Nov. 9, 2005
(#15 AP/#15 ESPN/USA Today) Notre Dame Fighting Irish (1-0 exhibition) vs. Ferris State Bulldogs (0-0 exhibition)
The Date and Time: Thursday, Nov. 10, 2005, at 7 p.m. ET.
The Site: Joyce Center (11,418) in Notre Dame, Ind.
The Tickets: Available through the Notre Dame athletics ticket office (574-631-7356).
The Radio Plans: Thursday’s game will be broadcast live on WDND-AM (ESPN Radio 1580) in South Bend with Sean Stires (play-by-play) calling the action. The broadcast also is available through the Notre Dame athletics web site at www.und.com.
Real-Time Statistics: Live in-progress statistics, courtesy of College Sports Online’s GameTracker, will be available for the Ferris State game, via the official Notre Dame athletics web site (www.und.com).
Web Sites: Notre Dame (www.und.com), Ferris State (www.ferris.edu/sports).
The 15th-ranked Notre Dame women’s basketball team will have one last opportunity to prepare for the 2005-06 season when it plays host to NCAA Division II member Ferris State in an exhibition game Thursday at 7 p.m. (ET) at the Joyce Center. The Irish will be seeking to continue their recent pattern of success in exhibition play, having won 18 consecutive preseason contests and 23 of their last 24 exhibitions, dating back to the 1993-94 season.
Notre Dame saw its first action of the 2005-06 season back on Nov. 1, defeating Indianapolis, 84-59 in an exhibition contest at the Joyce Center. The Irish jumped out to a 15-5 lead six minutes into the contest and then used runs of 22-7 and 20-8 to help put away the Division II Greyhounds. For the game, Notre Dame shot 53 percent from the floor and held a 40-29 rebounding edge.
Senior All-America guard Megan Duffy led four Irish players in double figures with 18 points, while dishing out a game-high seven assists. Sophomore center Melissa D’Amico chipped in 16 points and a game-high seven rebounds, while freshman guard Lindsay Schrader had a solid debut with 13 points and a game-best seven rebounds.
Ferris State opens its season with Thursday night’s exhibition against Notre Dame. The Bulldogs have eight letterwinners and two starters returning from last year’s 11-17 club. In addition, they welcome back redshirt junior guard Erin Miller, who missed much of last season after averaging 17.0 points and 5.2 rebounds per game in 2003-04.
FSU head coach Tracey Bloodworth-Fisk is in her eighth year at the school with a 117-78 (.600) record. She has never faced Notre Dame.
A QUICK LOOK AT THE FIGHTING IRISH
Balance and chemistry will be the two main ingredients as Notre Dame looks to build upon last year’s successful 27-6 season that saw the Irish win the Preseason WNIT, rise to No. 3 in the national polls and advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
With the graduation of 2004-05 BIG EAST Player of the Year and All-America forward Jacqueline Batteast, as well as rugged and dependable center Teresa Borton, Notre Dame will have a large infusion of youth on its roster, as eight of its 12 players are underclassmen (four freshman, four sophomores). However, the team is in more than capable hands, as senior point guard and two-time captain Megan Duffy returns to run the Irish offense. Duffy spent the summer as a co-captain on the USA World University Games Team that won a gold medal and went unbeaten in Izmir, Turkey, and she hopes to use the lessons she learned on the international stage to help her take the Irish to grand heights in 2005-06.
Notre Dame is ranked 15th in both major preseason polls, issued by the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today. The latter ranking is significant, as it marks the ninth time in the past 10 seasons the Irish have appeared in the preseason coaches’ poll and the seventh consecutive year Notre Dame will tip off the regular season ranked 16th or better in the ESPN/USA Today balloting.
Here are some other preseason tidbits to keep in mind about the Irish heading into this year:
- The Irish defense continues to be its calling card. In each of the past six seasons, Notre Dame has held its opponents to an average of less than 62 points per game, including a 56.8 ppg. mark last year, which ranked as the third-lowest opponent scoring average in school history and second-best of the Muffet McGraw era (55.8 ppg. in 2000-01).
- The Irish have posted 37 wins over top 25 opponents in the past seven seasons (1998-99 to present), an average of more than five per year. In each of the past two years, Notre Dame has set a school record with seven regular-season wins over ranked opponents.
