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Irish Head West To Face The Washington Huskies

Dec. 5, 2003

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THE DATE AND TIME: Sunday, Dec. 7, 2003, at 1:05 p.m. PT (4:05 p.m. ET in South Bend).

THE SITE: Bank of America Arena (10,000) in Seattle, Wash.

THE TICKETS: Still available by calling the Washington Ticket Office (206-543-2200).

THE TV PLANS: Fox Sports Net national broadcast with Rich Waltz (play-by-play), Cathy Nelson (analysis), Dennis Kirkpatrick (producer) and Joe Aceti (director). The game will be shown live on most FSN affiliates nationwide, including Fox Sports Chicago and Fox Sports Northwest.

THE RADIO PLANS: All Notre Dame games are broadcast live on WDND-AM (ESPN Radio 1620) and/or WNDV-AM (1490) in South Bend with Sean Stires (play-by-play) and Shawn Lewallen (analysis). These broadcasts also are available through the Notre Dame athletics web site at

REAL-TIME STATISTICS: Live in-game statistics are available for the Washington game through the Notre Dame ( and Washington ( athletics web sites.

WEB SITE: Notre Dame (, Washington (

For the fifth time in seven games this season, Notre Dame will be on the road, heading to Seattle on Sunday for a 1 p.m. (PT) matchup with Washington at Bank of America Arena. The game will be televised live to a national cable audience on Fox Sports Net.

The Irish (3-3) got back to the .500 mark Thursday night with an 82-64 win over Wisconsin at the Joyce Center. Notre Dame’s two sophomores, Megan Duffy and Courtney LaVere, combined for 47 points and shot 17 of 28 (.607) from the floor in the victory. Duffy did much of her damage in the first half, scoring 19 points, while LaVere was the second-half threat, hitting for 18 points in the period. Duffy finished with a career-high 25 points on eight of 12 shooting, including six of 10 from three-point range. LaVere had season bests of 22 points and nine rebounds. Washington (4-0) has started off well this season, winning a pair of tournaments in convincing fashion. The Huskies last played on Nov. 29, downing Oklahoma State, 89-65 to win the Seattle Times Husky Classic. Senior guard Giuliana Mendiola led UW with 30 points and eight rebounds, canning all four of her three-point attempts.

Mendiola is second on the team in scoring (19.8 ppg.) and first in rebounding (7.8 rpg.), while senior forward/center Andrea Lalum is tops in scoring (22.0 ppg.) and field goal percentage (.590). Notre Dame won its only prior meeting with Washington, 80-67, on Dec. 2, 1995, in Kona, Hawaii.

Coming into this season, one of the bigger question marks surrounding Notre Dame was its perimeter play. The Irish figured to count on their post offense in the early part of the year while their outside shooting developed to fill in the void left by the graduation of Alicia Ratay. Yet, through the first five games of the season, it has been the Notre Dame backcourt that has sparkled while the posts have had difficulty getting on track.

Sophomore Megan Duffy (12.7 ppg., team-high 4.5 apg., .565 3FG%) is in her first season as the everyday point guard for the Irish and she already is showing signs of being a key cog in the Notre Dame offensive arsenal. After averaging only three points and 2.3 assists per game last year, the Dayton, Ohio, native has more than quadrupled her scoring output and she owns a team-best 1.35 assist/turnover ratio. In addition, she is showing offensive diversity, knocking down 13 of 23 three-pointers this season and posting a career-high 25 points Thursday night vs. Wisconsin. Senior captain Le’Tania Severe (8.8 ppg., 3.3 apg.) has slid over to the shooting guard position in place of Ratay and has filled in admirably thus far. While not putting up the three-point numbers Ratay had in her remarkable career, Severe is getting her points as a slasher, driving to the basket and creating havoc for opposing defenses. She also leads the Irish with 1.8 steals per game and has been a vital piece of Notre Dame’s transition game. She collected a season-high 14 points in the loss to Colorado, earning a spot on the WBCA Classic All-Tournament Team, before adding 13 points (on six of 10 shooting) last Sunday at third-ranked Tennessee.

Senior guard Jeneka Joyce (6.0 ppg., team-high .615 3FG%) also has been a pleasant surprise recently. After missing more than 20 months with recurring leg injuries, Joyce returned to action Nov. 21 vs. Valparaiso and promptly drained all three of her three-point attempts. She then knocked down three more treys to begin the Michigan State game and she ranks fifth on the school’s career charts in three-point percentage (.392).

Junior forward and preseason All-American Jacqueline Batteast (15.3 ppg., 7.8 rpg., 1.7 bpg., two double-doubles) has lived up to her accolades early this season, leading Notre Dame in scoring, rebounding and blocked shots. She was named to the WBCA Classic All-Tournament Team on Nov. 15 after a superb weekend that included a career-high 27 points against 22nd-ranked Auburn. She then piled up back-to-back double-doubles vs. No. 20 Colorado (13p, 10r) and Valparaiso (15p, 10r) before logging a team-high 12 points at Michigan State and team bests of 16 points and seven caroms at No. 3 Tennessee. She now has 51 career double-figure scoring games, 21 career double-doubles and needs only 105 points to become the 20th Notre Dame player to score 1,000 career points.

Junior Katy Flecky (7.3 ppg., 2.8 rpg.) and sophomore Courtney LaVere (10.7 ppg., 5.8 rpg.) also have made important contributions at times this season. Flecky scored 17 points in the season-opening win over No. 22 Auburn, burying a trio of three-pointers in the win. Meanwhile, LaVere, a freshman All-American last season, has had to deal with several bouts of foul trouble, but appears to have strugged that off lately. She tied Batteast for team-high scoring honors with 12 points at Michigan State before rising up and carding season highs of 22 points and nine rebounds vs. Wisconsin. She now is third on the team with a superb .519 field goal percentage.

Washington looks to be one of the favorites in the Pac-10 Conference this season after posting its third consecutive 19-win campaign in 2002-03. The Huskies also made their second NCAA Tournament appearance in three years, falling to Wisconsin-Green Bay in the opening round. UW also is just three years removed from the program’s best-ever finish, a trip to the 2001 NCAA Elite Eight in the same tournament where Notre Dame would go on to win its first national championship.

