Blue and Gold Illustrated

January 2014 Issue

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

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I By Lou Somogyi n forthcoming years, UCLA will be projected to rank among the elite in women's college basketball. Bruins head coach Cori Close signed the No. 1-ranked class this fall, highlighted by three of the nation's top nine players, as ranked by ESPN's HoopGurlz. For now, Close uses Muffet Mc- Against Notre Dame, good luck finding an Achilles' heel. In the first half, the UCLA gameplan was to take away all dribble penetration. The Irish responded by scoring 26 points in the paint, many off them in the transition game. In the second half, with UCLA adjusting to contain the inside, junior Madison Cable — basically the eighth player in the Irish rotation — connected on each of her Elite As Ever No. 4 Irish roll to 8-0 start with little resistance Graw's Notre Dame program as an example of what it means to be elite. Earlier this season, UCLA defeated No. 10 Oklahoma. Against No. 4 Notre Dame Dec. 7, the much more banged-up and fatigued Bruins were crushed 90-48. The disparity between the nation's top four or five teams and everyone else remains pronounced in women's college basketball while it continues to evolve into more prominence. "The difference between [No.] 4 and 10 is that, still in our game, unfortunately, a lot of 10-through-15-level teams, you still have some weaknesses you can cheat off of, maybe take away that strength of the other team," Close said. "Whereas, when you're talking [Nos.] 1 through 4, you better be solid as a rock because there's no cheating on them." first five three-point attempts while tallying a career-high and team-leading 21 points. Three days earlier in a 77-67 win at No. 10 Penn State, McGraw said the Irish effort "was the best defense we played probably in three years," highlighted by limiting 2013 second-team All-American and 22-points-pergame scorer Maggie Lucas to 1-of-8 shooting from the floor. With that victory, 8-0 and No. 4 Notre Dame joined No. 1 Connecticut and No. 2 Duke (Notre Dame was 4-1 against the duo last year) as the only three teams to defeat three ranked opponents this season, with the Irish having vanquished Michigan State (81-62) and DePaul (92-76) earlier in the year. Avoiding Complacency For the better part of the last two

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