- Senior guard Megan Duffy has been named a preseason All-American by three sources, has been cited on the preseason watch lists for both the State Farm/WBCA Wade Trophy and the John R. Wooden Women’s Award, and recently was tabbed as one of the top five point guards in the nation by ESPN.com. Duffy also was a preseason all-BIG EAST Conference selection, following up her first-team all-league citation last year.
- Head coach Muffet McGraw needs one victory to become the 27th coach in NCAA Division I women’s basketball history to reach the 500-win mark.
A QUICK LOOK AT FERRIS STATE
For the second consecutive game, Notre Dame will be facing an opponent making its 2005-06 debut, as Ferris State tips off its season against the Irish in exhibition action Thursday night. And, like last week’s opponent, Indianapolis, the Bulldogs are an NCAA Division II team. Located in Big Rapids, Mich., FSU competes in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC), a league based largely in Michigan which also counts Grand Valley State, Northern Michigan and Lake Superior State among its membership.
Last season, Ferris State battled numerous injuries to log an 11-17 record, including a 9-9 mark in the GLIAC, which put the Bulldogs in fourth place in the conference’s North Division. Only a year removed from the program’s most recent NCAA Tournament appearance, FSU has eight letterwinners and two starters returning this season, along with a collection of six talented freshmen, all of whom were prep standouts in the state of Michigan.
After missing all but two games last season due to injury, redshirt junior guard Erin Miller is back in uniform for the Bulldogs this season. Miller, a native of nearby Niles, Mich., averaged 17.0 points and 5.2 rebounds per game as a sophomore in 2003-04, earning all-region and all-conference honors while pacing Ferris State to the NCAA Tournament. Joining Miller in the FSU backcourt is junior guard Kristin Reinhart, who helped picked up the slack in her teammate’s absence last season, averaging 15.4 points and 4.8 assists per game to garner all-conference laurels, although her season was abruptly cut short by an injury with eight games remaining.
Ferris State head coach Tracey Bloodworth-Fisk is in her eighth season with the Bulldogs, having compiled a 117-78 (.600) record to date. A 1996 Western Michigan graduate, she will be facing Notre Dame for the first time in her coaching career on Thursday evening.
NOTRE DAME-FERRIS STATE CONNECTIONS
- Ferris State redshirt junior guard Erin Miller grew up not far from the Notre Dame campus in Niles, Mich., and graduated from Niles High School. She also has worked at the Irish women’s basketball summer camps in recent years.
- Notre Dame and Ferris State are members of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA). The Irish and Bulldogs will face off in a two-game home-and-home series on Feb. 10 (South Bend) and Feb. 11 (Big Rapids).
- Notre Dame has had one player in its 29-year history hail from Big Rapids, Mich. – 6-foot-5 center Majenica Rupe (1989-93). Known to some as “Majic,” Rupe came to the Irish from Big Rapids High School in the same class that included current Notre Dame associate head coach Coquese Washington. Rupe was a four-year monogram winner at Notre Dame, averaging 2.0 points and 2.2 rebounds per game with a .505 field goal percentage in 66 career games. She shares the distinction of being the tallest player in the program’s history, a trait also held by All-America center Ruth Riley (1997-01) and current sophomore center Melissa D’Amico.
EXHIBITION EXCELLENCE FOR IRISH
Notre Dame has been nearly unbeatable in exhibition games during the past 13 seasons. Since the 1993-94 campaign, the Irish are 23-1 (.958) in these preseason tilts and own an active 18-game exhibition winning streak. During that time, Notre Dame has outscored its preseason opponents by an aggregate score of 2,077-1,486, which is good for an average score of 87-62. The last squad to defeat the Irish in exhibition play was the Lithuanian National Team, which edged Notre Dame, 94-89 in 1996-97. But the Irish were not fazed by that loss – they went on to reach their first NCAA Final Four that year.
New NCAA rules in recent years have allowed Division I teams to play exhibitions against Division II, III or NAIA institutions. However, prior to this season, Notre Dame had played just once before against another college team – in 2001-02, the Irish downed NCAA Division II member Christian Brothers University (located in Memphis), 87-39.