Seven letterwinners and three starters are back from last year’s NCAA qualifying squad and they have helped the Huskies start this season in strong fashion. Washington is 4-0 thus far in 2003-04 after winning the Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort Classic and the Seattle Times Husky Classic on consecutive weekends before and after Thanksgiving. UW also comes into Sunday’s game with Notre Dame as a well-rested crew, having not played since Nov. 29, when the Huskies ousted Oklahoma State, 89-65, to win the Seattle Times tourney.

Reigning Pac-10 Player of the Week and All-America senior guard Giuliana Mendiola is one of the sparkplugs for the Washington attack. She is second on the team in scoring at 19.8 points per game and leads the squad with 7.5 rebounds per game. Meanwhile, senior forward/center Andrea Lalum has proven to be a pleasant surprise for the Huskies this year, averaging a team-high 22.0 ppg., and shooting a team-best .590 from the floor. Coming into this season, Lalum was logging 10.5 ppg. in her career with a .429 field goal percentage.

Washington head coach June Daugherty is in her eighth season with the Huskies, sporting a 126-86 (.594) record with four NCAA Tournament berths. She previously spent seven years as the head coach at Boise State and has a career coaching record of 249-160 (.609).

Notre Dame and Washington have met just once before, with the Irish claiming an 80-67 victory on Dec. 2, 1995, at the Kona Women’s Basketball Classic in Kona, Hawaii (see recap in next note). This will be the first time the teams have met in Seattle.

Notre Dame used a 12-1 run midway through the second half to rally past Washington, 80-67, on Dec. 2, 1995, at the Kona Women’s Basketball Classic in Kona, Hawaii. Beth Morgan led four Irish players in double figures with 23 points, Katryna Gaither added 20 points and Mollie Peirick dished out nine assists for the victors. Jamie Redd paced three Huskies in double digits with 19 points.

The Irish trailed throughout the first half, falling behind by as much as 11 points (22-11) with 7:07 left in the period. A 12-2 Notre Dame spurt nearly wiped out that deficit, but UW managed to hold on to a 29-27 lead at the break.

The Irish took their first lead of the day at 33-32 on Peirick’s jumper with 17:28 to play. From there, the game turned into a back-and-forth affair that included three ties and four lead changes. Sheila McMillen gave Notre Dame the lead for good eight minutes into the second half, ringing up six points in 35 seconds on an old-fashioned three-point play and a three-pointer. Washington stayed close and got within 50-49 on the second of Redd’s back-to-back jumpers with 9:45 remaining. That’s when the Irish made their game-turning run, bumping their advantage into double digits. UW never got closer than seven points the rest of the way, with the final score being the largest margin of the game.


  • Sunday’s game is serving as a homecoming for Notre Dame junior center Teresa Borton, who hails from Yakima, Wash., and was a standout at West Valley High School. As a senior in 2000-01, she averaged 17.9 points per game and was named the Most Valuable Player of the Washington Class 3A State Tournament after leading West Valley to the state championship. In Borton’s four years at WVHS, her teams went a combined 102-11 (.903). Borton’s family is well-known in the area as well < they=”” own=”” borton=”” fruit=”” company.=””>
  • As one might expect, Borton is quite familiar with several members of the Washington squad. She played on the same AAU team (Yakima Elite) with UW junior guard Kristen O’Neill and student assistant coach Kayla Burt. Borton also remains friends with Husky redshirt sophomore forward Kirsten Brockman, whom she squared off when Brockman played at Snohomish High School.
  • Borton is the third Washington native to suit up for Notre Dame. Kim Garrison (Mill Creek, Wash.) appeared in five games during the 1986-87 season, but did not score. More recently, Kari Hutchinson (Nine Mile Falls, Wash.) was a three-year monogram winner for the Irish, playing from 1994-98 and averaging 3.0 ppg.
  • Four players in Sunday’s game hail from southern California < notre=”” dame=”” sophomore=”” forward=””>Courtney LaVere (Ventura/Buena HS) and freshman forward Crystal Erwin (Rancho Cucamonga/St. Paul HS), as well as Washington senior guards Giuliana and Gioconda Mendiola (Lake Forest/El Toro HS). The quartet has played one another in various settings and combinations in recent years at both the high school and AAU levels.
  • Longtime Washington athletics media relations director Jim “Spook” Daves spent six years as an assistant and associate sports information director at Notre Dame from 1986-92.

The Irish have a limited history against the Pacific-10 Conference, posting a 13-13 (.500) record against the league all-time (4-8 on the road). However, their recent history with the Pac-10 has been much better, as the Irish have won 10 of their last 11 games against that conference, dating back to a 93-72 loss at UCLA on March 18, 1992, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Notre Dame has played six of the 10 Pac-10 member schools, holding .500 or better series records against Arizona (3-1), Arizona State (1-1), USC (4-1) and Washington (1-0). The Irish have never faced California, Oregon, Oregon State or Washington State.

Notre Dame defeated all three Pac-10 schools it played last year, winning at USC (69-57) and Arizona State (81-52) during the regular season before toppling Arizona (59-47) in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in Manhattan, Kan. That avenged the only Pac-10 loss the Irish have suffered in the past 11 years < arizona=”” won=”” at=”” the=”” buzzer,=”” 72-70,=”” on=”” nov.=”” 24,=”” 2001,=”” in=”” tucson.=””>

Sunday’s game is the first of two for Notre Dame against the Pac-10 this season. USC will visit the Joyce Center on Dec. 22, as the Irish and Women of Troy renew their budding rivalry which began in 1999.

The Irish have played on Dec. 7 five times in their history, posting a 3-2 (.600) record, including a 1-1 mark on the road. The first three times Notre Dame played on this day, each game was decided by four points or less (78-74 loss at Northwestern in 1983; 70-66 win vs. Marquette in 1988; 75-73 loss vs. Michigan State in 1994). However, the last two games have been blowout wins for the Irish, including their most recent outing last season, when Notre Dame rolled to an 81-52 win at Arizona State in the AstraZeneca Hoops for the Cure Classic II.

Although Notre Dame and Washington have never played one another in Seattle, this will be the third time the Irish have traveled to the Emerald City. In both 1986 and 1994, Notre Dame participated in the Seattle Times Husky Classic, finishing fourth each time. In ’86, the Irish lost to Oklahoma (57-54) and Montana (50-48), and in ’94, Notre Dame bowed to Colorado (91-70) and Miami-Ohio (79-76). For those counting, three of those four games in Seattle were decided by three points or less.

