Blue and Gold Illustrated

Oct. 24, 2020

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

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Page 48 of 55 OCT. 24, 2020 49 WOMEN'S BASKETBALL BY LOU SOMOGYI F or the second time in four years, the Notre Dame women's bas‑ ketball team will benefit from an in‑ coming transfer getting to play right away with an NCAA waiver. Combination guard Dara Mabrey, who starred her first two seasons at Virginia Tech, applied for a waiver this summer to be eligible with the Fighting Irish. On Oct. 9, the junior received the news that she will be eligible to play right away for the 2020‑21 campaign. The first time it occurred was Nov. 1, 2017, when junior forward Jessica Shepard — who played at Nebraska and was the No. 3‑ranked player coming out of high school — made her Irish debut and helped Notre Dame capture the national championship five months later. Such an impactful result will not be anticipated this year on the heels of a 13‑18 finish and transition to first‑year head coach Niele Ivey, a longtime assistant to Naismith Hall of Fame inductee Muffet McGraw. However, Mabrey provides instant experience and three‑point prow‑ ess in the backcourt. She specifically might have more of a role at point guard, where freshman Alasia Hayes could be considered the lone natural at the position. The 5‑7 junior will also play for older sister Michaela Mabrey, who suited up for the Fighting Irish from 2012‑16 and last year was hired as an assistant coach by McGraw after Ivey took an assistant's post with the NBA's Memphis Grizzlies. Middle sister Marina Mabrey starred at Notre Dame from 2015‑19, starting for the 2018 national champs, setting the school record for career three‑ pointers made with 274 (Michaela is fifth with 228) and becoming the No. 19 overall pick in the 2019 WNBA Draft. She is currently with the Dallas Wings and also plays professionally overseas. The youngest Mabrey built her own impressive résumé at Virginia Tech while starting every game of her fresh‑ man and sophomore seasons before entering the transfer portal this spring. As a rookie in 2018‑19 she led the Hokies in assists (92), averaged 11.2 points per game and finished third nationally in three‑point percentage (46.2) while sinking a single‑season school‑record 80. This past season her three‑point total (75) and shooting percentage beyond the arc (36.4) dipped, but the latter was still the third best in the ACC while helping the Hokies to a 21‑9 record and what would have been an NCAA Tournament bid had it not been canceled by the COVID‑19 pandemic. She averaged 11.7 points last sea‑ son as a sophomore, and finished with 11 points, five rebounds, three steals and two assists in a 68‑62 win at Notre Dame Feb. 20. Not only were her 155 career threes already the seventh‑best total in school history, but she also was an ACC All‑Academic Team selection in both years. Her three‑point shooting skills are particularly a crucial addition to a Notre Dame team that last year among 349 teams finished 317th in three‑point field goal percentage con‑ verted (27.1) and 309th in three‑point goals made per game (4.1). ✦ Mabrey, who knocked down 155 treys during her two years at Virginia Tech, is expected to provide a big boost for Notre Dame's three-point shooting this season. PHOTO COURTESY VIRGINIA TECH ATHLETICS Dara Mabrey Receives NCAA Waiver To Play In 2020-21 Junior Danielle Cosgrove Takes Leave Of Absence Junior Danielle Cosgrove, a 6-foot-4 forward, announced via social media Oct. 13 (one day before the start of basketball practice) that she will not be with the program through the end of this year but plans to return next semester. "There is nothing more important than mental health, and I have been struggling with mine for quite some time," she wrote. "After talking it over with family, teammates and coaching staff, I have decided I will be taking a leave of absence until the second semester. During this time away focused on my well being, I am hopeful on getting myself to a place to be a healthier person. "I remain committed to my teammates and I'm excited to support them as they prepare for the upcoming season. To my Notre Dame family, I am forever grateful for your endless support on this journey and I love you all so much." Cosgrove appeared in all 31 games for the 13-18 Fighting Irish last year, starting four times. She aver- aged 13.0 minutes, 2.8 points and 1.9 rebounds per contest, converting 31 of 111 field goal attempts (27.9 percent) and 13 of 45 from three-point range (28.9 percent).

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