Cram Session features quick-hitting athlete updates and commentary:
• Tonight is Senior Night for Notre Dame, and Villa Maria graduate Kayla McBride is one of three senior players who will be honored by the Fighting Irish before they host Georgia Tech tonight in an ACC game.
Natalie Achonwa and Ariel Braker also will be recognized. The ND senior class is 125-14 during its four seasons and could challenge the Notre Dame record for wins by one class. Last year’s senior class, featuring Skylar Diggins, had a record 130 wins.
The Irish are 24-0 overall and 11-0 in the ACC with five regular-season games remaining before the ACC Tournament.
Tonight’s 7 p.m. game can be seen on the ACC Regional Sports Network and on ESPN3.
• When the Big East Conference dissolved last year, one of the biggest side effects was the discontinuation of the regular-season women’s basketball rivalry between Notre Dame and UConn.
During the past few seasons, some of the most memorable games of the women’s basketball season came in showdowns between the Fighting Irish and Huskies during Big East regular-season play and the Big East Tournament.
For instance, Kayla McBride has had some of her best games on national TV against the Huskies, and that alone is more responsible for elevating her to All-America status than anything else.
Despite the loss of the great ND-UConn matchups, there is one way that the demise of the Big East could turn out to be a positive. No. 1 UConn is 26-0 overall (13-0 American Athletic Conference) and No. 2 Notre Dame is 24-0 (11-0 ACC).
A national championship showdown between two undefeated teams, especially rivals like Notre Dame and UConn, would be unforgettable.
Of course, both must complete a perfect regular season and win their conference championship games before making a run in the NCAA Tournament. But it’s possible, and the showdown would be great for women’s college basketball.
• The Duquesne women’s basketball team led by 22 points at St. Bonaventure, but the Bonnies rallied for a 63-62 win in a big Atlantic 10 Conference game Sunday. Duquesne led 43-21 at one point.
Girard grad Raegan Moore had 12 points and tied a career high with six assists for the Dukes (16-9, 8-4). The 6-foot 1-inch senior guard also had four rebounds.
Duquesne will play St. Joseph’s Tuesday at 9 p.m. in a game that will be televised live by CBS Sports Network.
• General McLane graduate Sarah Hansen had 12 points and missed only one shot Saturday during Florida Gulf Coast’s 76-42 victory over Kennesaw State. Hansen went 3-for-4 from the field and 6-for-6 from the free-throw line in just 24 minutes of play.
Florida Gulf Coast improved to 18-7 overall and 11-2 in the Atlantic Sun Conference.
FGCU will return to action Thursday at 5 p.m. at Jacksonville (Fla.).
– Jeff Kirik, sports editor