Nov. 24, 2014
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – It had been six years since a University of Notre Dame women’s basketball player earned conference freshman of the week honors in consecutive weeks. Brianna Turner (Pearland, Texas/Manvel) needed just two weeks on the job to put an end to that drought.
For the second consecutive week, Turner was selected as Atlantic Coast Conference Freshman of the Week, collecting that honor today following a vote of the conference’s Blue Ribbon Panel, which is comprised of the ACC’s 15 head coaches, local and national media members and the women’s basketball media relations directors for each school.
Turner is the fifth Notre Dame women’s basketball player chosen as conference freshman of the week in back-to-back weeks and the first since Kellie Watson earned the BIG EAST Conference Freshman of the Week award on Dec. 1 and 8, 2008. The only other Fighting Irish players to garner consecutive league freshman of the week citations also claimed their honors during the program’s BIG EAST era, and all three did so in three consecutive weeks–Jacqueline Batteast (Dec. 3-17, 2001), Alicia Ratay (Feb. 7-21, 2000) and Ruth Riley (Jan. 12-26, 1998).
Before Turner’s current back-to-back awards, current junior All-America guard Jewell Loyd (Lincolnwood, Ill./Niles West) was Notre Dame’s most recent conference freshman of the week honoree, receiving the last of her four BIG EAST Freshman of the Week citations on Feb. 25, 2013.
Turner averaged 16.0 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game with a sharp .633 field goal percentage in three Fighting Irish wins last week. The 6-foot-3 post began the week by bouncing back from first-half foul trouble at No. 15/17 Michigan State to score 17 points–all in the second half, including the first 10 points of the period–and add a career-high four blocks in Notre Dame’s 71-63 victory.
Turner then capped her week by making 14 of her final 20 shots. She scored 12 points (on six of seven shooting) and grabbed five rebounds in an 88-53 win over Chattanooga on Nov. 21 at Purcell Pavilion. Two days later, she scored a game-high 19 points (on eight of 13 shooting), collected seven rebounds and snared a career-high three steals in just 17 minutes during Notre Dame’s 104-29 win, also at Purcell Pavilion.
“Each day, we’re seeing more and more of what (Brianna) is capable of,” Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw said. “She is growing and developing with every practice and every game, not trying to do too much but just stay within herself and work hard to get better.”
The No. 2 Notre Dame women’s basketball team returns to action at 6 p.m. (ET) Monday, playing host to Harvard at Purcell Pavilion on the second day of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Women’s Challenge–Quinnipiac and Holy Cross will play in Monday’s nightcap at 8 p.m. (ET), also at Purcell Pavilion.
For more information on the Notre Dame women’s basketball program, sign up to follow the Fighting Irish women’s basketball Twitter pages (@NDsidMasters or @ndwbb), like the program on Facebook (facebook.com/ndwbb) or register for the Irish ALERT text-messaging system through the “Fan Center” pulldown menu on the front page at UND.com.
— Chris Masters, Associate Athletic Media Relations Director