March 3, 2006
HARTFORD, Conn. – Notre Dame senior All-America guard Megan Duffy (Dayton, Ohio/Chaminade-Julienne) was a double winner at the BIG EAST Conference Women’s Basketball Awards Banquet, held Friday evening in the Hartford Hilton Ballroom. Duffy was one of four players who were unanimously selected as a first-team all-BIG EAST selection, in addition to being tabbed as the BIG EAST/Aeropostale Women’s Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
The 5-foot-7 point guard was a first-team all-conference choice for the second consecutive season, and becomes the seventh player in school history to earn two first-team all-BIG EAST citations. She also is the third Notre Dame player in the past six seasons to receive the league’s scholar-athlete award, joining Ruth Riley in 2001 and Alicia Ratay in 2003.
Duffy ranks among the top 10 in the BIG EAST in scoring (8th – 15.5 ppg.), free throw percentage (1st – .891; 11th in the nation), assists (tie-6th – 4.26 apg.), steals (7th – 2.04 spg.) and assist/turnover ratio (9th – 1.77). She has scored in double figures 23 times in 27 games, including seven 20-point nights and a career-high 32 points vs. Marquette on Jan. 10. Her current streak of 12 consecutive double-figure scoring games is tied for the longest by a Notre Dame player in four seasons.
A consensus preseason All-America selection in 2005-06, Duffy was twice named a BIG EAST Player of the Week and was a three-time BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll choice. She is a prime candidate for the Nancy Lieberman Award (top point guard in the nation), Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award (top senior player standing 5-foot-8 or under) and three other national player-of-the-year honors — the State Farm/WBCA Wade Trophy, Naismith Trophy and John R. Wooden Women’s Award.
For her career, Duffy ranks among the top 10 on 11 of the school’s statistical charts, most notably free throw percentage (2nd – .859; 15th in NCAA history). She also stands 13th in the Irish record books with 1,239 career points and is a mere nine assists shy of joining Niele Ivey (1996-2001) and Karen Robinson (1987-91) as the only Notre Dame players ever to amass 1,000 points, 500 assists and 200 steals in their careers.
Off the court, Duffy is an exceptional student, having earned first-team Academic All-America® honors on Tuesday, becoming the second Irish women’s basketball player and eighth BIG EAST female cager ever to attain that distinction. Owning a 3.555 grade-point average as a double major in psychology and computer applications, Duffy has garnered Dean’s List honors in each of the past four semesters, including a 3.917 GPA in the spring 2005 term and a 3.812 GPA in the recently-completed fall 2005 semester.
Among the other award winners at Friday’s BIG EAST banquet were: Rutgers guard Cappie Pondexter (Player of the Year), Connecticut guard Renee Montgomery (Freshman of the Year), St. John’s head coach Kim Barnes Arico (Coach of the Year), Rutgers guard Essence Carson (Defensive Player of the Year), Connecticut guard Mel Thomas (Most Improved Player) and Marquette guard Carolyn Kieger (Sportsmanship Award). Besides Duffy, Pondexter, DePaul’s Khara Smith and South Florida’s Jessica Dickson were unanimous first-team all-conference selections.
Winners of its last three regular-season games, Notre Dame (17-10) will tip off play Saturday at the 2006 BIG EAST Championship when the Irish face South Florida (19-10) at 6 p.m. (ET) inside the Hartford Civic Center.
— ND —