Feb. 23, 2015
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – In what already has been a record-setting 2014-15 season, University of Notre Dame junior guard Jewell Loyd (Lincolnwood, Ill./Niles West) added another bullet point to her resume on Monday.
The Fighting Irish All-American became just the second player in the program’s 38-year history to earn four conference player-of-the-week awards in one season, collecting her fourth ACC Player of the Week citation on Monday. Loyd was chosen for this week’s honor by the conference’s Blue Ribbon Panel that is comprised of the ACC’s 15 head coaches, local and national media members and the women’s basketball media relations directors for each school.
Loyd joins Jacqueline Batteast as Notre Dame’s only four-time recipients, with Batteast earning the last of her four BIG EAST Conference Player of the Week plaques in 2004-05 almost exactly 10 years ago on Feb. 14, 2005.
Loyd also is the first player to be a four-time ACC Player of the Week selection in one season since Maryland’s Alyssa Thomas in 2011-12.
Loyd is one of the leading candidates for every major national player of the year honor, including the Wade Trophy, Wooden Award and Naismith Trophy, and she was a unanimous choice as the espnW Midseason Player of the Year.
Last week, Loyd averaged 26.0 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game while shooting .455 from the three-point line and .895 from the free-throw line in a pair of Notre Dame wins. Loyd packed the stat sheet in both games, beginning with a game-high 21 points (including a career high-tying four of eight from three-point range), six rebounds, a game-high five assists and two steals in a Big Monday win over No. 10/11 Duke on Feb. 16 — it was Loyd’s seventh 20-point game in eight outings against ranked teams this season.
She then piled up a game-high 31 points (23 in the second half), five rebounds and two assists at Georgia Tech on Feb. 19 — it was Loyd’s ACC-leading fourth 30-point game of the season and seventh of her career, setting new school records in both categories. Loyd also leads the ACC with 16 20-point games, tying for fourth on the Notre Dame single-season list and most since Ruth Riley’s 16 such outings in 2000-01.
“I think Jewell showed why she is the best player in the country and the best player in the conference,” Fighting Irish head coach Muffet McGraw said following the win at Georgia Tech. “What a phenomenal performance.”
Loyd currently leads the ACC and ranks 17th in the nation in scoring (21.1 points per game). She also ranks fourth in the conference in free-throw percentage (.842), 10th in assist/turnover ratio (1.39) and 10th in assists (3.3 assists per game).
This season, Loyd is registering career-high averages in scoring, assists, steals, assist/turnover ratio and free-throw percentage, and she has elevated her game when the stakes are highest. She is averaging 26.9 points per game in eight outings against ranked opponents, including seven 20-point games and three 30-point outings against No. 3 Connecticut (31 points), No. 25 DePaul (career-high and school record-tying 41 points) and No. 5/6 Tennessee (34 points).
No. 4 Notre Dame (25-2, 12-1 ACC) will be in action at 7 p.m. (ET) Monday, playing host to No. 8/7 Louisville at Purcell Pavilion. The game will be televised live on ESPN2 and the WatchESPN app as part of ESPN’s “Big Monday” package, while radio coverage will be available in South Bend on Pulse FM (96.9/92.1) and free of charge worldwide online through the official Notre Dame athletics multimedia platform, WatchND (watchnd.tv).
For more information on the Notre Dame women’s basketball program, sign up to follow the Fighting Irish women’s basketball Twitter pages (@NDsidMasters or @ndwbb), like the program on Facebook (facebook.com/ndwbb) or register for the Irish ALERT text-messaging system through the “Fan Center” pulldown menu on the front page at UND.com.
— Chris Masters, Associate Athletic Media Relations Director