Notre Dame is quickly learning how it rates against the rest of the nation’s elite programs. The Irish are winding up a brutal stretch that included playing five of their first seven games away from home, with all five road contests coming against teams that were either ranked or receiving votes in both major national polls. Notre Dame already has defeated No. 22 Auburn (77-64), lost a narrow overtime decision at No. 20 Colorado (67-63) after leading much of the way in that game, fell at Michigan State (92-63) after the Spartans came into the game receiving votes in both polls, and lost at third-ranked Tennessee (83-59). Partly on the strength of its win over Notre Dame, MSU jumped into the Associated Press poll this week, checking in at No. 24. Sunday’s game against Washington is another in this early string of stern tests < the=”” huskies=”” are=”” garnering=”” votes=”” in=”” the=”” polls=”” this=”” week.=””>

The tough early-season Irish schedule has not gone unnoticed by the national media. The latest Sagarin ratings have pegged the Notre Dame docket as the fourth-toughest in the nation (through Dec. 4), while has the Irish schedule ranked 13th-hardest in the land.

In actuality, all seven of Notre Dame’s non-conference road games are against teams that are presently ranked or receiving votes. The remaining out-of-conference road lineup includes trips to Colorado State (Dec. 29 – receiving votes) and Purdue (Jan. 4 – 7th in AP/10th in ESPN-USA Today).


  • Notre Dame will pick up back-to-back wins for the first time this season and move back above the .500 mark with a 4-3 record.
  • The Irish will jump to 14-13 (.519) all-time against the Pac-10 Conference and win for the 11th time in its last 12 outings against that league.
  • Head coach Muffet McGraw will see her record at Notre Dame rise to 367-141 (.722) in 17 seasons under the Golden Dome. She also will watch her career ledger improve to 455-182 (.714) in 22 years at the college level.
  • The Irish will raise their all-time record to 531-240 (.689) in 27 seasons of varsity competition.

Some people contend that athletes see their production drop off in their second year, producing what is called the ?sophomore jinx.? At least for one night, Megan Duffy and Courtney LaVere were having none of that.

The two Notre Dame sophomores combined for 47 points on 17 of 28 shooting (.607), helping the Irish snap a two-game losing streak with an 82-64 win over Wisconsin Thursday night before a crowd of 5,868 at the Joyce Center. It was Notre Dame’s 42nd non-conference home win in its last 44 opportunities, dating back to the 1994-95 season, and it was the first Irish victory over a Big Ten Conference opponent since April 1, 2001, when Notre Dame defeated Purdue, 68-66 in the NCAA championship game in St. Louis.

Duffy poured in a career-high 25 points, including 19 in the first half, and wound up making eight of her 12 shots and six of 10 from three-point range. Her previous career best was 14 points, which she set last Sunday at third-ranked Tennessee. In fact, when combining her second-half output at UT and her first half vs. Wisconsin, Duffy tallied 33 points and made 12 of 16 shots, including six of eight three-pointers. On top of all that, the Dayton, Ohio, native matched her career high with seven assists against Wisconsin and turned the ball over just once in a crisp 35 minutes of action.

Meanwhile, LaVere was locked down for much of the first half, but followed her classmate’s lead in the second stanza, erupting for 18 of her season-high 22 points to go along with nine rebounds. Junior forward Jacqueline Batteast also narrowly missed a double-double, finishing with nine points and a game-high 10 rebounds.

As a team, Wisconsin (2-3) shot the ball well, hitting at a 49 percent clip on the night. The Badgers were especially hot in the first half, connecting on 13 of 23 shots (.565) in the opening 20 minutes. That sharp shooting led to an early 11-6 lead for UW at the 14:43 junction and had the Joyce Center crowd buzzing. However, Notre Dame wiped out that deficit by going on a 12-2 run over the next five minutes, taking an 18-13 lead on a three-pointer by senior Jeneka Joyce.

The Badgers gamely hung with the Irish, rallying to tie the score twice later in the period, the second coming at 24-all with 4:17 remaining. Notre Dame then closed the half on a 12-5 spurt to take its largest lead to that point at 36-27 heading into the dressing room.

After scoring just four points on two of six shooting in the opening period, LaVere came out determined early in the second half, scoring the first seven Irish points. Wisconsin didn’t budge and the lead was just nine points (47-38) after the Badgers’ Jordan Wilson hit a layup with 17:19 to play. Notre Dame then mounted another charge, scoring 11 of the next 14 points, with LaVere and junior Katy Flecky each knocking down a pair of baskets, to build up a 58-41 lead at the 14:25 mark. LaVere wound up hitting six of her first seven shots in the second half and was seven of 10 in the period.

Wisconsin made a final push down the stretch, getting as close as 73-60 when Josephson buried a jumper with four and a half minutes to go. The Irish then sealed matters with a mini 9-2 run, matching their biggest lead of the night at 82-62 with 32 seconds left.

Based on her play early this season, sophomore point guard Megan Duffy is making a strong case to be named the BIG EAST Conference Most Improved Player. Last season, the Dayton native averaged 3.0 points and 2.3 assists per game while still shaking off the rust caused by off-season knee surgery. She also struggled to find her shooting touch, hitting at a .242 clip from the floor and making only seven of 35 three-point attempts (.200).

Fast forward to this season, where Duffy has been an impact player from the outset. She is second on the team in scoring at 12.7 ppg., which more than quadruples her production from last year, and her 4.5 apg. average is nearly double that of last season. However, her biggest improvement has come in her shooting numbers, where she’s connecting at a superb .520 rate (26-50), including a sharp .565 percentage (13-23) from the three-point line. She’s about to double the number of treys she made all of last year and after cracking double digits just twice in 2002-03 (career high was 12 points), she has three double-figure games this season, with all three surpassing her previous career best (led by a 25-point outburst Thursday vs. Wisconsin, where she shattered her career standard from beyond the arc, going six for 10 from downtown).

But lest we forget her primary duties at the point, Duffy is leading the Irish with 27 assists and just 20 turnovers (a 1.35 assist/turnover ratio) and has tied her personal best with seven assists against both Valparaiso and Wisconsin.

