Season Timeline

2012-13 Notre Dame Women's Basketball Timeline

2012-13 Notre Dame Women’s Basketball Timeline

April 3, 2012

  • May 1, 2012
  • August 7, 2012
  • August 20, 2012
  • August 26, 2012
  • Sept. 12, 2012
  • Sept. 13, 2012
  • October 18, 2012
  • October 26, 2012
  • Nov. 9, 2012
  • Nov. 14, 2012
  • Nov. 23, 2012
  • Dec. 5, 2012
  • Dec. 21, 2012
  • Dec. 29, 2012
  • January 5, 2013
  • January 7, 2013
  • January 8, 2013
  • January 28, 2013
  • February 5, 2013
  • February 6, 2013
  • February 11, 2013
  • February 26, 2013
  • February 28, 2013
  • March 2, 2013
  • March 4, 2013
  • March 7, 2013
  • March 8, 2013
  • March 10, 2013
  • March 11, 2013
  • March 12, 2013
  • March 15, 2013
  • March 18, 2013
  • March 19, 2013
  • March 22, 2013
  • March 23, 2013
  • March 24, 2013
  • March 26, 2013
  • March 27, 2013
  • March 30, 2013
  • March 31, 2013
  • April 1, 2013
  • April 2, 2013
  • April 3, 2013
  • April 4, 2013
  • April 5, 2013
  • April 6, 2013

Skylar Diggins

#4 Irish Drop Championship Game to #1 Baylor

April 3, 2012
This was not the way the spectacular senior class that transformed Notre Dame’s program and shook up the BIG EAST wanted to end their college careers.

The school’s trio of senior starters went out Tuesday night in an 80-61 loss to Baylor and the Lady Bears’ towering center, Brittney Griner.

Indeed, the Irish went 35-4 and once again beat BIG EAST bully UConn in the national semifinals only to once again come up short of cutting down the nets.

They were hoping to deny the Lady Bears an unbeaten season and a shot at history; Baylor is the first team in NCAA history to go 40-0.

Beth Cunningham

Beth Cunningham Named Associate Women’s Basketball Coach

May 1, 2012
Beth Cunningham, a former two-time All-America guard at the University of Notre Dame and the program’s all-time leading scorer, has been named associate women’s basketball coach for the Fighting Irish, head coach Muffet McGraw announced Tuesday. Cunningham returns to her alma mater following 11 seasons at Virginia Commonwealth University, including the past nine campaigns as the Rams’ head coach. She fills the vacancy on the Fighting Irish coaching staff created when former associate head coach Jonathan Tsipis departed last month after nine seasons to become the head women’s basketball coach at George Washington University.

Natalie Achonwa

Achonwa Helps Canada To Historic Result At 2012 London Olympics

August 7, 2012
Fueled by a series of solid outings from Notre Dame junior forward Natalie Achonwa (Guelph, Ontario/St. Mary’s Catholic), the Canadian women’s basketball team finished up a landmark performance at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, England, reaching the quarterfinal round for the first time in 28 years in what was that nation’s first Olympic appearance since 2000.

Achonwa (pronounced uh-CHAWN-wuh), the second-youngest women’s basketball player at this year’s Olympics at age 19 (and a mere 42 days older than Angola’s Ana Goncalves), came off the bench in all six games for Canada, averaging 7.2 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game.

Michaela Mabrey

Michaela Mabrey Leads United States To Gold Medal At FIBA Americas U18 Championship

August 20, 2012
For the third time in the past five years, a Notre Dame women’s basketball player has earned a gold medal with the United States Under-18 National Team in international competition, as freshman guard Michaela Mabrey played a pivotal role in leading the U.S. to a 5-0 record and the title at the FIBA Americas U18 Championship that wrapped up Sunday night in Gurabo, Puerto Rico.

