Dec. 7, 2012
LOGAN, Utah - Utah State women's basketball takes on the tough task of facing No. 5 Notre Dame on Saturday, Dec. 8 at Purcell Pavillion in South Bend Ind., at 10 a.m. (MT).
This is the first-ever meeting between Notre Dame (5-1) and Utah State (2-6). The Irish are coached by Muffett McGraw who has a 596-216 overall record as Notre Dame's head coach. The fifth-ranked Irish are the highest ranked team that USU has taken on since the re-instatement for the 2002-03 season.
The No. 5 Fighting Irish suffered their first loss of the season against No. 3 Baylor, 73-61, in South Bend on Wednesday. Jewell Loyd led Notre Dame with 24 points and seven rebounds. She had all four of the Irish's three pointers in the game. Kayla McBride added 18 points and five boards. In a battle of last season's NCAA final, Baylor out-scored Notre Dame in the paint, 36-26, and led in bench points, 14-0.
The Irish had won their first five games of the season, including wins against Ohio State, UMass and UCLA. Notre Dame averages 75.5 points per game, while allowing only 56.2 ppg. The Irish have four players who average in double figures in scoring, led by the 15.2 ppg scored by McBride. Jewell scores 14.5 ppg, while Natalie Achonwa adds 13.2 ppg. Notre Dame star Skylar Diggins is the fourth Irish player in double figures, averaging 13.0 ppg.
Despite four players reaching the double-figure mark, USU lost a close battle with BYU in its last game on Dec. 4, 81-77. It was one of the closest games in the series between the Aggies and the Cougars.
Utah State freshman guard Makenlee Williams has had two breakout games for the Aggies. The freshman, who has started six of Utah State's eight games this season, has scored in double figures the last two games. She scored 10 points in USU's home-opener loss to Montana State. Williams topped that with 15 points and a season-high six boards in the Aggies' four-point loss to BYU on Tuesday.
USU will finally play more than one game at home after the Aggies conclude this road trip at Notre Dame. After a break for finals, Utah State will play a season-high four-straight games at the friendly confines of the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. After starting the season playing eight of the first nine on the road, USU will now play four at home. The Aggies begin the homestand with a pair of non-conference home games against UC Irvine on Dec. 18 and South Dakota on Dec. 20. The Aggies then begin conference action against UTSA on (Dec. 29) and Texas State (Dec. 31).
Fans can follow USU women's basketball and Utah State athletics at http://twitter.com/USUAthletics, as well as on facebook, at https://www.facebook.com/USUAthletics.
Live stats will be available for most Utah State women's basketball games through the women's basketball page on www.utahstateaggies.com, by clicking on GameTracker in the current events box. All home games can be viewed by clicking on "Watch Live", while they can be heard by clicking on "Listen Live." Both can be accessed on www.utahstateaggies.com on the front page or the women's basketball page.
For tickets contact the USU Athletics Ticket Office at (435)797-0305 or at 1-888-U-STATE-1 (1-888-878-2831) for more information or visit the Utah State athletic web site at www.UtahStateAggies.com.
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