March 8, 2006
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Notre Dame senior All-America guard Megan Duffy (Dayton, Ohio/Chaminade-Julienne) is one of 17 NCAA Division I senior women’s basketball players who have been chosen to take part in the 2006 Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) All-Star Challenge on Saturday, April 1 at Northeastern University’s Matthews Arena in Boston. These players will comprise much of the lineup for the all-star game, which is the capstone event for the 25th WBCA National Convention that will be held in conjunction with the NCAA Women’s Final Four in Boston. However, it should be noted that the WBCA All-Star Challenge roster may alter if any of the chosen players’ teams are participating in the NCAA Women’s Final Four. In that case, alternates will be selected based on voting results.
The WBCA All-Star Challenge also serves as the nightcap of a doubleheader event featured during the “WBCA Night of All-Stars.” Fans will have the opportunity to watch and collect autographs from these future WNBA stars, as well as see the WBCA High School All-America Game, which tips off the event at 4:30 p.m. (ET). The evening should be especially significant for Notre Dame women’s basketball fans as the Irish will have representation in both all-star games for the second consecutive year. In addition to Duffy’s participation, incoming freshman guard Ashley Barlow (Indianapolis, Ind./Pike) has been tapped to compete in this year’s WBCA High School All-America Game.
Duffy will be the third departing Irish senior to play in the college all-star game. Last season, All-America forward (and eventual WNBA second-round draft pick) Jacqueline Batteast scored 11 points and grabbed five rebounds, while Alicia Ratay (the NCAA career three-point percentage leader) scored four points in the 2003 contest. Barlow will be the fifth incoming Notre Dame female cager to appear in the WBCA High School All-America Game, and second in as many years — current Irish rookie guard Lindsay Schrader scored 10 points in 2005. Ratay (eight points in 1999), Katy Flecky (three points in 2001) and current Notre Dame senior forward/co-captain Courtney LaVere (15 points in 2002) are the other future Irish standouts who have played in the prep all-star contest.
Fans can order tickets for this year’s “WBCA Night of All-Stars” by calling the Northeastern University Athletics Ticket Office at (617) 373-4700 or by visiting the WBCA web site at www.wbca.org. Tickets for the “WBCA Night of All-Stars” start at $15.00 and $25.00 for reserved seating.
Duffy ranks among the top 10 in the BIG EAST Conference in scoring (8th – 15.7 ppg.), assists (tie-6th – 4.10 apg.), steals (7th – 2.03 spg.), free throw percentage (1st – .888), three-pointers made per game (6th – 1.90) and assist/turnover ratio (9th – 1.68). She also is 12th in the nation in free throw percentage (as of March 7), marking the second consecutive year she is among the top 15 nationally in that category, and her .888 mark is just shy of her own single-season school record (.895) that she set in 2004-05. In addition, Duffy has scored in double figures 25 times in 29 games this season, including each of the past 14 games, the longest such streak by a Notre Dame player since Ruth Riley had 22 consecutive double-digit scoring games during the Irish national championship season of 2000-01.
As one would expect, Duffy’s trophy case has quickly filled up this year, starting with her selection as a consensus preseason All-American. She also was a unanimous first-team all-BIG EAST pick (her second consecutive first-team citation), the BIG EAST/Aeropostale Scholar-Athlete of the Year, a two-time BIG EAST Player of the Week (Jan. 23 and Feb. 27) and a three-time BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll choice. In addition, she is a prime candidate for the Nancy Lieberman Award (top point guard in the nation), Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award (top senior player in the nation 5-foot-8 and under), Senior CLASS Award (athletic and academic success) and three other national player-of-the-year awards — the State Farm/WBCA Wade Trophy, Naismith Trophy and John R. Wooden Women’s Award.
Duffy ranks among the top 10 in school history in 11 career categories, most notably free throw percentage (2nd – .859), where she is 15th in NCAA history. She also is 13th in the Irish record books with 1,275 career points, and has started 93 of the past 94 Notre Dame games, including a current streak of 66 in a row, dating back to the start of the 2003-04 season.
Off the court, Duffy has been named a first-team Academic All-American, becoming the second Irish women’s basketball player and eighth BIG EAST Conference female cager ever to be so honored. Duffy currently holds a 3.555 cumulative grade-point average in the College of Arts and Letters, where she is pursuing a double major in psychology and computer applications. She has earned Dean’s List honors in each of the past four semesters, including a 3.917 GPA in the spring 2005 term and a 3.821 GPA in the recently-completed fall 2005 semester.
Winners in four of its last five games, Notre Dame (18-11) is awaiting the announcement of the 64-team NCAA Tournament field Monday at 7 p.m. (ET) on ESPN. The Irish have appeared in the event each of the past 10 seasons, winning at least one NCAA tourney game every year.
— ND —