February 23, 1999

AP MegaSports Writer

The Big East co-players of the week will go head to head Tuesday when No. 10 Notre Dame plays host to Miami in the regular season finale for both teams.

Sheila McMillen scored 26 points Saturday to lead the Fighting Irish (22-3, 14-3) to a 89-54 rout of West Virginia. In the contest, the senior made five 3-pointers to break the school’s single-season record of 71. With one more trey, McMillen will break Beth Morgan’s career mark of 231.

Mountaineers coach Alexis Basil had high praise for the long-range threat.

“McMillen is a very smart player,” she said. “She comes off screens like you’re supposed to. She’s just a quality player with that outside shot. I don’t think many Big East teams were able to stop her.”

For her efforts, McMillen was named the conference’s co-player of the week along with Miami’s Kym Hope.

McMillen is hardly the only threat on a talented Notre Dame squad, however. Ruth Riley, the Big East’s leading scorer and rebounder at 17.8 points and 8.7 boards per game, is an intimidating inside presence who is mostly responsible for McMillen’s open looks.

The sophomore is second in the nation in field goal percentage (.671) and third in blocks (3.4 bpg).

Riley and company will go up against a Hurricanes (14-11, 9-8) team that comes off an 83-51 win over St. John’s on Saturday for their third straight victory. Hope tied a career-high with 33 points and 10 rebounds.

It marked the second time in six games the senior had tallied 33 points, and she notched her ninth double-double of the year in the contest.

The Irish will be looking to avenge a one-point loss to the ‘Canes in the teams’ last meeting, a 77-76 decision last year. In that game, Miami hit a free throw with no time left on the clock to pull out the win.

Notre Dame, which is third in the Big East, is in the midst of its sixth consecutive 20-win season and is 11-1 at the Joyce Center. Miami is tied for fifth in the league.