Mabrey was among the United States’ most valuable players, averaging 12.8 points, 4.8 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per game with a staggering .500 three-point percentage (16-of-32) and a .489 overall field goal percentage (23-of-47) while scoring in double figures four times. She led all players in the eight-team tournament in assists, assist-to-turnover ratio (2.67) and three-pointers made per game (3.2)

Skylar Diggins

Skylar Diggins Earns Gold With USA At FIBA 3×3 World Championships

August 26, 2012
For the second time in a week, the Notre Dame women’s basketball program saw one of its own earn a gold medal with a USA Basketball Team in an international tournament, as senior All-America guard Skylar Diggins (South Bend, Ind./Washington) helped pace the United States to a perfect 9-0 record and top honors at the inaugural FIBA 3×3 World Championship that concluded Sunday in Athens, Greece. Diggins and Team USA earned the title the hard way, coming from behind in their final two games to defeat Australia (19-18) and France (17-16) and secure their place in history.

Notre Dame to join Atlantic Coast Conference

September 12, 2012
The University of Notre Dame accepted an invitation today (Sept. 12) to become a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) in all sports except football.

Most Notre Dame athletics programs have been members of the Big East Conference since 1995 after previously competing in the Midwestern Collegiate Conference, North Star Conference and as independents. Jack Swarbrick, vice president and director of athletics at Notre Dame, said the University will work with the Big East and ACC on a timetable to transfer athletic membership.

Muffet McGraw

Notre Dame Announces 2012-13 Women’s Basketball Schedule

September 13, 2012
An outdoor game on an aircraft carrier, potential rematches with its opponents from the past two NCAA national championship games, the latest installments in the nation’s most intriguing women’s college basketball rivalry and a pre-Christmas tournament in Las Vegas highlight the unique and demanding 2012-13 Notre Dame women’s basketball schedule that was released Thursday afternoon following approval by the University’s Faculty Board on Athletics.

The two-time reigning NCAA national runner-up Fighting Irish could play up to 19 of their 29 regular-season games against teams that advanced for the postseason last year, including 13 against NCAA Championship participants, a group that is led by defending national champion Baylor and fellow 2012 NCAA Women’s Final Four qualifier Connecticut, as well as Elite Eight squad Tennessee and Sweet 16 teams St. John’s and (possibly) Texas A&M.

Skylar Diggins

Notre Dame Picked Second In 2012-13 BIG EAST Preseason Women’s Basketball Poll

October 18, 2012
Following its second BIG EAST Conference regular-season title (and first outright championship) in 2011-12, Notre Dame has been selected as the No. 2 team in the annual BIG EAST preseason women’s basketball poll, according to a vote of the league’s 15 head coaches released Thursday morning during the 2012-13 BIG EAST Women’s Basketball Media Day at the New York Athletic Club in New York City.

In addition, Notre Dame senior guard Skylar Diggins (South Bend, Ind./Washington) was chosen as the BIG EAST Preseason Player of the Year for the second consecutive season, becoming the first Fighting Irish player to receive that accolade more than once. A year ago, Diggins followed up her preseason selection by earning BIG EAST Player of the Year honors at the end of the 2011-12 campaign.

Irish Student-Athletes Again Rank Number One In 2012 NCAA GSR for Football, Basketball, Hockey

October 26, 2012
University of Notre Dame athletic programs again rank as the best in the country in graduation rates, based on Graduation Success Rate (GSR) figures released today by the NCAA–including first-place ratings in the sports of football, men’s basketball, women’s basketball and ice hockey.

Among the 120 Football Bowl Subdivision institutions, Notre Dame had the highest percentage of its sports with 100 percent scores (for the seventh time in eight years), with a .863 figure (19 of 22).

In women’s basketball, Notre Dame also achieved a 100 GSR rating, as one of 30 Division I-A football-playing institutions with a perfect score.

Natalie Achonwa

Achonwa Leads #7/6 Notre Dame Past #19/21 Ohio State, 57-51

November 9, 2012
Natalie Achonwa had 17 points and 10 rebounds to lead No. 7 Notre Dame to a 57-51 victory over No. 19 Ohio State on Friday night in the Carrier Classic.

Kayla McBride added 16 points and Skylar Diggins 11 for the Fighting Irish, who improved to 23-3 in season openers under coach Muffet McGraw. Not that it was easy in the first women’s game played on an aircraft carrier – the USS Yorktown.

The Yorktown was bathed in bright sunshine at the start, leaving players on both teams squinting. Once the sun set on Charleston Harbor, the converted flight deck turned downright chilly.

