GREENSBORO, N.C. – Three Notre Dame women’s basketball rookies, three ACC All-Freshman Team selections. On Monday, the league office announced Sam Brunelle and Katlyn Gilbert as unanimous choices on both the Blue-Ribbon Panel (BRP) and Coaches Panel, while Anaya Peoples was given the nod from the media on the BRP.
Destinee Walker also received some recognition after being named All-ACC Honorable Mention by the BRP.
Today marked the first time Notre Dame landed three on the ACC All-Freshmen team and just the second time in program history in which they’ve nabbed three all-freshman team selections – prior was 2007 in the Big East with Erica Williamson, Melissa Lechlitner and Ashley Barlow.
The trio of Brunelle (14.1 ppg), Gilbert (13.4 ppg) and Peoples (12.6 ppg) were the top-three freshmen scorers in the league. At the time of Peoples’ injury, she was leading all ACC freshmen in rebounds (8.1), shooting percentage (.457) and steals (1.9).
Brunelle led all ACC freshmen in the points + assists + rebounds/game category with 21.6. A two-time ACC Rookie of the Week selection, Brunelle also led all rookies in 20-plus point performances with six.
In fact, Brunelle was named the espnW national player of the week on Monday as well after pouring in 25 points in the upset win over No. 19 Florida State. Brunelle connected on a career high seven made threes (tied a Notre Dame freshman record), and now boasts 56 on the year, which ranks second all-time in program history for a freshman.
When looking at just double-digit scoring games, Gilbert led the league rookies with 24. What’s been most impressive about Gilbert’s season is the fact that there’s only two freshmen in all of Division I women’s hoops who are averaging at least 13 points, 2.5 assists, two steals and four rebounds – Gilbert and Buffalo’s Dyaisha Fair.
Next, there only three freshmen pairs in all of Division-I to both average 13.0 ppg or higher – Brunelle and Gilbert, Fresno State’s Haley & Hanna Cavinder and UTSA’s Mikayla Woods & Adryana Quezada.
Historically, Brunelle’s scoring average would rank third among freshmen in program history, while Gilbert’s would rank ninth.
Last but certainly not least, Walker currently leads the Irish in scoring with her 14.5 ppg and is tied for seventh in the ACC with her eight 20+ point scoring performances. Walker has come on strong down the stretch, posting the fifth best scoring average in the league in February with her 18.1 ppg.
She is currently riding a season best nine-game double-digit scoring streak into the ACC Tournament. Walker also averages 4.5 rebounds, 1.3 threes and boasts a .754 free-throw percentage which ranks in the top-10 in the league.
— ND —