March 5, 2004
HARTFORD, Conn. – The Notre Dame women’s basketball team added some more hardware to its trophy case Friday night when two of its players were recognized for outstanding achievement at the BIG EAST Conference Championship Awards Banquet, which was held at the Hartford/Windsor Airport Marriott in Hartford, Conn.
Junior forward Jacqueline Batteast (South Bend, Ind./Washington HS) was named a first-team all-BIG EAST selection for the first time in her career after garnering second-team honors the past two seasons. Batteast, a Naismith Award finalist, ranked among the Top 10 in the conference in scoring (9th – 15.1 ppg.), rebounding (4th – 8.3 rpg.), field goal percentage (9th – .451), blocked shots (5th – 1.29 bpg.) and double-doubles (2nd – 10). She was especially sharp against ranked opponents, averaging 15.7 ppg. and 8.7 rpg. with four double-doubles in 10 games against Top 25 teams.
Sophomore guard Megan Duffy (Dayton, Ohio/Chaminade-Julienne HS) was a double honoree on Friday night, earning honorable mention all-BIG EAST laurels as well as the league’s Most Improved Player award. Duffy ranks second on the team in scoring (10.6 ppg.) and stands among the conference leaders in assists (9th – 4.25 apg.), free throw percentage (7th – .816), assist/turnover ratio (6th – 1.45) and three-pointers made per game (15th – 1.57). In addition, she has posted a team-best .436 three-point percentage, which would lead the league if she had made enough treys to qualify.
Duffy also had 16 double-figure scoring games and 14 games with five or more assists, a far cry from her freshman campaign when she scored in double digits only twice and averaged just 3.0 ppg. and 2.3 apg. with a .242 field goal percentage. She is the second Notre Dame player in the last four years to earn the BIG EAST Most Improved Player award. Kelley Siemon picked up the honor in 2001 after helping lead the Irish to a share of their first-ever BIG EAST regular-season title, and eventually playing a pivotal role in their first NCAA title.
Notre Dame (19-9) is seeded second in this year’s BIG EAST Championship and will face either No. 7 seed Rutgers or 10th-seeded Seton Hall in the conference quaterfinals Sunday at 6 p.m. (ET) at the Hartford Civic Center. The game can be heard live in the South Bend area on WDND-AM (ESPN Radio 1580) as well as worldwide on the Internet at www.und.com.
— ND —