April 3, 2013
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – One day after she was a unanimous Associated Press first-team All-America selection, Notre Dame senior guard/co-captain Skylar Diggins (South Bend, Ind./Washington) collected two more All-America citations, earning a spot on the five-player John R. Wooden Award All-America Team and the 10-person United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) All-America Team, according to separate releases issued by the Los Angeles Athletic Club (the Wooden Award’s presenting sponsor) and the USBWA.
This marks the second consecutive season that Diggins has earned a spot on the AP, Wooden Award and USBWA All-America squads. She is the first two-time first-team AP All-American and Wooden Award All-American in program history and she joins Ruth Riley as the only Fighting Irish players to garner USBWA All-America accolades twice in her career (Riley did so in 2000 and 2001).
Joining Diggins on the 2013 Wooden Award All-America Team are: Elena Delle Donne (Delaware), Brittney Griner (Baylor), Chiney Ogwumike (Stanford) and Odyssey Sims (Baylor). This year’s team will be honored during the 37th annual Wooden Award Gala on April 12 in Los Angeles, while the recipient of the 2013 John R. Wooden Award (of which Diggins is one of 15 finalists) will be announced on ESPN at the NCAA Men’s Final Four in Atlanta.
Along with Diggins, the remainder of the USBWA All-America Team consists of: Kelsey Bone (Texas A&M), Delle Donne, Stefanie Dolson (Connecticut), Griner, Maggie Lucas (Penn State), Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis (Connecticut), Ogwumike, Sims and Alyssa Thomas (Maryland). These 10 players also are the finalists for the USBWA National Player of the Year, which will be announced on April 7 in New Orleans.
It’s been a whirlwind 24 hours for Diggins, who not only secured the three aforementioned All-America honors, but also was named the Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA Norfolk Regional after helping lead No. 2 (and top-seeded) Notre Dame to its third consecutive NCAA Women’s Final Four appearance (and fifth overall) with an 87-76 win over No. 5 (and second-seeded) Duke in the regional final on Tuesday night in Norfolk, Va. In that game, Diggins registered game highs of 24 points and nine assists on the way to becoming the first Notre Dame player to be named an NCAA Regional Most Outstanding Player in three consecutive NCAA Championships (she also did so at the 2011 Dayton Regional and 2012 Raleigh Regional).
Diggins is the first Notre Dame women’s basketball player to be both a four-time Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) all-region selection and a two-time BIG EAST Conference Player of the Year, in addition to being a finalist for every major national player-of-the-year award including the State Farm Wade Trophy, Naismith Trophy and John R. Wooden Award. She also was a unanimous first-team all-conference honoree for the third year in a row, joining Riley as the only Fighting Irish women’s basketball players to pull off that feat. In addition, Diggins is one of seven final nominees for the Nancy Lieberman Award (going to the nation’s top point guard, an honor she received last season), among 52 finalists for the State Farm Coaches’ All-America Team (to be announced Saturday during NCAA Women’s Final Four activities in New Orleans) and a finalist for the Senior CLASS Award.
Diggins has started all 36 games this season and leads the BIG EAST in assists (6.0 apg.), while ranking fourth in scoring (17.3 ppg.) and third in steals (3.1 spg.; school record 110 steals overall) and fourth in free throw percentage (.810). She also is among the conference’s best in three-point percentage (5th – .371) and assist/turnover ratio (6th – 1.68), and she leads the team with 33 double-figure scoring games (giving her a school-record 120 for her career, three more than the previous Notre Dame record held by current Fighting Irish associate coach Beth (Morgan) Cunningham from 1993-97).
For her career, Diggins is Notre Dame’s all-time leader in points (2,347), steals (377), games started (143) and minutes played (4,601), in addition to her mark for career double-figure scoring games. She also ranks second with 737 career assists (41 behind Mary Gavin’s mark set from 1984-88) and 149 games played (two behind Brittany Mallory’s record set last year).
Notre Dame (35-1) will take on No. 3 Connecticut for the fourth time this season when the two schools square off in a national semifinal game at the NCAA Women’s Final Four at approximately 8 p.m. CT (9 p.m. ET) Sunday from New Orleans Arena in New Orleans, La. The third national semifinal clash between the Fighting Irish and Huskies in as many years (a first in NCAA Women’s Final Four history) will be televised live to a national cable audience on ESPN and ESPNHD, with additional coverage on ESPN3/WatchESPN. The game also can be heard on the radio in the South Bend area on Pulse FM (96.9/92.1), with veteran broadcaster Bob Nagle on the call, and around the world on the Dial Global/NCAA Radio Network (check local listings for availability).
Ticket packages for the NCAA Women’s Final Four are on sale only for Notre Dame women’s basketball season ticket holders through the Notre Dame’s Murnane Family Athletics Ticket Office at a cost of $200 for the all-session package (three games). These packages can be purchased by calling (574) 631-7356 or visiting the ticket windows at Gate 9 of Purcell Pavilion weekdays during normal business hours (8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. ET) — tickets may be picked up any time before 11 a.m. (ET) Thursday, after which time any remaining tickets may be claimed on game day at New Orleans Arena beginning at 5:30 p.m. (ET)/4:30 p.m. (CT), one hour before the first NCAA Women’s Final Four national semifinal game between California and Louisville tips off.
For more information on the Notre Dame women’s basketball program, sign up to follow the Fighting Irish women’s basketball Twitter pages (@ndwbbsid or @ndwbb), visit the program’s official Facebook page (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.
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