Sophomore forward Courtney LaVere has been a strong presence in the post for Notre Dame this season and turned in her best performance to date Thursday vs. Wisconsin, scoring 22 points and grabbing nine rebounds in a win over the Badgers. Her scoring total was one off her career high and she narrowly missed chalking up her sixth career double-double, settling instead for her sixth career 20-point game. Even more impressive is the fact that LaVere scored 18 of her 22 points in the second half, hitting six of her first seven shots and going seven for 10 from the floor in the period.

Despite not having seen any meaningful action since March 17, 2002 at Tennessee in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, senior guard Jeneka Joyce has looked very comfortable in her first three games this season. The Topeka, Kan., native missed Notre Dame’s two games at the WBCA Classic, but returned to action Nov. 21 vs. Valparaiso and promptly canned all three of her three-point attempts (including the last from nearly 25 feet out), finishing with nine points. Five nights later on Nov. 26 at Michigan State, Joyce nailed her first three three-point shots before missing her last two and again wound up with nine points. She is eight of 13 from beyond the arc this season, good for a team-best .615 percentage, while averaging 6.0 points per game.

For her career, Joyce now ranks fifth in school history with a .392 three-point percentage (56 of 143). She also stands ninth with 54 career treys and 138 career three-point attempts.

Junior forward Jacqueline Batteast needs only 105 points to become the 20th player in school history to score 1,000 career points. Batteast already is one of only five Irish players to have scored 800 points in her first two seasons at Notre Dame and at her current 15.3 ppg. pace, she should reach the millennium milestone sometime in January. For her career, the South Bend native ranks sixth in school history with a 14.0 ppg. scoring average (895 points in 64 games).

Although they didn’t come away with the trophy they wanted at the WBCA Classic, junior forward Jacqueline Batteast and senior guard Le’Tania Severe did receive individual honors as members of the WBCA Classic All-Tournament Team. Batteast averaged 20 points and 7.5 rebounds in the two-game tournament, while shooting .529 from the field. Severe carded 11.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game in the tournament and posted a stellar .857 free throw percentage (12 of 14). It was the first career all-tournament team selection for both players.

Notre Dame is receiving 60 votes in the latest Associated Press poll (good for 26th if the poll were extended) after spending the first three weeks of this season in the AP Top 25 poll. The Irish were ranked 15th in the preseason AP poll, marking the seventh time in the last eight seasons that the Irish were tapped in the initial AP survey of the year.

Notre Dame also is earning 71 votes in the most recent ESPN/USA Today coaches poll (placing ND 27th in the poll were extended) after appearing in the Top 25 for the first three weeks of 2003-04. The Irish were pegged No. 16 in the preseason coaches poll, also the seventh time in eight years that they had shown up in the first ESPN/USA Today poll of the year.

Notre Dame has faced or will face six teams that are currently ranked in both major polls (No. 1/1 Connecticut, No. 3/3 Tennessee, No. 7/10 Purdue, No. 17/15 Colorado, No. 23/19 Virginia Tech and No. 22/22 Rutgers). In addition, Michigan State is 24th and Auburn is 25th in the latest AP poll, while Boston College is 24th in the most recent ESPN/USA Today coaches’ poll. Four other Notre Dame opponents presently are receiving votes in one or both of the major polls this week < colorado=”” state,=”” georgetown,=”” villanova=”” and=”” washington.=””>

Over the last four seasons, Notre Dame has been nearly unbeatable when it has the lead at halftime. The Irish are 65-5 (.929) since the start of the 2000-01 campaign when they go into the dressing room with the lead, including a 3-1 mark this year. One of those rare losses occurred vs. Colorado in the WBCA Classic on Nov. 15. Notre Dame led 37-33 at the intermission before the Buffaloes rallied for a 67-63 overtime win.

Over the last nine seasons, Notre Dame has discovered that a solid defensive effort can almost certainly guarantee a victory. In fact, since the beginning of the 1995-96 season (Notre Dame’s first in the BIG EAST Conference), the Irish have an amazing 115-4 (.966) record when they hold their opponents to less than 60 points in a game. Notre Dame added another notch on that tally on Nov. 21 vs. Valparaiso by holding the Crusaders to 57 points.

Not resting solely on its defensive laurels, Notre Dame also seemingly has found the magic mark when it comes to outscoring its opponents. Over the last nine seasons (1995-96 to present), the Irish are 86-3 (.966) when they score at least 80 points in a game. The only blemishes on that record are a pair of overtime losses to Texas A&M (88-84) and Michigan State (87-83) in 1995 and a 106-81 loss to Connecticut in 1998. Notre Dame tacked on another win to this tally Thursday night with its 82-64 win over Wisconsin.

Notre Dame is one of only eight schools in the country to have appeared in the NCAA Sweet Sixteen five times in the past seven seasons (1997-2003). The others are Connecticut (seven times), Tennessee (seven times), Duke (six times), Louisiana Tech (six times), North Carolina (five times), Old Dominion (five times) and Texas Tech (five times).

The Irish are one of just six teams nationwide to have an active streak of 10 consecutive 20-win seasons. The others in these elite club are Tennessee (27), Texas Tech (14), Louisiana Tech (12), Old Dominion (12) and Connecticut (10).

For the first time since the 1998-99 season, the Irish are wearing white uniforms at home this season, eschewing the golden togs they sported for the past four seasons. Notre Dame has worn white uniforms on numerous occasions on the past, dating as far back as the school’s first varsity women’s basketball squad, which took the floor in 1977-78. Blue will continue to be the primary color for the Irish road uniforms.

The newest addition to the Notre Dame coaching staff is Jonathan Tsipis, who was hired on May 13, 2003. Tsipis (pronounced SIP-iss) comes to Notre Dame following one season as the director of men’s basketball operations at UNC Greensboro, working under former Irish assistant coach Fran McCaffery.

Prior to arriving at UNC Greensboro, Tsipis spent two seasons as an assistant men’s coach at Elon (N.C.) University. While there, he worked primarily with the Phoenix’s perimeter players and also helped coordinate the team’s scouting and recruiting efforts. In addition, he was responsible for organizing the team’s travel plans and off-season workout programs.

