Nov. 30, 2015
by Chris Masters NOTRE DAME, Ind. – It took four games for University of Notre Dame freshman women’s basketball guard Marina Mabrey (Belmar, N.J./Manasquan) to put her name in the school, conference and NCAA record books. It didn’t take Mabrey much longer to add the first award to her collegiate trophy case. A 5-foot-11 wing, Mabrey was selected as the Atlantic Coast Conference Rookie of the Week on Monday, following a vote of the conference’s Blue Ribbon Panel, which 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. Mabrey is the first Fighting Irish women’s basketball player to earn a weekly conference honor this season. She’s also the first Notre Dame player chosen as ACC Rookie of the Week since Jan. 26, 2015, when current sophomore forward Brianna Turner (Pearland, Texas/Manvel) collected the last of her school record-tying six ACC Rookie of the Week citations.
Mabrey averaged 18.3 points, 7.3 steals, 5.3 assists and 4.3 rebounds in three games last week, all while shooting .667 from the field, .600 from three-point range and .800 from the free-throw line, in addition to registering a 3.20 assist/turnover ratio. Mabrey began the week by recording the fifth triple-double in school history, and first by Fighting Irish freshman, on Nov. 23 at Valparaiso. She also posted the second triple-double by an ACC freshman (and third by any ACC player not involving points-rebounds-assists) with career highs of 18 points, 10 assists and a school-record 12 steals (tied for second-most in NCAA Division I and ACC history), plus six rebounds, all in 29 minutes. Mabrey’s 12 steals eclipsed Mary Gavin’s school standard of 10 thefts, set on Jan. 31, 1987, against Marquette at Purcell Pavilion, in a game played nearly five months before current Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw was hired. What’s more, Mabrey’s triple-double tied for the second-fastest registered by any NCAA Division I player at the start of her career. The New Jersey native did so in her fourth career game, just one game later than Winthrop’s Schaquilla Nunn, who accomplished the feat in her third career game on Nov. 20, 2012, vs. Mississippi State at the Hardwood for Hope Tournament in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Mabrey wasn’t done, as she earned a spot on the Junkanoo Jam Freeport Division All-Tournament Team last weekend after helping the Fighting Irish to a pair of wins and the tournament title in Freeport, Bahamas. Mabrey averaged 18.5 points, 5.0 steals, 3.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists with a .600 field-goal percentage, .750 three-point percentage and .833 free-throw percentage during the two-day event. She opened the tournament by scoring a career-high 19 points and adding four rebounds and four steals in a win over Denver on Nov. 27. The following afternoon in the Junkanoo Jam Freeport Division championship game, she came back with 18 points, six steals and four rebounds in an overtime win over UCLA, which moved into the Associated Press Top 25 poll this week, tied at No. 24. For the season, Mabrey ranks second in the ACC and ninth in the nation in steals (4.2 spg.). She also stands third in the ACC in third in field-goal percentage (.619), 12th in assist/turnover ratio (1.58) and tied for 21st in scoring (13.0 ppg.). “What a weekend she had,” McGraw said. “Coming off the Valparaiso game, she’s someone who wants to play and prove she deserves to be out there.” Third-ranked Notre Dame (6-0) returns to action at 7 p.m. (ET) Wednesday when it plays host to No. 10 Ohio State (4-2) in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge at Purcell Pavilion. The game will be televised live on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app, and it can be heard on the radio in South Bend on Pulse FM (96.9/92.1) as well as free of charge around the globe through the official Fighting Irish athletics multimedia platform, WatchND (watchnd.tv) and the WatchND app. For more information on the Notre Dame women’s basketball program, visit the main women’s basketball page on the University’s official athletics web site (UND.com/ndwbb), sign up to follow the Fighting Irish women’s basketball Twitter and Instagram pages (@ndwbb), like the program on Facebook or register for the Irish ALERT text-messaging system through the “Fan Center” pulldown menu on the front page at UND.com.
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Chris Masters, associate athletics communications director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 2001 and coordinates all media efforts for the Notre Dame women’s basketball and women’s golf programs. A native of San Francisco, California, Masters is a 1996 graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University, earned his master’s degree from Kansas State University in 1998, and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).