March 23, 2005
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Two Notre Dame women’s basketball standouts — senior forward Jacqueline Batteast (South Bend, Ind./Washington HS) and junior guard Megan Duffy (Dayton, Ohio/Chaminade-Julienne HS) — have been tapped to receive All-America recognition by the Associated Press, the wire service announced Wednesday. Batteast was a third-team selection, making her the third player in school history to be named to one of the three AP All-America squads, while Duffy was one of 27 players chosen as an honorable mention All-American, based upon a vote of the 45 members of a national media panel that also conduct the AP’s weekly women’s college basketball poll.
The 2004-05 season marks the fifth time in school history, and the third time in the past six years that the Irish have had two players receive All-America honors from the AP. In 1996 and 1997, both Katryna Gaither and Beth Morgan were named honorable mention AP All-America selections. Then, in 2000, Ruth Riley picked up the first of her back-to-back first-team AP All-America citations, while Alicia Ratay was an honorable mention pick. A year later, Riley was again recognized with top honors from the AP, while Niele Ivey was a third-team AP All-America choice.
It’s the second consecutive year in which Batteast has been voted to Associated Press All-America Team, having received honorable mention status in 2003-04. The 2005 BIG EAST Conference Player of the Year and the Preseason WNIT Most Valuable Player, as well as a finalist for the John R. Wooden Women’s Award and Naismith Award, Batteast averaged 16.9 points and 6.6 rebounds per game with six double-doubles and 29 double-digit scoring games in her final season at Notre Dame. She departs as one of the most decorated players in school history, having been a four-time all-BIG EAST selection (twice on the first team) in addition to ranking among the top five in the Irish career record books in 16 categories, including points (4th – 1,874), scoring average (4th – 15.2 ppg.), rebounds (4th – 965), rebounding average (4th – 7.8 rpg.), blocked shots (3rd – 167), blocks average (3rd – 1.36 bpg.), games started (3rd – 119) and double-doubles (2nd – 38) She also set a new school record by starting the final 97 games of her career, breaking Gaither’s old mark of 95 consecutive starts from 1994-97.
Meanwhile, Duffy is a first-time selection and only the second Irish point guard (after Ivey) to receive All-America status from the Associated Press. The scrappy Notre Dame floor general, who has risen from a reserve role as a freshman all the way to first-team all-BIG EAST status this season, ranked second on the team in scoring (12.3 ppg.) and led the conference in both steals (2.73 spg.) and free throw percentage (.895), placing third in the country in the latter category. She also was second in the BIG EAST in assists (5.39 apg.) and sixth in assist/turnover ratio (1.73), and earned a spot on the Preseason WNIT and BIG EAST Championship all-tournament teams. Her 90 steals this season are the fifth-most in school history (second among Irish juniors) and her 1,222 minutes played are second in school annals, just five minutes short of Morgan’s record of 1,227 in 1996-97. Duffy did set a new school standard by averaging 37.0 minutes per game, smashing Mary Gavin’s old mark of 35.1 in 1986-87.
Batteast and Duffy were two of the cornerstones in Notre Dame’s 27-6 record this season, as well as its run to the Preseason WNIT championship, a second-place finish in the BIG EAST and a second-round appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The 27 victories equal the success of the 1999-2000 squad for the third-highest win total in school history, while the .818 winning percentage is the fourth-best mark in the program’s 28-year history and the fifth time in the past nine seasons the Irish have won better than 80 percent of their games.
Duffy will be one of nine monogram winners and three starters returning for Notre Dame in 2005-06. Also joining the fold for the Irish will be 6-0 guard Lindsay Schrader (Bartlett, Ill./Bartlett HS), a ’05 McDonald’s and WBCA All-America selection, as well as 6-1 forward Chandrica Smith (Stone Mountain, Ga./Oak Hill (Va.) Academy), a two-time honorable mention All-America pick.
— ND —