March depending on the status of sophomore point guard Olivia Miles, who missed both games in ACC Tournament because of a knee injury sustained at Louisville Feb. 26. In three seasons at Notre Dame, Ivey has a 59-25 (.702) overall record and a 36-15 (.706) regular-season conference mark. McGraw put forth figures of 848-252 (.771) and 425-97 (.814), respectively, in 33 years as Notre Dame's head coach. — Tyler Horka 2022-23 WOMEN'S BASKETBALL SCHEDULE Date Opponent (TV) Result/Time (ET) Nov. 7 Northern Illinois W, 88-48 Nov. 12 vs. California+ W, 90-79 Nov. 16 at Northwestern W, 92-58 Nov. 20 Ball State W, 95-60 Nov. 24 vs. American^ W, 90-65 Nov. 26 vs. Arizona State^ W, 85-65 Dec. 1 Maryland% L, 74-72 Nov. 4 Connecticut! W, 74-60 Dec. 8 Lafayette Ppd. Dec. 10 Merrimack W, 108-44 Dec. 18 at Virginia Tech* W, 63-52 Dec. 21 Western Michigan W, 85-57 Dec. 29 at Miami* W, 66-63 Jan. 1 Boston College* W, 85-48 Jan. 8 at North Carolina* L, 60-50 Jan. 12 Wake Forest* W, 86-47 Jan. 15 at Syracuse* W, 72-56 Jan. 19 at Clemson* W, 57-54 Jan. 22 Virginia* W, 76-54 Jan. 26 Florida State* W, 70-47 Jan 29 at NC State* L, 69-65 Feb. 2 at Boston College* W, 72-59 Feb. 5 Duke* L, 57-52 Feb. 9 Pittsburgh* W, 69-63 Feb. 12 Syracuse* W, 73-64 Feb. 16 Louisville* W, 78-76 (OT) Feb. 19 at Pittsburgh* W, 83-43 Feb. 23 Georgia Tech* W, 76-53 Feb. 26 at Louisville* W, 68-65 Mar. 3 vs. NC State$ W, 66-60 Mar. 4 vs. Louisville$ L, 64-38 Mar. 17-18 NCAA Tournament (first round) TBD + Shamrock Classic in St. Louis; ^ Goombay Splash at Bimini, Bahamas; % ACC/Big Ten Challenge; ! Women's Jimmy V Classic; * ACC game; $ ACC Tournament at Greensboro, N.C. Ivey became the first Black female head coach to win a regular-season ACC championship. PHOTO COURTESY NOTRE DAME ATHLETICS

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