Dec. 19, 2005
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Notre Dame sophomore center Melissa D’Amico (Manorville, N.Y./William Floyd) has been selected as the BIG EAST Conference Player of the Week, the league office announced Monday. It is the first career weekly conference award for the 6-foot-5 Irish post, and she is the second Notre Dame player to receive BIG EAST accolades this year — freshman guard Lindsay Schrader (Bartlett, Ill./Bartlett) was tapped as the conference Freshman of the Week on Nov. 21.
D’Amico was named the Most Valuable Player of the Duel in the Desert (Gray Division) on Sunday afternoon after averaging 16.0 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game with an astronomical .824 field goal percentage (14-of-17) in Notre Dame’s victories over Arkansas State (77-54) and No. 22/21 Utah (68-55) in Las Vegas. D’Amico had a career-high 20 points on 10-of-12 shooting in the opener vs. ASU, then came back with a team-best 13 points and seven rebounds in the tournament title game against the nationally-ranked Utes.
D’Amico’s selection this week continues to spotlight a trend of rising young stars in the BIG EAST. Of the four players named the league’s Player of the Week this season, three of them are sophomores (others are Connecticut’s Mel Thomas and Syracuse’s Vaida Sipaviciute), with South Florida junior Jessica Dickson being the only two-time honoree thus far in 2005-06.
Senior guard Megan Duffy (Dayton, Ohio/Chaminade-Julienne) also garnered recognition from the BIG EAST on Monday, earning a spot on the conference’s Weekly Honor Roll for the third time in five weeks this year. Duffy was named to the Duel in the Desert All-Tournament Team after registering 12.0 points and 7.0 assists with a 14.00 assist-turnover ratio (14 assists, one turnover) in Notre Dame’s two-game sweep of its first-ever visit to Las Vegas. She had 13 points, six assists and five rebounds in the win over Arkansas State, followed by 12 points and eight assists (without a turnover) while playing all 40 minutes against Utah, helping the Irish log their second win over a ranked opponent in three tries this season.
Off to its second consecutive 8-1 start and the fifth in school history, No. 13/14 Notre Dame is in the midst of a 10-day break for the Christmas holiday. The Irish will get back on the hardwood Dec. 28, when they play host to Valparaiso at 2 p.m. (ET) at the Joyce Center.
— ND —