Nov. 17, 2014
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – It took all of one game for University of Notre Dame freshman women’s basketball forward Brianna Turner (Pearland, Texas/Manvel) to not only put her name in the Fighting Irish record books, but break new ground in the program’s budding history as a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Turner became the first Notre Dame women’s basketball player selected as ACC Freshman of the Week when she earned 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.
A 6-foot-3 post, Turner also is the first Fighting Irish women’s basketball player to garner conference freshman of the week status since Feb. 25, 2013, when current junior All-America guard Jewell Loyd (Lincolnwood, Ill./Niles West) collected the last of her four BIG EAST Conference Freshman of the Week citations.
Turner began her college career in record-setting fashion on Nov. 14, piling up game highs of 29 points, nine rebounds and three blocked shots in only 19 minutes during Notre Dame’s 105-51 season-opening win over UMass Lowell at Purcell Pavilion.
Turner, who made 13 of her 18 field goal attempts in the victory, set a Fighting Irish record for most points by a freshman in her college debut, surpassing Ruth Kaiser’s 22 points against St. Joseph’s College (Indiana) on Dec. 2, 1981. Turner also easily topped the Notre Dame scoring record for a rookie in her debut under 28th-year head coach Muffet McGraw, a mark shared by Alicia Ratay (18 points at Toledo on Nov. 20, 1999) and Courtney LaVere (18 points against Cleveland State on Nov. 26, 2002).
In addition, Turner posted the second-highest point total by any Fighting Irish player in any class during a season opener and the most since All-America forward Katryna Gaither’s 31 points at Indiana on Nov. 24, 1995.
“(Brianna) plays like she practices, and that’s the most important thing for me to see,” McGraw said. “She does that every day in practice so it’s not a surprise when she does it in the game. She works really hard. She’s trying to learn as much as she can and she’s doing everything we’re asking her to do, so I’m really pleased with her right now. She’s just going to keep getting better.”
The third-ranked Notre Dame women’s basketball team returns to action at 7 p.m. (ET) Wednesday when it travels to East Lansing, Michigan, to take on No. 15 Michigan State at the Breslin Center. The game will be televised live on the Big Ten Network (Comcast/Xfinity Channels 74/256, AT&T U-Verse Channels 650/1650, DirecTV Channel 610 and Dish Network Channel 405).
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.