Jan. 19, 2015
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – University of Notre Dame women’s basketball freshman forward Brianna Turner (Pearland, Texas/Manvel) has proven to be a handful for many Fighting Irish opponents. Thus, it comes as no surprise the rookie has a handful of awards to show for her efforts.
Turner swept both major Atlantic Coast Conference weekly honors earlier today, earning her first ACC Player of the Week award and her fifth ACC Freshman of the Week citation this season. Both honors were chosen by the conference’s Blue Ribbon Panel that is comprised of the ACC’s 15 head coaches, local and national media members and the women’s basketball media relations directors for each school.
Turner is the first Fighting Irish women’s basketball player in the program’s 38-year history to earn both weekly honors in any of Notre Dame’s four conference affiliations (North Star, Midwestern Collegiate/Horizon League, BIG EAST and Atlantic Coast). She also is the first ACC rookie to sweep both honors in the same week since Feb. 17, 2014, when North Carolina’s Diamond DeShields was a double honoree.
Turner has garnered exactly half of the conference’s 10 Freshman of the Week awards this season, with no other player earning that distinction more than once to date in the 2014-15 campaign. What’s more, she is the third Notre Dame player in program history to earn five conference freshman-of-the-week accolades in one season, and the first since Jacqueline Batteast copped six BIG EAST weekly rookie awards in 2001-02 — Alicia Ratay also collected six BIG EAST freshman accolades in 1999-2000.
According to STATS, Turner became the second NCAA Division I player in 16 seasons to register 29 points, 18 rebounds and seven blocked shots in a game when she posted those career-high totals on Jan. 15 in Notre Dame’s 89-79 win at No. 12/10 North Carolina. The only other Division I player to reach those marks since STATS began tracking women’s basketball statistics was Oklahoma’s Courtney Paris, who had 30 points, 20 rebounds and seven blocks on March 11, 2008, in a 70-64 overtime loss to Missouri in the first round of the Big 12 Conference Tournament at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Missouri.
Turner picked up her fourth double-double and fifth 20-point outing of her rookie season last week at North Carolina. She also logged the most rebounds by a Notre Dame player since March 10, 2013, when Natalie Achonwa had 20 rebounds against South Florida in the BIG EAST Tournament quarterfinals at Hartford, Connecticut.
“What can you say about Bri — just a phenomenal effort at Carolina, and really all season to this point,” Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw said. “She’s continuing to learn and grow, and she’s doing everything we’re asking of her, fitting right in and complementing the great contributions we’re getting from several different people right now.”
Turner currently leads the ACC and ranks second nationally with a .674 field-goal percentage. She also ranks third in the ACC in blocked shots (2.9 bpg.), eighth in the conference in scoring (16.1 ppg.) and 11th in rebounding (7.7 rpg.).
Sixth-ranked Notre Dame steps out of conference play one final time in the 2014-15 regular season when it welcomes No. 5 Tennessee to Purcell Pavilion at 7 p.m. (ET) Monday. The game will be televised live on ESPN2 and the WatchESPN app as part of the ESPN2 “Big Monday” package, the first of three times the Fighting Irish will play on “Big Monday” this season. Radio coverage of Monday’s game also will be available in South Bend on Pulse FM (96.9/92.1) and free of charge worldwide online through the official Notre Dame athletics multimedia platform, WatchND.
For more information on the Notre Dame women’s basketball program, sign up to follow the Fighting Irish women’s basketball Twitter pages (@NDsidMasters or @ndwbb), like the program on Facebook (facebook.com/ndwbb) or register for the Irish ALERT text-messaging system through the “Fan Center” pulldown menu on the front page at UND.com.
— Chris Masters, Associate Athletic Media Relations Director