Tsipis came to Elon after one year as the top assistant men’s coach at LeMoyne College in Syracuse, N.Y. He also spent three seasons on the men’s basketball staff at Cornell University (one as a full-time assistant, two as a volunteer aide), and one year as a student assistant men’s basketball coach at Duke University. In the latter role, he served under legendary Blue Devils head coach Mike Krzyzewski and worked alongside current University of Missouri head men’s basketball coach Quin Snyder.

In addition to his coaching duties, Tsipis also serves as the President of the Future Hoopsters Basketball Camp which he founded in 1991. The four-week camp, which focus on specialized individual instruction, originated with 13 campers and now brings in over 100 each summer. He also worked at the Basketball Camp USA in Letahoria, Greece, in July of 2001. There, Tsipis worked clinics for top-ranked junior players from Greece and Macedonia, focusing on perimeter and ball handling skills.

A Cleveland, Ohio, native, Tsipis graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1996 with a bachelor of science degree in Pharmacy. He and his wife, Leigh, reside in South Bend.

Notre Dame has won 183 games over the last eight seasons, which stands as the ninth-most wins of any school in the country during that time. Here’s where the Irish rank in terms of their wins since the start of the 1996-97 campaign (totals through games of Dec. 4):

One of the hallmarks of Notre Dame’s success has been its stellar play at home. In fact, the Irish have been virtually untouchable at home in recent years, winning 87 of their last 94 games (.926) at the 11,418-seat Joyce Center, including a school-record 51-game winning streak from 1998-2002 (at the time, it was the 10th-longest string in NCAA history. Notre Dame also has a 61-7 (.897) record in BIG EAST Conference play at the Joyce Center, sporting a 31-game winning streak at home before it was snapped with a 48-45 loss to Villanova in the 2002 home finale.

The Irish have been particularly strong when it comes to non-conference games at home, winning 42 of their last 44 non-BIG EAST contests at the Joyce Center, dating back to the 1994-95 season. The only two losses in that span came to Wisconsin in 1996 (81-69) and Purdue in 2003 (71-54). The Purdue loss snapped a 33-game non-conference home winning streak which began after the UW setback.

Since its inaugural season in 1977-78, Notre Dame has played all of its games at the Joyce Center, posting a 250-70 (.781) record at the venerable facility. In both the 1999-2000 and 2000-01 seasons, the Irish were a perfect 15-0 at home, setting a school record for home wins in a season. Also, since joining the BIG EAST for the 1995-96 season, Notre Dame is 100-9 (.917) at the Joyce Center.

Beginning with its national championship season of 2000-01, Notre Dame has ranked in the Top 10 in the nation in attendance each of the past three years. The Irish are looking to extend that streak to a fourth straight season and have gotten off to a good start, averaging 5,948 fans for their first two home games. According to the first unofficial national attendance rankings compiled by the Wisconsin Sports Information Office (as of Dec. 1), Notre Dame ranks ninth in the country in attendance.

The Irish averaged 7,132 fans for their 13 home games last season, good for their second consecutive eighth-place finish in the final NCAA attendance rankings. Last year also saw Notre Dame register two of the top 10 crowds in school history, including a season-high gathering of 9,483 fans, the fifth-largest in school history for the nationally-televised matchup with Purdue on Jan. 4.

All of the top 20 crowds in the Irish record book have occurred during the 17-year tenure of head coach Muffet McGraw (1987-present). And, as more evidence of Notre Dame’s rapid elevation to ?hot ticket? status in South Bend, 19 of the top 20 crowds in school history have been recorded in the last four seasons.

Historically, Notre Dame has always played a difficult schedule and 2003-04 is more evidence of that fact. The Irish will play no less than 17 teams that qualified for postseason play last year, including 12 NCAA Tournament squads and six that advanced to the Sweet Sixteen (highlighted by two-time defending national champion Connecticut and NCAA runner-up Tennessee). In addition, five opponents (Connecticut, Purdue, Tennessee, Valparaiso and Villanova) won the regular-season or tournament title in their respective conference. Furthermore, 19 of the 26 possible Irish opponents finished with records of .500 or better last season, including 12 squads that posted 20-win campaigns. All told, Notre Dame opponents had a combined winning percentage of .610 last season (490-313).

Based on its success in recent years, Notre Dame continues to be a favorable television draw and the 2003-04 season will be no exception. The Irish are slated to play on the small screen no less than eight times in the coming campaign, including four appearances on national television.

Notre Dame will make its ’03-04 television debut Sunday at Washington in a matchup that will be shown to a national cable audience on Fox Sports Net. The Irish are back on coast-to-coast television Jan. 4 when they visit Purdue for the inaugural BIG EAST/Big Ten Challenge. That contest will be shown live on ESPN2.

In addition, Notre Dame has been selected to appear on the BIG EAST Conference television package four times this season, including three home games. The Irish will take on Virginia Tech (Jan. 10), Villanova (Jan. 24) and Boston College (Jan. 31) at home and travel to Rutgers (Feb. 28) for games in front of the BIG EAST TV cameras. Those games may be seen on a regional basis in several major East Coast markets, including New York, Boston, Miami, Philadelphia and Washington, as well as South Bend, where WHME-TV (Channel 46) will show the games on a delayed basis.

It also was recently announced that the BIG EAST matchup between Notre Dame and two-time defending national champion Connecticut will be televised jointly by WHME-TV and Connecticut Public Television (CPTV), with College Sports Television (CSTV) also picking up the broadcast and airing it nationally. That game will take place Jan. 13 at 7 p.m. (ET) from the Joyce Center.

Notre Dame will make a fourth national TV appearance on Feb. 25, when the BIG EAST game between the Irish and Miami at the Joyce Center is broadcast live by CSTV. That contest will tip off at 8 p.m. (ET) < some=”” early=”” schedules=”” initially=”” had=”” this=”” game=”” listed=”” one=”” hour=”” earlier.=””>

In addition, the semifinals of this year’s BIG EAST Championship presented by State Farm will be broadcast on the BIG EAST television package Monday, March 8 at 6 and 8 p.m. (ET) from the Hartford (Conn.) Civic Center. WHME-TV in South Bend will carry those games live. The championship game will air live on ESPN2 on Tuesday, March 9 at 7 p.m. (EST).

