Dec. 15, 2014
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – For University of Notre Dame women’s basketball junior guard Jewell Loyd (Lincolnwood, Ill./Niles West), last week focused primarily on the number two–the points off any of her numerous slashing drives to the basket on the way to a school record-tying 41 points at No. 25 DePaul, the pairs of free throws she made in clutch situations during that overtime win over the Blue Demons and even a double-double she posted that evening.
Thus, it was no surprise that after averaging 27.5 points and 8.5 rebounds per game last week, Loyd was selected as the espnW National Player of the Week and for the second week in a row, the Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Week. Loyd earned both honors earlier today, garnering the espnW honor from that media outlet’s panel of national women’s basketball experts, and receiving the ACC award through 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.
Loyd pulled off the espnW National Player of the Week/ACC Player of the Week double for the second time in her career, having previously done so on Feb. 24, 2014. The 5-foot-10 wing also has earned ACC Player of the Week accolades three times in her career and is the first two-time ACC Player of the Week this season, not to mention the first Notre Dame player to earn conference player of the week honors in consecutive weeks since Feb. 18 and 25, 2002, when Alicia Ratay pulled off that feat during BIG EAST Conference play.
Loyd is the second Fighting Irish player this season to collect multiple ACC weekly honors. Freshman forward Brianna Turner (Pearland, Texas/Manvel) began her career in fine form, earning the first two ACC Freshman of the Week citations on Nov. 17 and 24.
One of the leading candidates for every major national player of the year honor, including the Wade Trophy, Wooden Award and Naismith Trophy, Loyd was stellar at both ends of the court last week. At DePaul, she converted 12 of 28 shots and 15 of 18 free-throws on the way to matching Ruth Riley’s nearly 16-year-old school single-game scoring record of 41 points (Riley reached that mark at Providence on Jan. 30, 1999). Loyd also grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds for her second double-double of the year and sank the two game-winning free-throws with 5.3 seconds left in overtime–after making two foul shots with 13.5 seconds to go in regulation–lifting Notre Dame to a 94-93 win over the Blue Demons, the third win in four tries for the Fighting Irish over a ranked opponent this season.
Loyd capped off her week on Saturday with an efficient 14-point, five-rebound performance against Michigan at Purcell Pavilion. Loyd made seven of her 14 shots in the contest, which Notre Dame led from the opening tip to the final horn and by a comfortable double-digit margin for the balance of the afternoon.
“Jewell was just amazing last week and certainly deserving of both the espnW and ACC Player of the Week awards,” Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw said. “Not only is she playing at a very high level, but she’s also making those around her better, and that’s the sign of a truly outstanding teammate and leader.”
For the season, Loyd leads the ACC and ranks 10th in the nation in scoring at 23.2 points per game. She also is fifth in the conference with a .869 free-throw percentage and has scored at least 20 points in eight of 11 games this season.
The No. 5/4 Notre Dame women’s basketball team (10-1) is in the midst of an eight-day break for final exams. The Fighting Irish will return to the court for their last game before Christmas at 1 p.m. (ET) Sunday when they play host to McGraw’s alma mater, Saint Joseph’s (Pennsylvania) at Purcell Pavilion. The game will be streamed live and free of charge worldwide on the official Fighting Irish athletics multimedia platform, WatchND (watchnd.tv), while radio coverage will be available in the South Bend area on Pulse FM (96.9/92.1).
Fans are invited to bring a stuffed animal to Sunday’s game for the annual Notre Dame women’s basketball Teddy Bear Toss. At halftime, on the public address announcer’s cue, fans may throw their stuffed animals onto the court at Purcell Pavilion, with the gifts then donated to several local children’s charities.
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