Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website

Irish Play Home-Opener Wednesday

Nov. 30, 1999

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – The Notre Dame women’s basketball team (1-1), which opens the 1999-2000 campaign playing five of its first six home games on the road, plays its home opener this evening as the Irish entertain the Butler Bulldogs (3-1). Coach Muffet McGraw’s squad opened the season with two road games and is coming off a 77-67 loss after starting the campaign with a 68-52 win at Toledo.

The Irish dropped two spots to eighth in the ESPN/USA Today ranking and slipped five spots to 11th in the Associated Press poll. Notre Dame is out of the top 10 the AP ranking for the first time since the Nov. 16, 1998 poll. The Irish were ranked a school-record 19 consecutive weeks.

Butler won the UMKC Tournament in Kansas City, Mo., over the weekend with victories over Arkansas-Little Rock (84-62) and Northern Iowa (74-58). Tonight’s game is the 25th meeting between the two teams.

Following tonight’s game, Notre Dame will travel to Richmond, Va. for the 1999 Wachovia Women’s Invitational on Saturday and Sunday, December 4-5. The Irish open up against North Carolina and then play either Liberty or host Richmond in the consolation or championship contest. The matchup with the Tar Heels is the first-ever meeting between the two schools. This is the first tournament Notre Dame has participated in since the 1996-97 campaign.

Notre Dame climbed one spot in the Associated Press ranking as the Irish moved to sixth and jumped three positions from ninth to sixth in the ESPN/USA Today poll. Both spots in the polls equal all-time highs for the Irish who last season earned the number-six ranking during the 1998-99 campaign. Notre Dame has now been ranked a school-record 19 consecutive weeks in the top 10 after starting this season in the top 10 for the first time in school history and has spent 22 consecutive weeks ranked in the top 25 since the start of last season.

Last Meeting

Notre Dame 71
Butler 60

November 18, 1998 – Hinkle Fieldhouse

Notre Dame min fg-a ft-a reb ast pf tp
McMillen 38 6-12 1-5 5 2 2 14
Siemon 28 1-5 6-10 9 2 3 8
Riley 24 4-7 5-7 6 2 3 13
Green 35 9-17 5-6 5 2 3 23
Ivey 38 2-8 3-4 3 5 1 7
Haney 14 2-3 1-2 4 0 3 5
Hills 9 0-4 1-3 3 0 2 1
Henderson 3 0-1 0-0 1 0 0 0
Braendly 10 0-1 0-0 1 0 2 0
Dunbar 1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0
Leahy 0+ 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0
Team 200 24-58 22-34 41 13 19 71
Butler min fg-a ft-a reb ast pf tp
Marlow 32 7-13 4-4 5 3 3 18
Reichl 15 0-1 0-0 1 2 5 0
Schrader 31 3-6 6-8 7 0 5 12
Edgar 30 3-9 1-2 3 2 3 8
Hurrle 30 3-7 0-0 3 2 4 7
Baker 4 0-0 0-0 1 1 0 0
Bodine 26 2-6 1-1 6 1 2 5
Schubeler 12 0-3 0-0 1 0 0 0
Kuhn 20 5-8 0-0 3 1 0 10
Team 200 23-53 12-15 32 12 22 60
Notre Dame 31 40 71
Butler 22 38 60

FG Pct: Notre Dame 41.4, Butler 43.4, 3-PT. FG Pct: Notre Dame 10.0, Butler 20.0, FT Pct: Notre Dame 64.7, Butler 80.0,Three-point goals: Notre Dame 1, Butler 2, Turnovers: Notre Dame 16, Butler 22, Blocked Shots: Notre Dame 3, Butler 1, Steals: Notre Dame 12, Butler 5, Attendance: 1,221

No. Butler (3-1) at
No. 11/8 Notre Dame (1-1)

Date: Wednesday, December 1, 1999
Places: Joyce Center (11,418)
Time: 7:00 p.m. (EST)
Radio: All Notre Dame games are broadcast on WJVA-AM (1580 in South Bend). Jeremy Gray provides play-by-play for games.