Here’s a look at how Notre Dame has fared since 1993-94 in exhibition games:
|2005-06||W, 84-59 vs. University of Indianapolis|
|2004-05||W, 84-52 vs. Premier Sports|
|W, 80-61 vs. Hoosier Lady Stars|
|2003-04||W, 85-65 vs. Northwest Sports|
|W, 78-45 vs. Team Concept|
|2002-03||W, 87-50 vs. Houston Jaguars|
|W, 70-60 vs. Ohio Girls’ Basketball Magazine Legends|
|2001-02||W, 76-62 vs. Ohio Girls’ Basketball Magazine Legends|
|W, 87-39 vs. Christian Brothers University|
|2000-01||W, 98-53 vs. Finnish Select Team|
|W, 91-56 vs. Ohio All-Stars|
|1999-2000||W, 76-51 vs. EOS Malbas|
|W, 94-85 vs. Premier All-Stars|
|1998-99||W, 88-37 vs. Estonia|
|W, 111-82 vs. Visby-Sweden|
|1997-98||W, 66-34 vs. Slavyanka (Russia)|
|W, 103-92 (3OT) vs. Brisbane (Australia) Blazers|
|1996-97||W, 74-54 vs. Dutch National Team|
|L, 89-94 vs. Lithuanian National Team|
|1995-96||W, 90-83 (OT) vs. Hoosier All-Stars|
|W, 93-85 vs. Sopron-Hungary|
|1994-95||W, 80-63 vs. Athletes in Action|
|W, 84-65 vs. Australian Institute for Sport|
|1993-94||W, 109-59 vs. BK Strakonice|
WARMING UP QUICKLY
In addition to Notre Dame’s team success in exhibition games, several players also have performed well during preseason play. Here’s a brief thumbnail sketch on how some of the current Irish players have done in exhibitions during their careers:
* Charel Allen – 9.0 ppg., 4.7 rpg., 10 pts. and 9 rebs. vs. Premier Sports in 2004
* Melissa D’Amico – 11.7 ppg., 6.3 rpg., .654 FG% (17-26), 16 pts. vs. Indianapolis in 2005
* Megan Duffy – 12.4 ppg., team-high 5.0 apg., .553 FG% (26-47), 16.7 ppg. in past three
* Crystal Erwin – 3.8 ppg., 3.6 rpg., nine points and 10 rebounds vs. Team Concept in 2003
* Courtney LaVere – 10.0 ppg., 4.7 rpg., 21 points vs. Northwest Sports in 2003
DUFFY RAKES IN PRESEASON HONORS
Senior guard Megan Duffy (Dayton, Ohio) already has found her name on preseason candidate lists for two of the top national player-of-the-year trophies this season. The 5-foot-7 floor general is among 25 early candidates for the State Farm/WBCA Wade Trophy, and she is on the 30-player watch list for the John R. Wooden Women’s Award. It’s the first time in Duffy’s career she has been placed under consideration for either award, and it marks the third consecutive season a Notre Dame player has made both preseason candidate list (Jacqueline Batteast was chosen prior to the 2003-04 and 2004-05 campaigns).
Besides the Wade Trophy and Wooden Women’s Award, Duffy is a prime candidate for the Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award, which goes the country’s top senior player who stands 5-foot-8 or under, and the Nancy Lieberman Award, which is presented to the nation’s top point guard.
In addition, Duffy has been tapped as a preseason All-American by three national media outlets – Women’s Basketball News Service (first team), Street & Smith’s (“Terrific 10”) and Lindy’s College Basketball Annual (third team) – and has been chosen as one of the top five point guards in the country in the ESPN.com 2005-06 season preview.
Duffy also was one of 12 players selected to the 2005-06 Preseason all-BIG EAST Conference Team, as voted on by the league’s coaches. Duffy is one of three returning first-team all-BIG EAST picks from a year ago, joining West Virginia’s Meg Bulger and this year’s Preseason Player of the Year, Cappie Pondexter of Rutgers. Duffy is tops among all returnees in assists (5.39 apg. in 2004-05, second in the BIG EAST), steals (2.73 spg., first) and free throw percentage (.895, first), setting a school record and ranking fourth nationally in the latter category. She also ranks fourth among BIG EAST returnees in assist/turnover ratio (1.73) and is seventh among veterans in three-point field goals per game (1.52).
