Blue and Gold Illustrated

February 2018

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

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Page 40 of 47 FEBRUARY 2018 41 WOMEN'S BASKETBALL BY LOU SOMOGYI G ood health is a top goal every Jan. 1 when looking forward to the New Year. The Notre Dame women's basketball program especially can appreciate that wish. Right through the final day of 2017, one of the most miserable calendar years in attrition of any Notre Dame sport ever reared its ugly head once again. Late in the third quarter during the 96‑73 rout of Wake Forest Dec. 31, Fighting Irish graduate point guard Lili Thompson laid in pain on the floor after her knee buckled on a foul while driving to the basket. Unable to put weight on her right leg, Thompson was helped off the court — a sight all too familiar the past nine months. As of Jan. 2, no official word on Thompson's injury had yet been issued, but head coach Muffet McGraw and Co., once again were braced for the worst. Including Thompson, a two‑time All‑Pac‑12 transfer from Stanford, Notre Dame at the start of last March had possibly the nation's deepest roster lined up for 2017‑18 with 12 scholarship players — not including two‑time All‑Big Ten forward Jessica Shepard from Nebraska, who would transfer and enroll in the summer. Since then: • All‑American forward Brianna Turner tore her ACL in the NCAA Tournament March 19, dashing the Irish national title hopes and sidelin‑ ing her in 2017‑18. • In April, freshman forward Erin Boley and sophomore Ali Patberg (coming off ACL surgery), both for‑ mer national prep players of the year, transferred to Oregon and Indiana, respectively. • Senior forward Kathryn West‑ beld underwent surgery that same month (ankle), and then had setbacks in her recovery that limited her con‑ ditioning work and action through the first month of the season, but she did not want a medical redshirt. • Senior guard Mychal John‑ son tore her ACL during a practice Oct. 23, and freshman forward Mi‑ kayla Vaughn did the same Nov. 28. • During practice Dec. 15, sopho‑ more guard Jackie Young broke her nose, requiring her to wear a mask for about six weeks. After wearing a makeshift one for two games in which her visibility was limited and she shot only 6 of 19 from the floor, Young was fitted with a custom‑ made one and scored 22 points on 10‑of‑16 shooting from the floor for 23 points in the ACC opener versus then‑No. 23 Syracuse Dec. 28. "I was able to actually see and move my neck a little bit," a relieved Young said after the win. "It helped a lot." • In practice Dec. 26, right after Christmas back, Shepard injured her ankle that she also had hurt late in the 91‑82 win versus DePaul Dec. 17. She was listed as a "game‑time decision" versus Syracuse, but responded with 24 points and 12 rebounds in 33 min‑ utes in the 87‑72 win where the Irish had to rally from a third‑quarter deficit. "She just sucked it up and showed a lot of toughness," McGraw said of Shepard's sixth double‑double this season. Notre Dame might be down to seven scholarship players if fifth-year senior point guard Lili Thompson's Jan. 2 MRI from a fall at Wake Forest Dec. 31 shows that her leg injury requires surgery. PHOTO BY JOE RAYMOND 2017-18 NOTRE DAME WOMEN'S BASKETBALL SCHEDULE Date Opponent (TV) Result/Time (ET) Nov. 1 Indiana (Pa.)! W, 108-40 Nov. 11 Mount. St. Mary's W, 121-65 Nov. 14 at Western Kentucky W, 78-65 Nov. 19 at Oregon State W, 72-67 Nov. 24 vs. East Tennessee State# W, 77-46 Nov. 25 vs. South Florida# W, 76-66 Nov. 26 vs. South Carolina# W, 92-85 Nov. 29 at Michigan& W, 83-63 Dec. 3 at Connecticut% L, 80-71 Dec. 6 Michigan State W, 90-59 Dec. 9 Penn W, 66-54 Dec. 17 DePaul W, 91-82 Dec. 20 Marquette W, 91-85 (OT) Dec. 28 Syracuse W, 87-72 Dec. 31 at Wake Forest W, 96-73 Jan. 4 Miami* (ACCN) 7 p.m. Jan. 7 at Georgia Tech* 2 p.m. Jan. 11 at Louisville* (ESPN) 7 p.m. Jan. 14 Boston College* (ACCN) 1 p.m. Jan. 18 Tennessee (ESPN) 7 p.m. Jan. 21 Clemson* (ACCN) 1 p.m. Jan. 25 at Pittsburgh* (ACCN) 7 p.m. Jan. 28 at Florida State* (ESPN2) 4 p.m. Feb. 1 North Carolina* (ACCN) 7 p.m. Feb. 4 at Duke* (ESPN2) 1 p.m. Feb. 11 Georgia Tech* (RSN) 1 p.m. Feb. 15 at Virginia* (ACCN) 7 p.m. Feb. 18 at Boston College* (ACCN) 1 p.m. Feb. 22 Virginia Tech* (ACCN) 7 p.m. Feb. 25 NC State* (ESPN2) 2 p.m. ! Exhibition; # Gulf Coast Showcase in Estero, Fla.; & ACC-Big Ten Challenge; % Jimmy V Women's Classic; * ACC game; ACCN — ACC Network; RSN — Regional Sports Network OPEN WOUNDS No. 2 Notre Dame hangs on during unprecedented war of attrition

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