Notre Dame Probable Starting Lineup

1998 -99 Statistics
No. Name Hometown Pos. Ht. Cl. PPG RPG
3 Ericka Haney* Toledo, Ohio F/G 6-1 So. 8.5 4.0
50 Kelley Siemon** Edina, MN F 6-2 Jr. 5.0 4.0
00 Ruth Riley** Macy, IN C 6-5 Jr. 8.0 3.0
22 Alicia Ratay Lake Zurich, IL G 5-11 Fr. 13.5 4.5
3 Niele Ivey** St. Louis, MO G 5-8 Sr. 10.5 4.4

Off The Bench

11 Karen Swanson Westlake, OH G 5-7 Fr. 0.0 1.0
12 Danielle Green*** Chicago, IL G 5-8 Sr. 12.0 4.5
23 Monique Hernandez Rio Rancho, NM G 5-9 Fr. 1.0 1.0
31 Amanda Barksdale Friendswood, TX F 6-3 Fr. 0.0 0.0
32 Julie Henderson*** Ann Arbor, MI F/C 6-3 Sr. 4.0 3.0
41 Imani Dunbar** San Angelo, TX G 5-7 So. 1.0 2.5
44 Meaghan Leahy* Wilbraham, MA F 6-4 So. 4.0 4.5

* – Indicates monograms won

ILLINOIS REVIEW – Sophomore Allison Curtin scored a game-high 28 points to lead three Illini players in double figures as 15th-ranked Illinois beat Notre Dame 77-67. Junior All-America center Ruth Riley was the only Irish player in double figures as she had 16 points on seven-for-nine shooting from the field. For the second straight game, Riley was plagued by foul trouble and played just 18 minutes before fouling out with 3:05 remaining in the contest. Notre Dame shot 46.6 percent from the field, but hit just 2-of-14 (.143) attempts from three-point range. The Irish committed 22 turnovers in the game. Notre Dame jumped out to an early five-point advantage in the contest, but the Illini came back and took the lead for good with 12:22 remaining in the first half. Illinois built a 40-28 halftime advantage and led by as many as 19 points (61-42) with 10:00 left. Notre Dame got as close as eight points with one minuteremaining in the game.

POLL WATCHING – Notre Dame is ranked 11th in the Associated Press poll and eighth in the ESPN/USA Today ranking. Notre Dame slips out of the 10 of the AP poll for the first time since Nov. 16, 1998. The Irish had been ranked a school-record 19 straight weeks in the top 10. Coach Muffet McGraw’s squad has now been ranked 20 consecutive weeks in the top 10 of the ESPN/USA Today ranking. Notre Dame has earned a top 25 ranking for 23 consecutive weeks now in the AP, one short of the school record of 24 which was set from February 5, 1996 thru March 10, 1997.

(Week of Nov. 29)

1. Connecticut 1
2. Georgia 3
3. Tennessee 5
4. Louisiana Tech 2
5. UCLA 4
6. North Carolina State 7
7. Rutgers 8
8. Auburn 11
9. North Carolina 10
10. Illinois 15
12. Iowa State 13
13. Oregon 16
14. Penn State 9
15. Santa Barbara 12
16. Texas Tech 12
17. Purdue 20
18. Kansas 19
19. Old Dominion 14
20. Stanford 23
21. Arizona 24
22. Duke NR
23. LSU 22
24 Boston College 18
25. Virginia Tech 21
Wisconsin 25

(Week of Nov. 29)

1. Connecticut 1
2. Georgia 3
3. Tennessee 5
4. Louisiana Tech 2
5. UCLA 4
6. North Carolina State 9
7. Rutgers 7
9. Santa Barbara 10
10. Auburn 12
11. Penn State 8
12. North Carolina 11
13. Illinois 15
14 Iowa State 13
15. Oregon 14
16. Texas Tech 17
17. Purdue 19
18. Kansas 21
19. Duke 25
20. Old Dominion 16
21. Stanford 22
22. Boston College 18
23. Arizona 23
24. Virginia Tech 20
25. LSU 24

The Notre Dame-Michigan State game on Saturday, December 11at 2:00 p.m. has been designated “Baby Ruth Day.” The first 3,000 fans at the game will receive a Baby Ruth candy bar. During halftime, fans will have the opportunity to win a year’s supply of the product. Throughout the entire season, Baby Ruth candy bars will be thrown into the stands following every blocked shot by the Irish.

