The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Sports

March 29, 2013

McBride at best at end of season for Notre Dame

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Kayla McBride has a knack for coming up big in Notre Dame’s toughest games.

She scored a career-high 21 points in a 1-point win at Connecticut in January, topped that with 26 points in a triple overtime victory over the Huskies in South Bend earlier this month to clinch the Big East regular-season title, and then had 23 points against UConn in the league’s tournament title game and was named the tournament’s most outstanding player. She has scored at least 15 points in 11 of Notre Dame’s 12 games against ranked opponents this season.

“I think my teammates just depend on me more in those games,” McBride said. “I feel like I have to be at my best. I try to be at my best every game, but when we’re in top competition I love to be at the top of my game.”

It wasn’t that way all season, though. Last season McBride was in more of a supporting role, a player who would occasionally provide an offensive spark and who was one of the team’s best defenders. Coming into this season, she knew she had to become more of a dependable scorer.

The 5-11 junior slumped in midseason, making 25 percent of her shots during a four-game streak when she averaged 8.5 points a game. The low-point came at Tennessee, when she was 4-of-18 shooting for nine points.

“I think I was trying to do a little too much, kind of playing outside myself,” she said. “I was taking shots I wasn’t comfortable taking.”

McGraw believes McBride was putting too much pressure on herself.

“She wasn’t really relaxed and letting the game come to her,” McGraw said. “She was trying too hard and mentally over thought things. So I think it was good for her to just relax and let the game come to her.”

McBride bounced back the following game against Cincinnati, by making her first seven shots and scoring 17 of her 19 points in the first half and has been steady ever since, averaging 16 points a game on 46.7 percent shooting. She has made 81 of 88 free throws this year, or 92 percent of her attempts.

“Her mid-range jumper is unstoppable. I think that’s her bread and butter,” McGraw said. “She’s going to the basket more. I’d like her to be getting to the free-throw line a little bit more than she is right now. But I think her ability to put the ball on the floor and create her own shot has really improved.”

She has been at the top of her game for the past month, scoring 22 points or more in six of Notre Dame’s last eight games, including a career-high 28 points against Iowa on Tuesday. She had 24 points in the first half and finished with a career-high four 3-pointers.

McGraw said the Irish haven’t been trying to get the ball to McBride more, she’s just making her shots and point guard Skylar Diggins has been finding her more because of it.

“We’re a team that takes what we get. Somebody gets the hot hand early we stick with them and try to get them the ball as much as we can. That’s where Skylar’s so great. She sees what’s happening in the game, sees who is open, who has the hot hand and she wants to run stuff for them.”

The Irish (33-1) have won a school-record 28 straight games heading into their game Sunday against 12th-seeded Kansas (20-13) in Norfolk, Va.

McGraw attributes McBride’s late-season success to growing confidence after being overshadowed by some upper classmen last season.

“I think she feels like, ‘This is my time,’” McGraw said. “She wants a bigger role and she’s stepping up and taking it.”

1
Text Only
Sports
  • SPT - HB0424 - Frankton vs AHS - 048 Frankton hits early, often in win over Anderson Frankton pounded out 11 hits in handing Anderson its second softball loss in as many nights.

    April 23, 2014 3 Photos

  • SPT - HB0424 - Alex v MG 3 Argylls hold on to top Tigers Pitching and defense win games, especially in girls high school softball and it was on display here Wednesday evening as the Madison-Grant Lady Argylls picked up a 4-1 Central Indiana Conference win over the host Lady Tigers.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Indians come up short against Tigers in golf The Anderson Indians came up short against Yorktown 147-170 on Wednesday.

    April 23, 2014

  • Reggie photo for online notebook Colts notebook: Few doubts about Wayne in locker room If there are outside doubts about whether Reggie Wayne can return to form because of his age and the severity of his injury, few are shared inside the Indianapolis Colts' locker room.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0424 - Mathis armor Mathis' leadership paying off for Colts An authentic set of battle armor greeted visitors to Robert Mathis' locker Wednesday at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center. The black-and-gold helmet and chest plate look more at home in one of the "300" movies, but they are the proud possessions of the NFL's reigning sacks champion thanks to the generosity of Daniel Adongo and Bjoern Werner.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Mike Lopresti: Pacers finally respond to critics So maybe the Indiana Pacers don't like being called wussies. Is that all it took, an on-air jab from Charles Barkley? Some brash talk, apparently, from Atlanta Hawks guard and Indianapolis native son Jeff Teague? Or was it the stark reality that they were closing in on owning the notorious legacy of a team that melted in the bright lights, faster than frozen yogurt?

    April 23, 2014

  • Rick Bramwell: Morel season off to a slow start The expectations, brought on by a harsh winter, have turned into a wait-and-see situation for morel hunters. A cooler than normal spring has put the tasty little sponges on ice.

    April 23, 2014

  • Tigers nip Argylls in girls track meet ALEXANDRIA -- Kelsey Crisp had a trio of firsts and a second place finish and her Alexandria Tigers needed every one of those as they nipped Madison-Grant 61-60 in a girls dual track meet here Tuesday. Crisp won the 100, the 400 and the long jump and

    April 23, 2014

  • SPT - HB0423 - PHHS golf 1 PH displays depth, dismantles Delta Three of Pendleton Heights top five golfers sat out Tuesday’s match against Delta, and the Arabians barely missed a beat. Tyler Meyer and Chase Simpson fired low nine-hole scores of 36 to pace the Arabians to a 159-190 victory over the Eagles.

    April 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT - HB0423 - AU baseball - 117 Heberling lifts Ravens to crucial win Cole Heberling's 11th-inning hit landed in right field for an RBI-single Tuesday, and the Anderson University baseball team moved into sole possession of second place in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference with a 6-5 victory against Rose-Hulman.

    April 22, 2014 3 Photos