Last season, Duffy was an honorable mention All-America choice by the Associated Press and was a finalist for the Kodak/WBCA All-America Team. She also earned a spot on the all-tournament teams for the Preseason WNIT and the BIG EAST Championship.
NOTRE DAME RANKED THIRD IN PRESEASON BIG EAST POLL
According to a preseason survey of the BIG EAST Conference coaches, Notre Dame is expected to finish third in the conference this season. Those were the results released at the league’s annual Media Day Oct. 27 at the ESPN Zone in New York’s Times Square. The Irish earned 191 points, which placed them behind the defending BIG EAST regular-season champion Rutgers (221 points, 11 first-place votes) and the reigning BIG EAST Championship victor, Connecticut (215 points, five first-place votes). Conference newcomer DePaul was fourth, followed by Villanova, Louisville, West Virginia, St. John’s, South Florida and Marquette. All 10 of those schools qualified for postseason play last season, with Notre Dame, Rutgers, Connecticut, DePaul and Louisville all advancing to the NCAA Tournament.
Notre Dame is beginning its 11th season as a member of the BIG EAST Conference in 2005-06. The Irish have gone 137-31 (.815) all-time in regular-season conference games, posting the best winning percentage in league history. Connecticut is second with a .779 success rate. Notre Dame also has finished among the top three in the final BIG EAST regular-season standings nine times in its first 10 seasons in the conference, including a share of the BIG EAST title in 2000-01.
GIVE HER FIVE (HUNDRED)
With Notre Dame’s first victory this season, head coach Muffet McGraw will become the 27th women’s basketball coach in NCAA Division I history to reach the 500-win mark. McGraw has a career record of 499-196 (.718) in 23 years of coaching, including the past 18 seasons at Notre dame (411-155, .728).
Here’s a closer look at how the milestone victory will break down for McGraw:
* Should Notre Dame’s first win come prior to Dec. 5, she will be the 10th NCAA Division I women’s basketball coach to register her 500th victory before turning 50 years old.
The others in that elite group are:
* Pat Summitt, Tennessee (41 years old at win No. 500)
* Rene Portland, Penn State (44)
* C. Vivian Stringer, Rutgers (45)
* Sylvia Hatchell, North Carolina (45)
* Theresa Grentz, Illinois (45)
* Jody Conradt, Texas (46)
* Tara VanDerveer, Stanford (47)
* Geno Auriemma, Connecticut (49)
* Harry Perretta, Villanova (49)
* McGraw will be the fourth active coach in the BIG EAST Conference to reach the career 500-win mark, joining Stringer (723 victories entering this season), Auriemma (557) and Perretta (507).
* She will be the third BIG EAST coach in as many seasons to celebrate her 500th win. Auriemma hit the milestone late in the 2002-03 campaign, while Perretta joined the club with his landmark victory midway through last season.
CHANGES ON THE SIDELINE
There are three changes to the Notre Dame staff for the 2005-06 season. Coquese Washington, who is entering her seventh season on the Irish bench, has been promoted to associate head coach. Washington, who also played for head coach Muffet McGraw from 1989-93, has been part of the Notre Dame women’s basketball program for 10 of the first 18 years of the McGraw era.
Angie Potthoff has been hired as an assistant coach, replacing longtime aide Carol Owens, who resigned in March to become head coach at her alma mater, Northern Illinois. Potthoff, a 1997 graduate of Penn State where she was a two-time All-American and three-time first-team all-Big Ten selection, will focus her efforts primarily on working with the Irish posts.
Stephanie Menio (pronounced MANY-o) is Notre Dame’s new coordinator of basketball operations, assuming the marketing and promotional responsibilities for the program. She replaces Heather Maxwell, who departed in August to pursue doctoral studies at the University of Minnesota.
Notre Dame has added two walk-on players to its roster for the 2005-06 season, with both joining the squad through preseason tryouts after the media guide went to press.