HEAD COACH MUFFET McGRAW – Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw is in her 13th season with the Irish and 17th as a collegiate coach. She has guided Notre Dame to four straight NCAA tournament appearances and six overall. McGraw led the Irish to the 1997 Final Four as her team claimed the East Regional championship. In 1998, McGraw’s squad finished with a 22-10 mark and advanced to the Sweet 16. In 12-plus seasons at Notre Dame, she has a record of 262-111 (.702), and in 17-plus campaigns overall, her teams have registered a 350-152 (.697) ledger. Prior to coming to Notre Dame, she spent five seasons at Lehigh where she compiled an 88-41 record for a .683 winning percentage. Last season, McGraw, after guiding the Irish to their sixth consecutive 20-win season, was named finalists for the Naismith Women’s Basketball and Associated Press coach-of-the-year awards.

PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER MAGAZINE TO FOLLOW IRISH ALL SEASON – Annette John-Hall, a feature writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer will be following head coach Muffet McGraw, a native of Pottsville, Pa., and the Irish all season long and feature them in the magazine section of that publication. She will file stories throughout the season on McGraw and her squad. Hall has already written two features introducing the team to the readership.

SERIES RECORD VERSUS BUTLER – Notre Dame leads the series 18-6 and has won the last four meetings between the two teams. The Irish and Bulldogs met nearly every year from 1985-95 while both teams played in the Midwestern Collegiate Conference. Since Notre Dame entrance into the BIG EAST in 1995-96, the two teams have met twice.

IRISH IN THE JOYCE CENTER – Since its inaugural season in 1977-78, Notre Dame has played all of its games at the Joyce Center. The Irish own a 196-65 mark for a .751 winning percentage since that first season. Last season, Notre Dame won a school-record 12 games at home en route to a 12-1 home mark.

NOTRE DAME IN HOME OPENERS – Notre Dame is 14-8 in home openers in 22 seasons at the Joyce Center. The Irish have not lost a home opener since the start of the 1994-95 campaign when they dropped an 87-83 decision to Purdue.

Irish All-Time vs. 1999-2000 Opponents

Team Record
Boston College 4-3
Butler 18-6
Connecticut 0-10
Georgetown 11-1
Illinois 1-4
Liberty 1-0
Marquette 20-4
Miami 7-2
Michigan State 3-6
Pittsburgh 6-0
Providence 6-0
Purdue 2-8
Richmond 1-0
Rutgers 5-6
St. John’s 7-0
Seton Hall 7-2
Syracuse 10-1
Toledo 3-2
USC 1-0
Valparaiso 12-0
Villanova 9-3
West Virginia 6-0
Total 140-58 (.707)

(Week By Week)

Date AP USA Today/ESPN
Preseason 8 9
Nov. 15 7 9
Nov. 22 6 6

RILEY NAMED FINALIST FOR NAISMITH PLAYER OF THE YEAR – On everyone’s preseason All-America teams, Ruth Riley, a third-team Associated Press All-America selection in 1999, is one of 10 finalists for the 1999-2000 Naismith Women’s Basketball Player of the Year Award which is presented by the Atlanta Tip-off Club. Riley and the nine other candidates were selected by a vote of the Board of Selectors comprised of leading college basketball coaches, journalists and basketball analysts. She is the first Notre Dame women’s basketball player to be named a finalist for the award, which was first presented in 1983. The nine other finalists include: Svetlana Abrosimova (Connecticut), Edwina Brown (Texas), Tamika Catchings (Tennessee), Tamicha Jackson (Louisiana Tech), Maylana Martin (UCLA), Kelly Miller (Georgia), Lynn Pride (Kansas), Semeka Randall (Tennessee) and Nikki Teasley (North Carolina).

RILEY APPROACHING 500 REBOUNDS – Ruth Riley’s first rebound in this evening’s game will be the 500th of her career and place her 12th on the all-time career rebounding list. Riley, who has played in 65 career games, owns a 7.7 career rebounding average.