Lindsay Allen

Four Prep Women’s Basketball Standouts Commit To Attend Notre Dame

November 14, 2012
Notre Dame head women’s basketball coach Muffet McGraw announced Wednesday that four of the country’s top high school student-athletes have chosen to continue their academic and athletic careers with the Fighting Irish, each signing a National Letter of Intent to attend Notre Dame beginning in the fall of 2013. Lindsay Allen, a 5-7 guard from Mitchellville, Md. (Saint John’s College High School), Kristina Nelson, a 6-3 forward from Buford, Ga. (Buford High School), Taya Reimer (pronounced TAY-uh RYE-mer), a 6-3 forward from Fishers, Ind. (Hamilton Southeastern High School) and Diamond Thompson, a 6-4 center from Wheaton, Ill. (Wheaton Warrenville South High School) all made their official commitments to the Fighting Irish during the early signing period that began Wednesday and continues through Nov. 21.

Jewell Loyd

No. 5 Notre Dame Defeats No. 19 UCLA, 76-64

November 23, 2012
Notre Dame star Skylar Diggins was nowhere near her best against UCLA. Fortunately for the Fighting Irish, her teammates did more than enough to beat the Bruins.

Freshman Jewell Loyd had 19 points, seven rebounds and five assists, Kayla McBride scored 18 points, and No. 5 Notre Dame wasn’t threatened in the second half in beating the 19th-ranked Bruins 76-64 on Friday.

Diggins had 12 points, six rebounds and five assists, but shot 5 of 17 and committed four turnovers.

Jewell Loyd

No. 5 Irish Fall To No. 3 Baylor, 73-61

December 5, 2012
Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw took solace in her team’s effort in another loss to No. 3 Baylor.

Even though her young, yet fifth-ranked Fighting Irish were beaten by the Lady Bears – just as they were in the national title game last season – McGraw thinks her squad offered more of a challenge this time.

The game was tied with seven minutes to go when the Lady Bears (7-1) used a 10-0 run to pull away en route to a 73-61 victory Wednesday night over Notre Dame, which has only two starters back from last year’s team.

Skylar Diggins

Diggins, Achonwa Lead #5 Notre Dame Past #22 Texas A&M, 83-74

December 21, 2012
Skylar Diggins and Natalie Achonwa were two big reasons why Texas A&M didn’t get the best of Notre Dame again.

Diggins scored 24 points and had five steals, and Achonwa added 22 points and 14 rebounds as No. 5 Notre Dame beat No. 22 Texas A&M 83-74 on Friday night in the championship game of the World Vision Classic.

Texas A&M topped Notre Dame in the championship game of the 2011 NCAA tournament. While much less was on the line this time, the Fighting Irish made sure they left the court on top.

Skylar Diggins

No. 5 Notre Dame Overpowers No. 11 Purdue, 74-47

December 29, 2012
With Skylar Diggins in foul trouble and Purdue making a run, Notre Dame kept its cool.

Diggins picked up her second foul midway through the first half and coach Muffet McGraw decided to see how her team would respond instead of rushing her star guard back in the game.

The move worked as the Irish went on a 10-2 run, including consecutive baskets by Kayla McBride that sparked the fifth-ranked team to a 74-47 victory over No. 11 Purdue on Saturday.

Skylar Diggins

#5 Irish Shock #1 Connecticut, 73-72

January 5, 2013
Skylar Diggins and Notre Dame just seem to have Connecticut’s number.

The Irish have turned one of the best rivalries in women’s basketball into a one-sided affair lately, winning five of the past six meetings.

The senior All-American scored 19 points hitting big shot after big shot in the second half to lift fifth-ranked Notre Dame to a 73-72 victory over the top-ranked Huskies on Saturday.

This was the latest victory for the Irish (12-1, 1-0 BIG EAST), who also ended UConn’s season the past two years by beating the Huskies in past two Final Fours.

Kayla McBride

Kayla McBride Named espnW National Player of the Week

January 7, 2013
For the first time in her career, Notre Dame junior guard Kayla McBride (Erie, Pa./Villa Maria Academy) has been selected as both the espnW National Player of the Week and the BIG EAST Conference Player of the Week, it was announced Monday. McBride is the second Fighting Irish women’s basketball player to earn the BIG EAST award this season, following in the footsteps of senior guard/co-captain Skylar Diggins (South Bend, Ind./Washington), who was chosen on Dec. 23, and McBride is the first Notre Dame player to be recognized with a national weekly award this year.

