Blue and Gold Illustrated

January 2015

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

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Minus Turner, Loyd attempted to carry the team on her back against UConn and tallied 31 points while the rest of the squad had 27. Four nights later in a classic 94-93 comeback and overtime victory at na- tionally ranked DePaul in her home- town of Chicago, Loyd tied Notre Dame's single-game scoring record of 41 points (which included converting her last 11 free throws in the clutch while DePaul finished 12 of 29 from the foul line), grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds, handed out three assists, blocked a shot and committed only one turnover in 42 minutes of action. Head coach Muffet McGraw noted in the preseason that the Irish streak of four straight Final Four appearances probably would end if Loyd had to av- erage 20 points per game, because it would be a sign of relying too much on one player. Loyd's scoring averaged dropped to 23.2 after the 70-50 victory versus Michigan on Dec. 13, when she tallied 14 points on 7-of-14 shooting from the floor, but even then she made an impact on defense while holding the Wolver- ines' leading scorer, Katelynn Flaherty, to 1-of-11 shooting. Sophomore point guard Lindsay Al- len was the team's leading scorer with 17 points while making 7 of 8 shots, including two three-pointers. Off the bench, 6-2 freshman forward Kathryn Westbeld provided a spark on both ends with 13 points (on 6-of-9 shooting), a team-high eight rebounds, two assists and a blocked shot. "We ran the offense better, we did less relying on Jewell," McGraw said. "We got a lot of people involved, a lot of people had touches, especially the inside … I don't think Jewell was hunting her shot as much today and we weren't call- ing her number as much today either." FINDING SCORING BALANCE The Irish head coach won't object when Loyd gets on one of her tears, but she believes once Turner returns to the lineup — the target date is the Jan. 2 ACC opener versus Florida State — scoring balance should open up for others, thereby making the overall op- eration more effective. "She's kind of waited for this opportu- nity with Kayla [McBride] graduating," McGraw said of Loyd. "She's one of the hardest workers, if not hardest worker, in the gym every day. She's shooting the ball well, doing a little bit of everything. "We can't be a one-man team. We're working on a lot of things for other peo- ple. We're capable of having four people in double figures." One of them might be Allen, whose role was strictly as a distributor last year, but she has shot an extraordinary 59.7 percent from the floor while averaging 9.6 points per contest during this year's 10-1 start. However, the two who need to elevate their games the most are junior guard Michaela Mabrey and sophomore for- ward Taya Reimer. They are stepping in for the dynamic tandem of McBride at guard and Natalie Achonwa at center, both top 10 WNBA picks last spring. Loyd fills the void of McBride, and then some, while Turner, last year 's National Female High School Player of the Year, is capable of duplicating Achonwa's averages of 13 points and eight rebounds per game (Turner was

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