TWO MORE READY TO JOIN 1,000-POINT CLUB – Senior Danielle Green and junior Ruth Riley will likely join 14 former Notre Dame women’s basketball players who have reached the 1,000-point mark in their careers. Riley has 898 career points for a 13.8 career scoring average. She topped the 500-point mark last season as she scored 514 points for a 16.6 point-per-game scoring average. Green, who was granted a fifth year after sitting out the entire 1996-97 season with a torn Achilles’ tendon, has 792 points. She scored just 30 points in 27 games during her freshman year in 1995-96, but has come back each of the last two seasons to average in double figures. Green scored 306 points for a 10.2 scoring average in 1997-98 and tossed in 432 points for a 14.4 points-per-game average a year ago.

NON-CONFERENCE LOSS A RARITY – Notre Dame’s 77-67 loss to Illinois on Saturday marked the first regular season loss the Irish had suffered in 12 outings. Heading into its matchup with the Illini, Notre Dame had won 11 straight non-conference regular season games. Last season, the Irish were 8-0 against non-conference foes during the regular season. Prior to the Illinois game, the last non-conference regular-season loss suffered by the Irish was to Wisconsin (89-77) on December 8.

NOTRE DAME TO TAKE ON 10 NCAA TOURNAMENT FOES – The 1999-2000 Notre Dame women’s basketball slagte features 10 tams which last season participated in the 64-team 1999 NCAA tournament field. Notre Dame has already played Illinois and meets the following nine other teams: Boston College (Feb. 5), Connecticut (Feb. 26), Florida International (Dec. 19), Illinois (Nov. 27), Liberty (Dec. 5 – possible second round opponent at Wachovia Women’s Invitational Tournament), Marquette (Jan. 2), North Carolina (Dec. 4), Purdue (Dec. 8), Rutgers (Feb. 19) and Toledo (Nov. 20).

BIG EAST DEBUTS 16-GAME SLATE – The BIG EAST Conference will begin its 16-game league schedule this season. That’s a change from the 18-game format which had been in existence since the league expanded to 13 games in 1995-96. In 1999-2000, Notre Dame will play Georgetown, Pittsburgh, Miami and St. John’s twice and has single games against West Virginia, Seton Hall, Syracuse, Providence, Villanova, Rutgers and Connecticut.

RATAY NETS 18 IN DEBUT – Freshman guard Alicia Ratay, a first-team Parade High School All-American, scored 18 points in her collegiate debut. It was the most by an Irish rookie in her first college game since Michelle Marciniak scored 16 points in an 86-70 loss to Penn State on November 22, 1991. Ratay’s five field goals were all from three-point range as she hit five-of-eight field goals from beyond the arc.

DOMINATING ON THE BOARDS – Notre Dame averaged 43.9 rebounds a year ago and outrebounded its opponents by 9.9 per game. The Irish have continued that trend this season. Against Toledo in the season opener, Notre Dame outrebounded the Rockets 46-27. In the two games thus far, the Irish are averaging 41.0 rebounds per game and own a 9.5 rebounding advantage over their opponents.

HANEY GETS FIRST START – Sophomore Ericka Haney earned her first career start in the season opener against Toledo and responded with 10 points and two rebounds in 30 minutes of action. She also started Illinois game.

RILEY HELPS USA WOMEN’S BASKETBALL CAPTURE SILVER MEDAL – Ruth Riley was one of 12 players selected to the 1999 World University Games Team. She and 1999 graduate Sheila McMillen (now an assistant coach at Western Michigan) were among the 44 players invited to Colorado Springs, Colo., for the five-day tryout. The team, coached by Penn State’s Rene Portland, took home the silver medal after posting a 4-2 mark in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, site of the basketball competition. Riley appeared in all nine games with the USA and started five of those contests and was the team’s third-leading scorer and second-leading rebounder as she averaged 9.3 points and 5.2 rebounds, with a .630 field-goal percentage. At a tournament in Madrid Spain prior to the start of the World University Games, the USA Women’s Basketball squad posted a 3-0 mark and captured first-place. During those three games, she averaged 7.3 points and 5.3 rebounds. This was Riley’s second stint with the USA Women’s basketball program. In the summer of 1998, she was a member of the USA Women’s Basketball Select Team.

