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Irish look to take momentum on the road

NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Notre Dame women's basketball is coming off a perfect three-game homestand, including two blowout wins with the program's largest-ever comeback win sandwiched between them.

Now, it's time to turn the page.

The Irish have headed East for Thursday's game against Pittsburgh, the first of a road-heavy stretch coming up in the next week and a half.

"It definitely is business as usual," said head coach Muffet McGraw. "We're used to being on the road and we've got to be ready for anything that gets thrown at us."

The Irish will play three of their next four games as the visiting team. First comes Pittsburgh, but then Sunday brings a matchup with eighth-ranked Florida State. Next week will see the Irish return home to host North Carolina before heading back on the road to face Duke.

"Every team has a great fanbase at home," said Irish guard Jackie Young, when asked about the tough environments in the ACC. "It's different not playing in front of your fans, but as long as we come out and play our game, we should be fine."

Playing their game has been a focus all season long, but has seen more emphasis in the recent success for the Irish.

After a blowout road loss to Lousiville, Muffet McGraw emphasized the necessity for improvement on the defensive end. In the subsequent wins over Boston College, Tennessee, and Clemson, Notre Dame forced at least 20 turnovers in each of them.

"We knew we could play defense, but we just weren't doing it. It's just about being more disciplined and right now we're being a lot more active on the defensive end having active hands. We're getting steals and turning that into transition points."

The 71 total turnovers in those three wins resulted in 74 points for the Irish, certainly a winning combination.

"It's great to see the commitment to defense," said McGraw. "I think we're getting up into passing lanes a little bit more. It's amazing that we're forcing so many turnovers with the lack of pressure that we have."

Now, the trick is to continue that improvement.

Thursday's game is set to tip at 7 p.m. as the Irish look to improve their 6-1 record in the ACC.

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