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Notre Dame women ready for big challenge

The Notre Dame women's basketball team will face its biggest challenge so far this season when the No. 5 Irish (5-0) play host to No. 3 Baylor (6-1) tonight.

"I think that is why our players come here," coach Muffet McGraw said. "They expect us to play a really good schedule. They want to play these games. It is exciting for us. It is exciting for the fans."

Notre Dame hasn't won a game against Baylor in the teams' three previous meetings.

Last season, the Irish lost to the Bears 80-61 in the NCAA tournament championship game and fell to Baylor 94-81 in the preseason WNIT. The Bears also defeated the Irish 76-65 in 2010.

Baylor is led by center Brittney Griner, who is averaging 21 points, six rebounds and 2.1 blocks, and forward Destiny Williams, who averages 10.9 points and seven rebounds. Point guard Odyssey Sims, who has been slowed by an injury, has averaged 10.7 points and 4.7 assists in three games.

Notre Dame is led by guards Skylar Diggins, who averages 14 points and 4.8 assists, and Kayla McBride, who averages 14.6 points and two steals. Forward Natalie Achonwa averages 13.6 points and 9.6 rebounds, and guard Jewell Loyd averages 12.6 points and 3.2 assists.

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