Oct. 14, 2015
by Chris Masters
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Devereaux Peters (’11), who helped the University of Notre Dame women’s basketball team to a pair of NCAA championship game appearances while earning honorable mention All-America status in both 2011 and 2012, added a second WNBA championship to her resume Wednesday night when she helped the Minnesota Lynx defeated fellow Fighting Irish All-America post Natalie Achonwa (’14) and the Indiana Fever, 69-52 in the deciding Game 5 of the 2015 WNBA Finals at the Target Center in Minneapolis.
Peters, who had two points in the series-clinching win, earns the sixth WNBA championship ring for a Notre Dame alum, and her second of her four-year professional career, following Minnesota’s crown in 2013. She becomes the second Fighting Irish player to suit up for two WNBA champions, joining Ruth Riley (’01), who won a pair of WNBA titles with the Detroit Shock in 2003 and 2006 (joining 2005 Notre Dame alum Jacqueline Batteast for the latter crown).
Achonwa, who saw limited minutes in the WNBA Finals due to lingering effects from preseason knee surgery, was looking for a third championship this calendar year, having previously earned gold medals with the Canadian Senior National Team at the Pan American Games and FIBA Americas Championship this summer in her native Canada.
“We are so proud of Devereaux and Natalie for representing Notre Dame with class and distinction throughout the WNBA playoffs,” said Muffet McGraw, Notre Dame’s Karen and Kevin Keyes Head Women’s Basketball Coach. “They are tremendous ambassadors for not only our University, but the sport of women’s basketball, and we couldn’t be happier for Dev to win her second WNBA title. Both Dev and Natalie competed so hard all season long and we expect there will be many more championships in the future for both of them.”
This marked the fifth time in six seasons that Peters was playing for a championship, having followed her consecutive NCAA title game berths at Notre Dame with appearances in the WNBA Finals in three of her first four pro seasons (2012, 2013 and 2015). In addition to its 2013 WNBA championship, Minnesota reached the 2012 Finals, but fell to Indiana in four games.
Peters appeared in 34 games for the Lynx this season, averaging 3.1 points, 3.3 rebounds and 0.9 blocks per game. The Fighting Irish alum also played in all 10 WNBA playoff games for Minnesota, logging 4.0 points, 2.2 rebounds and 0.8 blocks per contest as the Lynx became just the second WNBA team to win three championships in a five-year period (2011, 2013, 2015), joining the now-defunct Houston Comets, who won the league’s first four crowns from 1997-2000.
Coincidentally, Coquese Washington (’91), the first Notre Dame alum to hoist the WNBA hardware, was a member of the Comets when they won the 2000 league title.
Achonwa, who finished third in the WNBA Rookie of the Year voting and earned a spot on the 2015 WNBA All-Rookie Team, appeared in 28 games for Indiana this season, starting 17 times, She averaged 8.0 points and 3.5 rebounds per game and was among the league’s top rookie shooters with a .550 field-goal percentage.
Achonwa also played in six of the Fever’s playoff games, starting once, while averaging 1.8 points and 1.5 points per game.
The latest edition of the Fighting Irish will open its 2015-16 season with an exhibition game at 1 p.m. (ET) Nov. 7, playing host to Wayne State at Purcell Pavilion. Notre Dame’s regular season slate gets underway at 1 p.m. (ET) Nov. 15, when the Fighting Irish welcome Bucknell to Purcell Pavilion.
Following a nearly 90-percent renewal rate among season ticket holders, a limited number of 2015-16 Notre Dame women’s basketball season ticket packages have been freed up and are now on sale by contacting Notre Dame’s Murnane Family Ticket Office at (574) 631-7356 or visiting the ticket windows inside Gate 9 (Rosenthal Atrium) at Purcell Pavilion. Tickets also can be ordered on-line 24 hours a day with a major credit card at UND.com/buytickets.
Remaining season ticket packages start as low as $65 per person for individuals and $55 per person for full-time Notre Dame faculty/staff, while “Fan Packs” of 4-8 tickets are as low as $220. Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross students are admitted free for all home games (while supplies last). These season ticket packages include exclusive opportunities such as priority access for additional tickets and entry to Club Naimoli, as well as tickets for any home games in the 2016 NCAA Championship (contact the ticket office for details).
Single-game tickets for the 2015-16 Notre Dame women’s basketball home schedule will go on sale Oct. 20 (season ticket holders) and Oct. 22 (general public). A limited number of tickets for each home game may become available during the week prior to, or the day of, that contest due to visiting team returns and other considerations.
For more information on the Notre Dame women’s basketball program, visit the main women’s basketball page on the University’s official athletics web site (UND.com/ndwbb), sign up to follow the Fighting Irish women’s basketball Twitter and Instagram pages, like the program on Facebook or register for the Irish ALERT text-messaging system through the “Fan Center” pulldown menu on the front page at UND.com.
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Chris Masters, associate athletics communications director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 2001 and coordinates all media efforts for the Notre Dame women’s basketball and women’s golf programs. A native of San Francisco, California, Masters is a 1996 graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University, earned his master’s degree from Kansas State University in 1998, and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).