Brittney Bolden (5-7, Fr., G, South Bend, Ind./Adams HS) averaged 13.3 points and 6.1 rebounds per game last season while helping Adams to one of its best seasons of late in the Northern Indiana Conference (NIC). She is the fourth South Bend native ever to play for the Irish, with the most recent being former South Bend Washington High School standout Jacqueline Batteast (2001-05). Ironically, Bolden graduated from John Adams High School, making Adams the fourth different South Bend school to send a player to Notre Dame – the others are St. Joseph’s (Molly Mahoney in 1986-87) and Clay (Mary Borkowski, 1983-84).
Bolden was a three-sport letterwinner at Adams, participating in basketball, soccer and track & field. She was a two-time all-Northern Indiana Conference selection in basketball and a two-time first-team all-conference pick in soccer, as well as a four-time state finalist on the track as a sprinter. In addition, she was an excellent student, graduating with a 3.7 grade-point average and academic honors. She comes from a family with a rich athletic heritage – two of her cousins are Shannon Bolden (currently a senior guard/forward at Minnesota) and Stephanie Bolden (a former standout at South Dakota State, where she helped the Jackrabbits to the NCAA Division II title in 2002-03).
Christine Trezza (6-0, Fr., F, Staten Island, N.Y./Notre Dame Academy HS) averaged 10.4 points and 12.0 rebounds per game during her high school career, earning second-team all-borough honors from the New York Daily News and all-conference laurels as a senior. Last year, she helped Notre Dame Academy to a regional title (had career highs of 25 points and 15 rebounds in one playoff game) and averaged 14.8 points and 13.0 rebounds per game along the way. Also, she was a three-time captain of the nationally-ranked Staten Island Rebels AAU squad that finished second at the USA Junior Nationals in 2003. Like Bolden, Trezza was a multi-sport athlete in high school, garnering four letters in volleyball and one in cross country.
Trezza was a member of the National Honor Society, in addition to serving as student government president, class valedictorian and captain of the math team. She is from the same borough as Irish men’s basketball freshman Kyle McAlarney (Moore Catholic HS) and joins Notre Dame sophomore center Melissa D’Amico (Manorville, N.Y./William Floyd HS) as the two players from New York on this year’s Irish roster.
HALF AND HALF
During the past five seasons, Notre Dame has been nearly unbeatable when it has the lead at halftime. The Irish are 97-8 (.924) since the start of the 2000-01 campaign when they go into the dressing room with the lead, including a 20-1 mark last year (only loss: 70-61 to Arizona State in the second round of the NCAA Tournament).
THE BEST OFFENSE IS A GOOD DEFENSE …
During the past decade, Notre Dame has discovered that a solid defensive effort can almost certainly guarantee a victory. In fact, since the beginning of the 1995-96 season (Notre Dame’s first in the BIG EAST Conference), the Irish have an amazing 150-9 (.943) record when they hold their opponents to less than 60 points in a game. Notre Dame added 21 more wins to that ledger last season.
… BUT SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO SCORE IF YOU WANT TO WIN
Not resting solely on its defensive laurels, Notre Dame also seemingly has found the magic mark when it comes to outscoring its opponents. During the past decade (1995-96 to present), the Irish are 91-3 (.968) when they score at least 80 points in a game. The only blemishes on that record are a pair of overtime losses to Texas A&M (88-84) and Michigan State (87-83) in 1995 and a 106-81 loss to Connecticut in 1998. Notre Dame tacked on three more wins to that tally in 2004-05.
Notre Dame is one of only nine schools in the country to have appeared in the NCAA Sweet Sixteen six times in the past nine seasons (1997-2004). The others are Connecticut and Tennessee (nine times), Duke (eight times), Louisiana Tech (seven times), and Georgia, LSU, North Carolina and Texas Tech (six times).
THE GOLD STANDARD
The Irish are one of just six teams nationwide to have an active streak of 12 consecutive 20-win seasons. The others in these elite club are Tennessee (29), Texas Tech (16), Louisiana Tech (14), Old Dominion (14) and Connecticut (12).
NOW THAT’S A HOME COURT ADVANTAGE
One of the hallmarks of Notre Dame’s success has been its stellar play at home. In fact, the Irish have been virtually untouchable at home in recent years, winning 127 of their last 138 games (.920) at the 11,418-seat Joyce Center, including winning streaks of 51 and 25 games in that span. Notre Dame also has a 76-8 (.905) record in BIG EAST Conference play at the Joyce Center, sporting a 31-game league winning streak at home before it was snapped with a 48-45 loss to Villanova in the 2002 home finale.