Ariel Braker

No. 2 Irish Hold Off South Florida in Overtime, 75-71

January 8, 2013
A night after Notre Dame’s football fell in Florida, the Fighting Irish women’s basketball team found a way to protect its lofty ranking.

Hardly resembling the team that handed then-No. 1 Connecticut its first loss of the season over the weekend, Skylar Diggins and Co. had to work overtime to hold off the University of South Florida 75-71 Tuesday night in a game coach Muffet McGraw said demonstrated her team is still a work in progress.

Skylar Diggins

#2/3 Irish Pick Up 77-67 Win At #9 Tennessee

January 28, 2013
Skylar Diggins wouldn’t allow Notre Dame to lose.

On a night when Tennessee was honoring one of the greatest coaches in college basketball history, Diggins delivered one of the best performances of her brilliant career. The senior guard scored a career-high 33 points as No. 2 Notre Dame beat the ninth-ranked Lady Vols 77-67 for its 14th straight victory.

Diggins’ big performance spoiled Tennessee’s celebration of former Lady Vols coach Pat Summitt, who had a banner raised in her honor at Thompson-Boling Arena before the game. The announced crowd of 13,556 included former Lady Vols greats Tamika Catchings, Chamique Holdsclaw, Michelle Marciniak and Candace Parker.

Natalie Achonwa

McGraw Wins 700th as #2 Irish Top Villanova, 59-52

February 5, 2013
Muffet McGraw fittingly earned another milestone victory close to where she grew up.

McGraw became the 13th coach in Division I history to reach the 700-victory plateau with No. 2 Notre Dame’s 59-52 victory over Villanova on Tuesday night. Her career record is now 700-257 in 31 years coaching (612-216 in 26 years at Notre Dame).

McGraw played for Bishop Shanahan in nearby West Chester and collegiately for St. Joseph’s. Her first head coaching job was at Archbishop Carroll High School in Radnor, literally down the street from Villanova.

Skylar Diggins

Skylar Diggins Selected As Finalist For 2012-13 Senior CLASS Award

February 6, 2013
Notre Dame senior guard/co-captain Skylar Diggins (South Bend, Ind./Washington) has been chosen as one of the 10 finalists for the 2012-13 Senior CLASS Award in women’s basketball, it was announced Wednesday. The Senior CLASS Award is presented annually to the nation’s top senior player based on their dedication and achievement in four areas: Classroom, Character, Community and Competition.

Those 10 finalists were selected by a media committee from a list of 30 candidates, based on personal qualities that define a complete student-athlete.

Skylar Diggins

No. 2 Notre Dame Overpowers No. 10 Louisville, 93-64

February 11, 2013
Second-ranked Notre Dame got its inside game going in the second half and overwhelmed No. 10 Louisville.

The Fighting Irish outrebounded the Cardinals 26-8 in the second half and outscored them 26-10 in the paint in the final 20 minutes en route to a 93-64 victory Monday night, the 18th straight win for Notre Dame. Natalie Achonwa led the Irish with 22 points on 8-of-11 shooting and grabbed 12 rebounds.

Kayla McBride

#2 Notre Dame Rallies Past #22/20 Syracuse, 79-68

February 26, 2013
After second-ranked Notre Dame fell behind by 15 points early to No. 22 Syracuse, Skylar Diggins scored 21 points in the first half to get the Fighting Irish back in the game and then told Kayla McBride at halftime she was counting on her.

“I went to K-Mac and told her, ‘It’s all you, baby,’ because I was tired,”” Diggins said. ”I told her, ‘You’re going to take us there.”’

McBride scored a career-high 25 points and Diggins finished with 24 points and eight assists as Notre Dame beat the Orange 79-68 Tuesday night, the 21st straight victory for the Fighting Irish.

New Uniforms

adidas Unveils New Uniform For Notre Dame Basketball Teams

February 28, 2013
On Thursday, adidas unveiled the new eye-catching adizero uniform system for the University of Notre Dame men’s and women’s basketball teams to wear during the 2013 postseason. The uniforms feature adidas’ most advanced uniform technologies and a limited-edition camouflage print designed to make an impact on the court.

