Notre Dame's Taya Reimer, center, stands with teammates during the National Anthem before sitting out an NCAA college basketball game on Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015, in South Bend, Ind. (AP Photo/Robert Franklin)
Robert Franklin
December 03, 2015

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) No. 3 Notre Dame will be without Briana Turner for several weeks and could also be without fellow forward Taya Reimer against top-ranked Connecticut on Saturday.

Turner has missed the past three games after injuring her right shoulder in practice last week and will be out for approximately a month as she tries to avoid season-ending surgery through rehabilitation.

''We're going to make that decision at the point where she can redshirt,'' coach Muffet McGraw said.

Reimer, who has been struggling with a sore right Achilles for weeks, will likely see how she feels before the game at UConn (5-0) before deciding if she can play, McGraw said. She said Reimer, who is averaging 6.3 points and 3.3 rebounds, could try to rest to see if that helps.

The loss of Turner, the Atlantic Coast Conference preseason player of the year who is averaging 14.3 points and 6.8 rebounds for the Irish (7-0), is especially difficult going against Connecticut's Breanna Stewart, the two-time national player of the year.

''Breanna Stewart is a difficult matchup for everybody in the country,'' McGraw said. ''Last year I thought Brianna did a pretty good job on her in the final game. She is somebody we thought would be able to guard her a little bit. But since we don't have her, it's going to be an even tougher matchup for us.''

McGraw said the Huskies may be better than last year's team that won its third straight national title. She said she will try to approach it as just another game.

''It's hard to take it that way when the entire country is looking at it in a different way. Certainly for the freshmen it's a big game,'' McGraw said.

The Huskies have beaten the Irish four straight times, including the last two NCAA title games and in the NCAA semifinals the year before. The Irish are the last team to win in Connecticut, beating the Huskies 61-59 in Hartford in the Big East tournament in 2013.

Madison Cable, who has posted back-to-back career highs with 22 points against UCLA and 25 points against No. 10 Ohio State, said the Irish need to find a way to win without Turner.

''She's a huge presence, a shot blocker. She alters shots. She gets rebounds. It's a huge loss for us, but we have to find a way around it,'' she said.

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