After a two-year absence, the Joyce Center once again will be home to NCAA Tournament competition as Notre Dame was selected to be one of 16 sites for first- and second-round games in the 2004 NCAA Tournament. Action at the South Bend subregional will take place Sunday, March 21 and Tuesday, March 23, with exact tipoff times and potential television broadcasts to be determined by the NCAA during the week leading up to the competition.

Should Notre Dame qualify for the NCAA Tournament for the 11th time in school history (and the ninth consecutive season), the Irish are guaranteed to play at home. Notre Dame has played five NCAA tourney games at the Joyce Center in its history, going 4-1 and and advancing to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen in 2000 and 2001 (the Irish went on to win the national championship in the latter season).

Tickets for NCAA Tournament games at the Joyce Center currently are available only to Notre Dame season ticket holders, who have a priority option to purchase seats for the event. Tickets for the Sunday and Tuesday sessions will go on sale to the general public Monday, Dec. 1. Single-game tickets will not be made available until after the field of 64 is announced on March 14. For more information on how to purchase tickets for the 2004 NCAA Tournament at the Joyce Center, contact the Notre Dame ticket office at (574) 631-7356.

Once again this season, every Irish women’s basketball game (home and away) will air on the flagship stations of the Artistic Media Partners (AMP) Network < wdnd-am=”” (espn=”” radio=”” 1620)=”” and=”” wndv-am=”” (1490)=”” in=”” south=”” bend.=”” veteran=”” broadcaster=”” and=”” amp=”” sports=”” director=”” sean=”” stires=”” is=”” now=”” in=”” his=”” fourth=”” season=”” handling=”” the=”” play-by-play=”” for=”” notre=”” dame,=”” while=”” amp=”” sports=”” personality=”” shawn=”” lewallen=”” is=”” in=”” his=”” second=”” season=”” providing=”” analysis.=”” the=”” irish=”” also=”” can=”” be=”” heard=”” on=”” the=”” internet=”” at=”” notre=”” dame’s=”” official=”” athletics=”” website=”” (”” by=”” subscribing=”” to=”” fighting=”” irish=”” pass,=”” which=”” gives=”” listeners=”” full=”” access=”” to=”” a=”” variety=”” of=”” irish=”” athletics=”” events=”” on=”” radio=”” for=”” only=”” $6.95=”” per=”” month.=””>

THE Muffet McGraw SHOW
Muffet McGraw’s half-hour, weekly television show is produced by LeSea Broadcasting and hosted by Bob Nagle. The show, now in its seventh season, is carried by WHME-TV (Channel 46) in South Bend and will air at 6:30 p.m. (ET) on Saturdays through the completion of the 2003-04 season. The show also is available via satellite (Galaxy 6, Transponder 15) each Saturday at 10:30 a.m. (ET), and may be seen on LeSea Broadcasting stations in Denver, Honolulu, Indianapolis, New Orleans and Tulsa (check local listings).

Notre Dame has a full stable back in the fold this season, with four starters and eight monogram winners returning from last year’s club that advanced to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen for the fifth time in seven seasons. Numerous media outlets took notice of these facts and pegged the Irish high in the their preseason rankings. Seven of those publications ranked Notre Dame in the Top 20 in the country to begin this season < athlon=”” sports=”” (13th),=”” basketball=”” times=”” (13th),=”” women’s=”” basketball=”” magazine=”” (16th),=”” street=”” &=”” smith’s=”” (17th),=”” women’s=”” basketball=”” news=”” service=”” (17th),=”” full=”” court=”” press=”” (18th)=”” and=”” lindy’s=”” annual=”” (18th).=”” in=”” addition,=”” women’”” had=”” the=”” irish=”” ranked=”” 14th=”” in=”” its=”” “early=”” bird=”” top=”” 50=”” for=”” 2003-04.”=””>

According to a preseason survey of the BIG EAST Conference coaches, Notre Dame will finish third in the conference this season. Those were the results released at the league’s annual Media Day Oct. 30 in Newark, N.J. The Irish earned 139 points, placing them behind two-time defending national champion Connecticut (169 points, 13 first-place votes) and Rutgers (156 points, one first-place vote) in the preseason poll. Virginia Tech was fourth, followed by Boston College, Miami and Villanova. All seven of those schools qualified for the NCAA Tournament last season, with Notre Dame, Connecticut, Boston College and Villanova all advancing to the Sweet Sixteen.

Notre Dame is beginning its ninth season as a member of the BIG EAST Conference in 2003-04. The Irish have gone 112-24 (.824) all-time in regular-season conference games, posting the best winning percentage in league history. Connecticut is second with a .773 success rate. Notre Dame also has finished either first or second in the final BIG EAST regular-season standings six times, including a share of the BIG EAST title in 2000-01.

Junior forward Jacqueline Batteast (South Bend, Ind.) is one of 30 players who were named to the 2003-04 John R. Wooden Women’s Award Preseason All-America Team on Aug. 13. Based on a vote of the Wooden Women’s Award National Advisory Board, these 30 players are considered the top candidates for the inaugural Wooden Women’s Award, which will be presented to the most outstanding female collegiate basketball player at the conclusion of the ’03-04 season.

Batteast is a two-time all-BIG EAST Conference selection who started every game for the Irish last season, leading the team in scoring (13.9 ppg.), rebounding (8.3 rpg.) and blocked shots (1.56 bpg.). She also ranked among the top 15 in the BIG EAST in those categories, as well as steals (1.97 spg.) and double-doubles (8). In addition, the 6-2 wing scored in double figures 26 times, topped the 20-point mark five times, and earned game-high rebounding honors of 14 occasions. She ranks among Notre Dame’s career leaders in scoring average (6th – 13.8 ppg.) and rebounding average (tie-2nd – 8.1 rpg.), and she is one of only five players in school history to amass at least 800 points in her first two seasons under the Golden Dome.

Batteast is one of five BIG EAST players named to the Wooden Preseason All-America Team, joining Rebekkah Brunson of Georgetown, Cappie Pondexter of Rutgers, and the Connecticut duo of Ann Strother and Diana Taurasi.