“The adizero uniform system gives players the leading performance technology with a distinctive on-court style,” says Chris McGuire, adidas Director of Sports Marketing.

Skylar Diggins

No. 2 Notre Dame Clinches Share of BIG EAST Title With 92-57 Win At Providence

March 2, 2013
Notre Dame enters the biggest game of the regular season with its two best players playing their best basketball.

Skylar Diggins scored 28 points and Kayla McBride added 24 as the second-ranked Irish clinched a share of their second straight BIG EAST regular-season title with a 92-57 rout of Providence on Saturday.

Natalie Achonwa chipped in 14 points and eight rebounds for the Irish (27-1, 15-0 BIG EAST) who extended their winning streak to 22 games.

Skylar Diggins

#2 Irish Down #3 UConn In Triple Overtime Thriller, 96-87

March 4, 2013
Skylar Diggins found another way to beat Connecticut – maybe the toughest way yet. <>

The second-ranked Fighting Irish trailed by six in the first overtime Monday night, then five in the second overtime before finally beating the third-ranked Huskies 96-87 in three overtimes Monday night to win BIG EAST regular-season title outright for the second straight year.

Skylar Diggins

Four Irish Women’s Basketball Players Earn All-BIG EAST Honors

March 7, 2013
For the third consecutive season, the Fighting Irish had three players named to the All-BIG EAST First Team, with senior guard Skylar Diggins being chosen unanimously to the first team for the third consecutive season, and earning her fourth all-conference citation overall. Diggins is joined on this year’s All-BIG EAST First Team by a pair of juniors who earned all-conference honors for the first time — forward Natalie Achonwa and guard Kayla McBride.

In addition to Thursday’s three first-team all-BIG EAST picks, Notre Dame had a double award recipient, as freshman guard Jewell Loyd was an honorable mention all-conference selection, along with being a unanimous choice for the BIG EAST All-Freshman Team. This marks just the second time in program history that Notre Dame has fielded four all-conference selections in the same year.

Skylar Diggins

Notre Dame Sweeps Major BIG EAST Awards

March 8, 2013
The 2012-13 BIG EAST Conference women’s basketball awards press conference has a distinct Notre Dame flavor to it, as the Fighting Irish swept the three major individual honors that were announced Friday afternoon at the XL Center in Hartford, Conn., site of this year’s BIG EAST Championship.

For the second consecutive season, senior guard/co-captain Skylar Diggins (South Bend, Ind./Washington) was selected as the BIG EAST Player of the Year. She was joined on the BIG EAST awards dais by freshman guard Jewell Loyd (Lincolnwood, Ill./Niles West), who was named the BIG EAST Freshman of the Year, and head coach Muffet McGraw, who took home Coach of the Year honors.

Skylar Diggins

#2 Notre Dame Downs USF, 75-66 To Reach BIG EAST Semifinal

March 10, 2013
Natalie Achonwa’s stellar performance means Notre Dame will keep playing. Achonwa had 20 points and 20 rebounds to lead the second-ranked Irish to a 75-66 win over South Florida on Sunday in the Big East women’s tournament quarterfinals.

“Achonwa’s numbers were record setting at Notre Dame – 20-20 is a phenomenal accomplishment,” coach Muffet McGraw said.

It was the first 20-20 in Big East tournament play since Rebecca Lobo did it in 1993.

Kayla McBride

#2 Irish Cruise Past #16 Louisville, 83-59 In BIG EAST Semifinal

March 11, 2013
Notre Dame is back in the BIG EAST tournament title game for a third straight season, and the Fighting Irish hope their luck is about to change.

Kayla McBride scored 17 points and Skylar Diggins added 14 to help No. 2 Notre Dame beat 16th-ranked Louisville 83-59 on Monday night in the semifinals.

Notre Dame has now reached the title game seven times since joining the conference in 1995, but the Irish have lost the previous six to perennial BIG EAST powerhouse Connecticut.

