Dec. 13, 2010
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Notre Dame freshman forward Natalie Achonwa (Guelph, Ontario/St. Mary’s Catholic) has been selected as the BIG EAST Conference Freshman of the Week, it was announced Monday by the conference office.
Achonwa is the third Fighting Irish player in as many weeks to earn recognition from the league, following junior guard Natalie Novosel (Lexington, Ky./Lexington Catholic) and sophomore guard Skylar Diggins (South Bend, Ind./Washington), who were named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll on Nov. 30 and Dec. 6, respectively. Achonwa also is the first Notre Dame player to be named BIG EAST Freshman of the Week since the final of Diggins’ four selections last season (Feb. 8, 2010).
Last week, Achonwa averaged 13.5 points and 4.0 rebounds per game, scoring better than a point per minute (27 points in 26 minutes), and registering an astronomical .857 field goal percentage (12-of-14) as Notre Dame recorded a pair of 35-point wins, in both its BIG EAST opener at Providence last Wednesday (79-43) and in a non-conference matchup at home against Creighton this past Saturday (91-54).
The Fighting Irish rookie posted career scoring highs in both games last week, beginning with a team-best 13 points (on 5-of-6 shooting) in only nine minutes at Providence. She then tallied a personal-best 14 points (on 7-of-8 shooting), the highest production by a Notre Dame reserve this season, and added five rebounds in the victory over Creighton.
For the season, Achonwa is averaging 8.8 points per game and leads the Fighting Irish in rebounding (5.5 rpg) and field goal percentage (.645). She also has scored in double figures five times, including each of the past three games.
No. 17/18 Notre Dame (8-3, 1-0 BIG EAST) is in the midst of a nine-day break for final exams before returning to the hardwood at 7:05 p.m. CT/8:05 p.m. ET Dec. 20 when it travels to in-state foe Valparaiso. As with all Fighting Irish women’s basketball games, the contest at Valparaiso can be heard live on the radio in the Michiana area on Pulse FM (96.9/92.1), as well as worldwide on the Internet at www.UND.com.
For more information on the Notre Dame women’s basketball program, sign up to follow the Fighting Irish women’s basketball Twitter pages (www.twitter.com/ndwbbsid or www.twitter.com/notredamewbb) or register for the Irish ALERT text-messaging system through the sidebar on the women’s basketball page at UND.com.
— ND —