Series Record

Notre Dame leads 18-6
Home: 9-3, Away: 7-3, Neutral: 2-0

Date Site Score
12-1-80 Notre Dame, IN L 51-60
12-10-81 Indianapolis, IN L 58-67
12-2-82 Notre Dame, IN W 80-73
1-30-85 Indianapolis, IN W 79-40
2-28-85 Notre Dame, IN W 99-36
1-29-86 Indianapolis, IN W 91-40
2-26-86 Notre Dame, IN W 77-48
1-21-89 Indianapolis, IN W 61-40
3-5-89 Indianapolis, IN W 88-65
1-9-90 Notre Dame, IN W 74-59
2-13-90 Indianapolis, IN W 59-46
3-10-90 Dayton, OH* W 67-66
1-7-91 Indianapolis, IN W 80-64
2-12-91 Notre Dame, IN W 94-62
3-9-91 Dayton, OH* W 62-52
1-23-92 Indianapolis, IN L 63-77
2-22-92 Notre Dame, IN W 79-70
1-30-93 Indianapolis, IN L 70-82
3-4-93 Notre Dame, IN L 69-80
1-22-94 Notre Dame, IN L 62-55
2-10-94 Indianapolis, IN W 82-80
2-10-95 Notre Dame, IN W 68-56
11-18-97 Notre Dame, IN W 71-65
11-19-98 Indianapolis, IN W 71-60

*Midwestern Collegiate Conference Tournament

Series Scoring Total Average
Notre Dame 1,755 73.1
Butler 1,453 60.5

Current Win Streak: Notre Dame, 4 games
McGraw vs. Butler: 13-4
ND Biggest Win: 63 (99-36 on 2-28-85)
BU Biggest Win: 12 (82-70 on 1-30-93)
ND Longest Win Streak: 13 (from 1982-91)
UI Longest Win Streak: 3 (from 1993-94)

1999-2000 BIG EAST
Coaches’ Preseason Poll

1. Connecticut (10) 142
2. Rutgers (3) 135
4. Boston College 112
5. Georgetown 90
6. Villanova 86
7. Miami 79
8. Syracuse 59
9. St. John’s 46
10. Pittsburgh 44
11. Seton Hall 39
12. Providence 38
13. West Virginia 23

Preseason All-BIG EAST First Team: Svetlana Abrosimova (Connecticut), Tasha Pointer (Rutgers), Shea Ralph (Connecticut), Ruth Riley (Notre Dame), Shawnetta Stewart (Rutgers)

Preseason All-BIG EAST Second Team: Niele Ivey (Notre Dame), Alissa Murphy (Boston College), Katie Smrcka-Duffy (Georgetown), Tammy Sutton-Brown (Rutgers), Tamika Williams (Connecticut)

BIG EAST Preseason Player of the Year: Svetlana Abrosimova (Connecticut)

BIG EAST Preseason Player of the Year: Kennitra Johnson (Connecticut)

SIEMON TOURS WITH BIG EAST TEAM – Junior Kelley Siemon averaged 6.6 points and 4.6 rebounds in helping the BIG EAST/Nike Women’s Basketball All-Stars to a 4-1 record in a ’99 summer tour of Belgium and Germany. Siemon scored 14 points in the win over Aalst (Division) and had seven points and eight rebounds in a win over the Belgian Junior National Team. The team was coached by Boston College’s Cathy Inglese.

THERE’S A NEW KID ON THE BLOCK – Coquese Washington, who played for Notre Dame from 1989-93, has joined head coach Muffet McGraw’s coaching staff this season as an assistant coach. She replaces Letitia Bowen who has become the administrative assistant to the women’s basketball program while attending graduate school. Washington, the Notre Dame record holder for steals (307) and steals average (2.7), has played professionally the last three years. During the summers of 1998 and 1999, she has been a member of the Women’s National Basketball Association’s (WNBA) New York Liberty. This past season, her Liberty advanced to the finals of the WNBA Championship. The 5-6 guard, who led the Irish in steals all four seasons she was at Notre Dame, spent the 1996-97 season on the roster of the Portland Power franchise of the now defunct American Basketball League (ABL).

