March 10, 2004
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Notre Dame junior forward Jacqueline Batteast (South Bend, Ind./Washington HS) has been chosen as one of 48 finalists for the 2004 Kodak/Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) All-America Team, it was announced Wednesday. It marks the second time in three years Batteast has been tapped as a finalist for the Kodak/WBCA All-America Team, having also earned that designation during her freshman season of 2001-02. The Kodak/WBCA All-America Team will be announced Saturday, April 3 during a 9:45 a.m. (CT) press conference at the Hyatt Hotel in New Orleans, site of this year’s NCAA Women’s Final Four.
Batteast is averaging 15.4 points and 8.3 rebounds per game with 10 double-doubles and eight 20-point games this season, all while leading Notre Dame to a 19-10 record and a second-place finish in the BIG EAST Conference at 12-4. The talented Irish wing has been at her best against top competition this year, averaging 15.7 points and 8.7 rebounds with four double-doubles and three near double-doubles against 10 ranked opponents. Batteast’s best effort against a Top 25 team came on Jan. 13 when she piled up 23 points and 11 rebounds to help Notre Dame knock off No. 4 Connecticut, 66-51 at the Joyce Center.
A first-team all-conference selection and Naismith Award finalist this year, Batteast currently ranks among the Top 10 in the BIG EAST in scoring (seventh), rebounding (fourth), field goal percentage (ninth – .448), blocked shots (sixth – 1.28 bpg.) and double-doubles (second). She also was named to the WBCA Classic All-Tournament Team on Nov. 15 after averaging 20.0 points and 7.5 rebounds with a .529 field goal percentage against nationally-ranked Auburn and Colorado.
For her career, Batteast ranks 12th in school history in scoring (1,249 points), fifth in scoring average (14.4 ppg.), ninth in rebounding (712) and second in rebounding average (8.2 rpg.). She also owns an active streak of 61 consecutive games started, dating back to the beginning of last year, and she has started 83 of a possible 87 games in her college career.
Batteast was one of five finalists selected from the BIG EAST by the WBCA member head coaches from Region I, which also includes schools from the America East, Atlantic 10 and Northeast conferences, as well as the Patriot League and the Ivy Group. The other BIG EAST finalists are Rebekkah Brunson of Georgetown, Amber Jacobs of Boston College, Cappie Pondexter of Rutgers and Diana Taurasi of Connecticut.
The Irish will learn their postseason fate Sunday when the 2004 NCAA Tournament brackets are unveiled at 5 p.m. (ET) live on ESPN. Notre Dame’s Joyce Center has been selected as one of 16 host sites for first- and second-round games in this year’s tournament, and should the Irish be chosen for the 64-team NCAA field, they are guaranteed to play their first two games at home, regardless of their seed. Tickets for NCAA Tournament action at the Joyce Center are still available by calling the Notre Dame Athletics Ticket Office at (574) 631-7356.
— ND —