The Irish have been particularly strong when it comes to non-conference games at home, winning 54 of their last 57 non-BIG EAST contests (.947) at the Joyce Center, dating back to the 1994-95 season. The only three losses in that span all came at the hands of Big Ten Conference opponents – Wisconsin in 1996 (81-69), Purdue in 2003 (71-54) and Michigan State in 2004 (82-73 OT). The Purdue loss snapped a 33-game non-conference home winning streak which began after the UW setback.
Since its inaugural season in 1977-78, Notre Dame has played all of its games at the Joyce Center, posting a 277-72 (.794) record at the venerable facility. In three of the past six seasons (1999-2000, 2000-01 and 2003-04), the Irish were a perfect 15-0 at home, setting a school record for home wins in a season.
JAMMIN’ THE JOYCE
Beginning with its national championship season of 2000-01, Notre Dame has ranked among the top 20 in the nation in attendance each of the past five years, including a No. 16 rating in 2004-05 (5,830 fans per game).
What’s more, each of the top 20 women’s basketball crowds in Joyce Center history have occurred during the 18-year tenure of head coach Muffet McGraw (1987-present), with 19 of those 20 occurring in the past five seasons (2000-01 to present). Lastly, the Irish have attracted at least 5,000 fans to 65 of their last 67 home games, including 12 contests with at least 8,000 fans and the first two sellouts in the program’s history (both in 2001).
OH CAPTAIN, MY CAPTAIN
Notre Dame’s two seniors – guard Megan Duffy and forward Courtney LaVere – will serve as team captains for the 2005-06 season. Duffy is in her second year as a captain (making her the 16th two-time captain in school history, and 12th in the Muffet McGraw era), while LaVere is a first-time captain. Both players received the captain’s honor following a vote of their teammates prior to the season.
NOTRE DAME ON THE SMALL SCREEN
Notre Dame will have nine of its regular-season games televised during the 2005-06 season. Highlighting this year’s television docket are six nationally-televised Irish women’s basketball contests, including three consecutive games on the ESPN family of networks during a 12-day span in mid-February.
This year’s TV slate continues a recent trend that has seen the Irish become a regular fixture on television. Beginning with the NCAA championship season of 2000-01, Notre Dame has played in 60 televised games, including 37 that were broadcast nationally. Last year, the Irish had 17 games televised, with 10 being national broadcasts.
Notre Dame will make its 2005-06 television debut Nov. 20 when its 2 p.m. (ET) road opener at Western Michigan is aired live on Comcast Local. That will be the first of two regional Irish women’s basketball broadcasts for the Detroit-based network, with the second coming a week later (Nov. 27) in a 2 p.m. (EST) home game against USC.
The remaining six televised games on the ’05-06 Notre Dame schedule all are slated for national broadcasts. The first of three Irish appearances on College Sports Television (CSTV) comes on Dec. 31, when Notre Dame plays host to Tennessee at 2 p.m. (EST). Notre Dame returns to the CSTV airwaves for a pair of January contests that will be part of the BIG EAST/CSTV Tuesday Game of the Week package. The Irish will welcome DePaul to the Joyce Center on Jan. 17, before visiting Rutgers on Jan. 24, and both games will tip off at 7:30 p.m. (EST). CSTV has aired eight Notre Dame women’s basketball games during the past three seasons, with the first being that network’s inaugural broadcast of any sport (a Feb. 2003 game at Connecticut).
The Irish then make three consecutive appearances on the ESPN family of networks, beginning with a Feb. 7 home game against Villanova that will be broadcast live on ESPNU. That game now will tip off at 6 p.m. (EST), one hour earlier than previously listed on some schedules. The following Sunday (Feb. 12), Notre Dame will travel to DePaul for a 4 p.m. CST (5 p.m. EST) game that will air on ESPN2 as part of that network’s “February Frenzy” split-national coverage designed to preview a similar coverage pattern for the NCAA Tournament. The Irish are back on ESPN2 on Feb. 19, when they play host to Connecticut in a 7 p.m. (EST) prime-time BIG EAST showdown at the Joyce Center. During the past five seasons, Notre Dame has appeared on the ESPN family of networks 24 times, averaging nearly five telecasts per year on “The Worldwide Leader in Sports”.