IRISH SIGN TWO – Notre Dame signed two players listed among the top 40 prep players in the country during the early signing period. Jeneka Joyce, a 5-9 shooting guard from Topeka, Kan., and Le’Tania Severe, a 5-9 point guard from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., were rated 26th and 40th, respectively, by Blue Star Basketball.

PRESEASON HONORS FOR RILEY – The name Ruth Riley appears on preseason All-America teams of several publications. Notre Dame also is ranked in the polls of every preseason publication.

Street & Smith’s: Ruth Riley – High Honorable, Notre Dame Mention, Notre Dame – 7th
Athlon College Basketball: Notre Dame – 8th
Basketball News: Notre Dame – 8th
Women’s Basketball News Service: Ruth Riley – Second Team, Alicia Ratay – All- Freshman Third Team, Notre Dame – 9th
Women’s Basketball Journal: Ruth Riley – Second Team, Notre Dame – 25th


  • Amanda Barksdale has played in both games.
  • Imani Dunbar has played in both games – provided a spark off the bench against Toledo as she played nine minutes and had career-highs of four rebounds and four assists.
  • Danielle Green came off the bench to score 16 points and grab seven rebounds in season opener – earned start in the second game of the season against Illinois.
  • Ericka Haney has started both games – scored 10 points in her first collegiate start in the season opener at Toledo.
  • Julie Henderson had four points and three rebounds in 21 minutes of action against Toledo…also scored four points in the Illinois game
  • Monique Hernandez has played in both games.
  • Niele Ivey scored 13 points, grabbed four rebounds, dished off three assists and made two steals in season opener against Toledo.
  • Meaghan Leahy had one of the best games of her career against Illinois as she scored seven points and grabbed seven rebounds in 18 minutes of action.
  • Alicia Ratay started in her collegiate debut and scored a game-high 18 points and grabbed seven rebounds in 33 minutes of action. It was the most points by an Irish rookie in a season opener since 1991…team’s leading scorer averaging 13.5 ppg.
  • Karen Swanson is a walk-on freshman who played four minutes in the season opener.
  • Ruth Riley has been plagued by foul trouble in the first two games and has played just 28 minutes all season…only player in double figures against Illinois with 16 points in 18 minutes of action…played only 10 minutes in the season opener at Toledo because of foul trouble…held scoreless in the contest for the first time in 64 career games.
  • Kelley Siemon started the season opener at Toledo and had six points and seven rebounds in 29 minutes of action.

Irish Record

By Day

On Sundays: 0-0 On Mondays: 0-0 On Tuesdays: 0-0 On Wednesdays: 0-0 On Thursdays: 0-0
On Fridays: 0-0 On Saturdays: 1-1

By Time

Night Games: 1-0
Day Games: 0-1

By Location

Home Games: 0-0
Road Games: 1-1
Neutral Games: 0-0

By Halftime Score

Lead at halftime: 1-0
Trail at halftime: 0-1
Tied at halftime: 0-0

By Rebound Margin

Outrebounding opponents: 1-0
Outrebounded by opponents: 0-0
Same number of rebounds: 0-1

By Field Goal Shooting

Shoot better from field: 1-0
Shoot worse from field: 0-1
Shoot same from field: 0-0
Shoot 50% or better: 0-0
Shoot less than 50%: 1-1
Keep opponents under 50%: 1-1
Keep opponents under 40%: 1-0

By Free Throw Margin

Hit more free throws: 0-0
Hit fewer free throws: 0-1
Same number of free throws: 1-0

By Turnovers

Commit fewer turnovers: 0-0
Commit more turnovers: 1-1
Commit same number of turnovers: 0-0

By Margin

One-point games: 0-0
Two-point games: 0-0
Three-point games: 0-0
Four-point games: 0-0
5-10 point games: 0-1
11-20 point games: 1-0
21-30 point games: 0-0
31+point games: 0-0

By Conference

Mid-American 1-0
Big Ten 0-1

By Month

In November 1-1
In December 0-0
In January 0-0
In February 0-0
In March 0-0