In mid-January, the Wooden Women’s Award Committee will release its Midseason Top 20 List, followed in March by the official voting ballot which will consist of the top 10-15 players who have proven their success in the classroom (minimum 2.0 grade-point average) as well as on the court. More than 250 voters, comprised of sports media members and women’s college basketball experts around the country, will then cast their votes for the five-member Wooden All-America Team and the Wooden Award winner.

Although the 2003-04 season marks the debut of the Wooden Women’s Award, the honor initially was created in 1976 to recognize the top male collegiate basketball player in the nation. Past winners include Larry Bird (’79), Michael Jordan (’84) and Tim Duncan (’97).

Junior forward Jacqueline Batteast is one of 35 players who were selected to the 2003-04 State Farm Wade Trophy Preseason Watch List on Aug. 20 by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA). Based on a vote of committee members which include leading coaches, journalists and basketball administrators, these 35 players are considered the top candidates for the State Farm Wade Trophy, which will be presented to the most outstanding female collegiate basketball player at the conclusion of the ’03-04 season.

Batteast is a two-time all-BIG EAST Conference selection who started every game for the Irish last season, leading the team in scoring (13.9 ppg.), rebounding (8.3 rpg.) and blocked shots (1.56 bpg.). She also ranked among the top 15 in the BIG EAST in those categories, as well as steals (1.97 spg.) and double-doubles (8). In addition, the 6-2 wing scored in double figures 26 times, topped the 20-point mark five times, and earned game-high rebounding honors of 14 occasions. She ranks among Notre Dame’s career leaders in scoring average (6th – 13.8 ppg.) and rebounding average (tie-2nd – 8.1 rpg.), and she is one of only five players in school history to amass at least 800 points in her first two seasons under the Golden Dome.

Batteast was one of five BIG EAST players named to the ’03-04 Wade Trophy Preseason Watch List, joining Rebekkah Brunson of Georgetown, Ieva Kublina of Virginia Tech, Cappie Pondexter of Rutgers and last year’s Wade Trophy recipient, Diana Taurasi of Connecticut.

The State Farm Wade Trophy, now in its 27th year, is named after Margaret Wade, the late Delta State University coach who won three national championship in the mid-1970s. The Wade Trophy is considered the one of the most prestigious individual awards in women’s college basketball and is organized by the WBCA and the National Association for Girls and Women in Sport (NAGWS).

Adding to her armload of preseason hardware, junior forward Jacqueline Batteast (South Bend, Ind.) was named a preseason honorable mention All-American by Street & Smith’s in the magazine’s annual basketball preview issue. It’s the third preseason honor for the talented 6-2 wing, who is a two-time all-BIG EAST Conference selection. She also was the 2001-02 United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) National Freshman of the Year and a WBCA/Kodak honorable mention All-American that season, as well as the unanimous choice for BIG EAST Rookie of the Year.

Junior forward Jacqueline Batteast and freshman forward Crystal Erwin both received preseason recognition in a vote of the BIG EAST Conference coaches that was released at the league’s annual Media Day on Oct. 30 at the Newark (N.J.) Liberty Airport Hilton. Batteast was a preseason first-team all-BIG EAST selection, while Erwin was named the Preseason BIG EAST Co-Freshman of the Year, sharing the honor with Connecticut’s Liz Sherwood.

Batteast led the Irish in scoring (13.9 ppg.), rebounding (8.3 rpg.), blocked shots (1.56 bpg.) and double-doubles (8), ranking among the BIG EAST leaders in all four categories. She is a two-time second-team all-conference selection and is one of only five players in school history to score 800 points in her first two seasons at Notre Dame.

As a senior last year at St. Paul High School in Santa Fe Springs, Calif., Erwin earned All-America honors from Parade, Street & Smith’s and the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA), and also was selected to play in the McDonald’s All-America Game in Atlanta. She averaged 22.3 points, 13.4 rebounds and 3.1 blocks per game during her storied prep career, averaging double-doubles during both her junior (24.9 ppg., 14.9 rpg.) and senior seasons (21.2 ppg., 10.2 rpg.). She holds career records at St. Paul for points (2,720), rebounds (1,630) and blocks (380), as well as the school single-season scoring mark (869 in 2001-02). She follows Batteast as the second Irish rookie in three years to be chosen the BIG EAST Preseason Freshman of the Year.

Junior forward Jacqueline Batteast is among 30 preseason candidates named to the watch list for 2003-04 Naismith College Basketball Player of the Year Awards which are presented annually by the Atanta Tip-Off Club. The Naismith Awards program, now in its 36th year, honors the outstanding male and female college basketball players in the United States. The awards program was founded by the Atlanta Tipoff Club, an organization dedicated to recognizing the achievements of student-athletes in basketball. The candidates were selected by a vote of the Board of Selectors comprised of leading basketball coaches, journalists and basketball analysts.

Batteast is a two-time all-BIG EAST Conference selection who started every game for the Irish last season, leading the team in scoring (13.9 ppg.), rebounding (8.3 rpg.) and blocked shots (1.56 bpg.). She also ranked among the top 15 in the BIG EAST in those categories, as well as steals (1.97 spg.) and double-doubles (8). In addition, the 6-2 wing scored in double figures 26 times, topped the 20-point mark five times, and earned game-high rebounding honors of 14 occasions. She ranks among Notre Dame’s career leaders in scoring average (6th – 13.8 ppg.) and rebounding average (tie-2nd – 8.1 rpg.), and she is one of only five players in school history to amass at least 800 points in her first two seasons under the Golden Dome.

The Naismith Award is the latest in a series of preseason honors for the Batteast. She was named a preseason All-American by both the John R. Wooden Women’s Award and Street & Smith’s magazine, and she also was selected to the State Farm/WBCA Wade Trophy Preseason Watch List. In addition, she was a first-team all-BIG EAST choice, according to a vote of the league’s head coaches.

Notre Dame women’s basketball coach Muffet McGraw announced Nov. 18 that three of the nation’s top high school student-athletes have chosen to continue their careers with the Irish, signing national letters of intent to attend Notre Dame beginning in the fall of 2004. Charel Allen , a 5-10 guard from Monessen, Pa., Melissa D’Amico, a 6-5 forward/center from Manorville, N.Y., and Tulyah Gaines (pronounced too-LIE-uh) , a 5-8 guard from North Las Vegas, Nev., all committed to the Irish during the early signing period, which lasted from Nov. 12-19.