Notre Dame will make its final regular-season television appearance on Feb. 25, when it travels to new conference member Cincinnati for a 2 p.m. (EST) game that will air as part of the BIG EAST-Regional Sports Network (RSN) package. Among the outlets scheduled to televise the game live are WHME-TV (Channel 46 in South Bend), Comcast Chicago, Comcast Local, Comcast Philadelphia and Madison Square Garden Network.
NOTRE DAME ON THE AIRWAVES
Once again this season, every Irish women’s basketball game (home and away) will air on the flagship stations of the Artistic Media Partners (AMP) Network – WDND-AM (ESPN Radio 1580) and WNDV-AM (1490) in South Bend. Veteran broadcaster and AMP sports director Sean Stires is now in his sixth season handling the play-by-play for Notre Dame. The Irish also can be heard on the Internet at Notre Dame’s official athletics web site (www.und.com) by subscribing to Fighting Irish All-Access, which gives listeners full multimedia access to a variety of Irish athletics events for only $6.95 per month.
Here’s a rundown of some upcoming promotions and giveaways at future Notre Dame women’s basketball games this season. Tickets may be purchased in advance at the Irish athletics ticket office (second floor of the Joyce Center through Gate 1; 574-631-7356) or on game day at the Gate 10 ticket windows of the Joyce Center. Please note – additional promotions and giveaways may be added at a later date, so consult the Notre Dame promotions web site (www.notredamepromotions.com) for the latest information:
* Nov. 10 vs. Ferris State – Season Ticket Holder Night (special edition lime green t-shirts to all season ticket holders in attendance) … Notre Dame women’s basketball drinking glasses to first 1,000 fans (courtesy of Between the Buns and Coca-Cola) … post-game autograph session with entire Irish team.
* Nov. 18 vs. Michigan – Opening Night 2005 … free popcorn to first 500 fans … Notre Dame women’s basketball “I Bring The Spirit” t-shirts to first 1,000 fans (courtesy of PJ Marketing) … all fans can get their photo taken by professional photographer Michael Bennett from Lighthouse Imaging and free hard copies of those pictures will be available after the game … the first three singing finalists from the “Irish Superstar” competition will perform … post-game autograph session at courtside with selected Irish players … season ticket holders can pick up their complimentary copy of the 2005-06 Notre Dame women’s basketball media guide (one per season ticket account) in auxiliary gym No. 1 on the upper concourse at the Joyce Center.
* Nov. 27 vs. USC – Family Day (four tickets, four hot dogs, four sodas – all for $25) … Notre Dame women’s basketball mouse pads to first 1,000 fans (courtesy of Chili’s and Papa Vino’s) … three remaining singing finalists from the “Irish Superstar” competition will perform … post-game autograph session at courtside with selected Irish players … season ticket holders can pick up their complimentary copy of the 2005-06 Notre Dame women’s basketball media guide (one per season ticket account) in auxiliary gym No. 1 on the upper concourse at the Joyce Center.
NEXT GAME: MICHIGAN
Notre Dame will tip off the 2005-06 regular season Friday, Nov. 18 at 9 p.m. (ET) when it plays host to Big Ten Conference member Michigan at the Joyce Center. The game will follow the pep rally leading into the next day’s football game vs. Syracuse, and it’s the second consecutive year the Irish have opened up with a post-pep rally contest (defeated Illinois State, 92-73 in the opening round of last year’s Preseason WNIT). Notre Dame has won 10 consecutive season openers (coinciding exactly with its membership in the BIG EAST Conference) and 15 of 18 in the Muffet McGraw era.
Michigan (5-23 in 2004-05) will get the jump on the Irish in terms of regular-season experience, as the Wolverines open their campaign Friday night against No. 21/20 Temple in the Women’s Sports Foundation Challenge in Eugene, Ore. UM then will face either Oregon or St. Francis (Pa.) on the second day of that tournament before turning its attention to Notre Dame. The Wolverines also won both of their exhibition games this year, downing Athletes in Action (65-64) and the Ohio Girls’ Magazine Legends (71-63).