WASHINGTON, D.C. — Georgetown will be wearing pink uniforms for Saturday’s women’s basketball game in honor of the Pink Zone efforts to raise money for Breast Cancer awareness and research. What Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw wants her team to see is red. McGraw is angry about Notre Dame’s loss at St. John’s on Tuesday. She wants her team to share that disgust of defeat and show it on the court when the Irish hit the road to take on Georgetown Saturday. Notre Dame may play another game without senior guard Lindsay Schrader, who averages 11.3 points and 7.3 rebounds a game. Schrader suffered a left ankle injury on Sunday against DePaul, and is listed as day-to-day. What Irish coach Muffet McGraw wants to see Saturday is how her team responds to the sting of defeat. “I want them to be angry,” McGraw said. “I want them to be just determined to change it immediately.” McGraw said that she was pleased with the anger and attitude she’s seen in practice since the loss to St. John’s. “I like to say, ‘Who’s going to be as mad as I am?’” McGraw said. “That’s what I want to know. Take one look at Skylar Diggins, and that answer came easy. And Melissa Lechlitner, Ashley Barlow. Heck, Lindsay Schrader is mad for a bunch of reasons. You like to see that from your leaders. “From here on in, the last four (regular-season) games are critical,” McGraw said. “We have to take care of business, because we want to stay in the driver’s seat. We want to control our own destiny. We can do that right now. We don’t want to be sitting back on the last day hoping that somebody has to beat somebody for us to get a good seed.” No. 1 UConn owns the top spot in the Big East Conference with a 12-0 record. Notre Dame, West Virginia and Georgetown are tied at 10-2, followed by St. John’s in fifth place at 94. At stake in the league is a double-bye for the top four teams in the five-day Big East format. More importantly, the Irish will try to maintain position for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. To maintain the upperhand minus Schrader, McGraw will need everybody else on her team to step up. “Devereaux Peters had 14 rebounds and six blocked shots against St. John’s,” McGraw said. “That was huge. That’s what we need. We need a big performance from somebody coming off the bench. I think the starters all have to do a little more also. I don’t think any one person is going to replace Lindsay.” Notre Dame’s game at Georgetown will showcase two of the nation’s top freshmen. Diggins leads Notre Dame with 14.3 points a game. She is second on the team with 68 assists and 58 steals. Georgetown’s Sugar Rodgers is third in the Big East in scoring at 17.9, and is third on her team with 53 assists and 45 steals. “I feel I have the nation’s best freshman,” McGraw said of Diggins. “This is what I expected from Skylar. Nothing she does will surprise me. She can get 10 rebounds and have a double-double, and it won’t surprise me at all. She has such unlimited potential. She works so hard to get better, you almost expect to see something new every game.” Notre Dame and Georgetown enter Saturday’s matchup as two of the top defensive teams in the country. Georgetown’s 13.7 steals a game is second in the nation, and Notre Dame’s 13.4 third in the country. Oral Roberts leads the nation with 15.8. “They press the entire game,” McGraw said of the Hoyas. “They’ve got five great athletes on the floor with speed, size, and length. They’re aggressive. They are a great defensive team. That’s how they’ve been successful. We’ve got to take care of the ball.”
After losing its second game of the season, Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw wants her team to get angry before Saturday's game against Georgetown.
Tribune photo/MARCUS MARTER