Allen will arrive at Notre Dame next fall as one of the top college prospects from western Pennsylvania. She is a three-time Street & Smith’s honorable mention All-American who averaged 29.9 points, 11.4 rebounds, 7.2 steals and 4.8 assists per game last season at Monessen High School. She also is a two-time Associated Press first-team all-state pick and was named the 2003 AP Class A Player of the Year. In addition, she is a two-time all-Pittsburgh metro area selection and a ’03 AAU 16-and-under All-American. As a freshman in 2001, she was a fifth-team AP all-state choice when she averaged 23.6 points per game. In her first three seasons at MHS, Allen has piled up 2,302 points (26.2 ppg.), 995 rebounds (11.3 rpg.), 600 steals (6.8 spg.), 426 assists (4.8 apg.) and 102 blocks (1.2 bpg.). She was ranked 27th in the nation by Blue Star Index and she will be the fourth Pennsylvania native to play for the Irish (the first in 13 seasons).

At 6-5, D’Amico will be the tallest player on the Irish roster when she sets foot on the Notre Dame campus in the fall of 2004. A versatile post player, she averaged 16.8 points, 9.1 rebounds and 3.5 blocks per game last season for William Floyd High School in Mastic Beach, N.Y. (located on Long Island). She burst onto the national scene this past summer at the adidas Top Ten Camp in Suwanee, Ga., and is considered by most recruiting services to be one of the top players on the rise in this year’s class. She currently is ranked 47th in the country by All-Star Girls Report and 91st by Blue Star Index , and she follows in the footsteps of another talented New Yorker who came to Notre Dame < two-time=”” honorable=”” mention=”” all-american=”” and=”” mount=”” vernon,=”” n.y.,=”” product,=”” katryna=”” gaither=”” (1993-97).=””>

Gaines is a playmaking guard who will give the Irish solid depth in the backcourt. Last summer, she moved to North Las Vegas and is attending Cheyenne High School, where she will play for the Desert Shields this year. Gaines previously lived in Burbank, Calif., where she was a three-year starter at John Burroughs High School. She averaged 18.9 points and 5.1 assists per game last season and was a first-team all-CIF SS (Southern California) Division 2A First Team selection. In addition, she is a two-time Street & Smith’s honorable mention All-American and won a bronze medal with the West Team at the 2003 USA Basketball Youth Development Festival in Colorado Springs. Gaines averaged 6.0 points per game during the five-game tournament, which featured the top prep players from around the country. She is ranked 25th nationally by All-Game Sports, 52nd by Blue Star Index and 61st by All-Star Girls Report , and she is the second Las Vegas area resident in as many years to sign with Notre Dame < current=”” irish=”” freshman=”” guard=””>Breona Gray graduated from Bishop Gorman High School last May.

With the addition of Allen, D’Amico and Gaines, Notre Dame has assembled the nation’s 13th-ranked recruiting class according to Blue Star Index. This marks the eighth consecutive year in which the Irish have attracted a Top 20 class, making Notre Dame one of only three schools (along with Connecticut and Tennessee) to have such a consistent run of recruiting success.

Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw tried her hand at writing during the past year and has co-authored a book with Bradley University professor Paul Gullifor entitled “Courting Success: Muffet McGraw’s Formula For Winning In Sports And In Life.” The book, which currently is in bookstores nationwide and may be purchased through on-line booksellers such as, touches on how, in the shadows of the nation’s most storied football program, McGraw has quietly built the women’s basketball program into a national power.

Women’s basketball has been one of the University’s most consistently successful varsity sport during the past 16 years, qualifying for the postseason 13 times, including 10 trips to the NCAA Tournament, five NCAA Sweet Sixteen appearances and two Final Fours berths. The team’s rise to national prominence was then cemented with a national championship in 2001. In short, the Notre Dame women’s basketball program has been steadily built into a perennial national championship contender, and its architect for those 16 years has been McGraw. Entering the 2003-04 season, the Pottsville, Pa., native has won 363 games at Notre Dame, has a stellar .725 winning percentage and was the consensus 2001 national Coach of the Year.

Personal accolades aside, McGraw has always been more concerned with off-court success than the progress of her teams. Accordingly, this book is a motivational and inspirational book in which she shares her ingredients for success < on=”” and=”” off=”” the=”” court.=”” it=”” provides=”” lessons=”” for=”” those=”” aspiring=”” toward=”” success=”” in=”” basketball,=”” and=”” in=”” life,=”” while=”” illustrating=”” why=””>Muffet McGraw is one of college basketball’s most accomplished coaches.

Here’s a rundown of some upcoming promotions and giveaways at future Notre Dame women’s basketball games this season (additional promotions and giveaways may be added at a later date):

  • Dec. 13 vs. Dayton < women’s=”” basketball=”” window=”” clings=”” to=”” the=”” first=”” 3,000=”” fans=””>
  • Dec. 22 vs. USC < holiday=”” celebration;=”” “rubber=”” boy”=”” will=”” perform=”” at=”” halftime=””>
  • Jan. 1 vs. Marquette < new=”” year’s=”” day=”” celebration;=”” combo=”” magnets=”” to=”” the=”” first=”” 1,000=”” fans=””>
  • Jan. 10 vs. Virginia Tech < mini-foam=”” basketballs=”” to=”” first=”” 1,000=”” fans=””>

After playing seven games in the first 23 days of the season (approximately one game every three days), Notre Dame finally will get a chance to catch its breath, having the next week off before returning to the hardwood Saturday at 1 p.m. (ET) against Dayton at the Joyce Center. The Irish and Flyers will renew a rivalry that dates back to their membership in the North Star and Midwestern Collegiate conferences. Notre Dame holds a 20-6 lead in the series with UD, including a 9-3 mark at home, although the teams have not met since the 1994-95 campaign. Dayton is 1-4 this season following a 73-65 loss to Toledo on Wednesday night at UD Arena. The Flyers have home games with Cincinnati (Dec. 6) and Wright State (Dec. 9) before coming to South Bend. The game also will mark a reunion of sorts for Notre Dame sophomore guard Megan Duffy, who will get to see her former coach at Dayton’s Chaminade-Julienne High School, Frank Goldsberry, who took over as UD’s director of basketball operations this year.