Skyler Diggins

BIG EAST CHAMPS! Achonwa’s Layup Lifts #2 Irish Past #3 UConn, 61-59

March 12, 2013
Skylar Diggins cut the final strand off the net and twirled it around. Finally, Notre Dame had its first BIG EAST tournament championship. Six previous times the Irish had played Connecticut in the tournament title game and had fallen in each one, including the previous two. Now in the final BIG EAST title game, the Irish were champions. Natalie Achonwa’s layup with 1.8 seconds left lifted No. 2 Notre Dame to a 61-59 victory over third-ranked UConn on Tuesday night.

Skyler Diggins

Skylar Diggins Named Wooden Award Finalist

March 15, 2013
For the third consecutive year, Notre Dame senior guard/co-captain Skylar Diggins (South Bend, Ind./Washington) has been selected as one of 15 finalists for the John R. Wooden Award, it was announced late Thursday by the award’s presenting organization, the Los Angeles Athletic Club. As a result, Diggins will appear on the final ballot for this year’s Wooden Award, which will be given to the nation’s top women’s college basketball player.

Skyler Diggins

Notre Dame Earns 18th Consecutive NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship Berth

March 18, 2013
For the 18th consecutive season, and the 20th time in school history, Notre Dame has earned a berth in the NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship, having received the BIG EAST Conference’s automatic berth into this year’s field by winning its first BIG EAST Championship title last week. The Fighting Irish are the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Championship’s Norfolk Region — the second consecutive year and third time in program history they have earned a top seed — and will play 16th-seeded Tennessee-Martin (the Ohio Valley Conference tournament champion) at 5:05 p.m. ET Sunday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa.

Natalie Achonwa

Three Irish Players Earn WBCA All-Region Honors

March 19, 2013
For the fourth consecutive year (and the fourth time in school history), three Notre Dame women’s basketball players have earned all-region status in the same season and now are in position to contend for places on the 2013 State Farm Coaches’ All-America Team, it was announced Tuesday by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA). The Fighting Irish are the only program in the country to field three all-region honorees this season, and Notre Dame is the only school in the land to have three all-region selections each of the past four years.

Senior guard/co-captain Skylar Diggins (South Bend, Ind./Washington) earned her fourth all-region citation in as many seasons, while junior forward Natalie Achonwa (Guelph, Ontario/St. Mary’s Catholic) and junior guard Kayla McBride (Erie, Pa./Villa Maria Academy) both garnered all-region honors for the first time in their respective careers.

Skylar Diggins

Skylar Diggins Among Four Finalists For Naismith Trophy

March 22, 2013
For the second consecutive season, Notre Dame senior guard/co-captain Skylar Diggins (South Bend, Ind./Washington) has been selected as one of four remaining contenders for the prestigious Naismith Trophy, presented annually to the national player of the year, it was announced Friday by the award’s presenting organization, the Atlanta Tipoff Club. It’s also the second time in a week that Diggins has been chosen as a finalist for a major national player of the year honor, having made the final 15-person ballot for the Wooden Award on March 15.

Skylar Diggins

Diggins Calm as She Readies for Last Shot at Title

March 23, 2013
Skylar Diggins enters her final NCAA tournament with a sense of calmness after losses in the championship game the past two seasons.

“I’m really coming in with a light mood, approaching practice wanting to have fun and enjoy this moment, because it’s my last go around. But the sense of urgency is greater,” Diggins said Friday before practice. “But I don’t think I’m putting any more pressure on myself or on our team than anyone else is.”

Diggins, one of four finalists for the Naismith Award, has led the Fighting Irish (31-1) to its best regular-season ever, with Notre Dame posting its first undefeated BIG EAST season and winning the league tournament for the first time, beating rival UConn three times along the way.

Jewell Loyd

#2 Irish Roll Past UT Martin, 97-64 In NCAA Opener

March 24, 2013
Notre Dame’s reward for earning a No. 1 seed was a trip to Iowa City and a date with Tennessee-Martin, which hardly resembled a No. 16 seed. The Fighting Irish can go anywhere and beat anyone if they dominate the paint the way they did against the undersized Skyhawks.

Jewell Loyd scored 27 points and Notre Dame blew past Tennessee-Martin 97-64 on Sunday in the opening round of the NCAA tournament.

Kayla McBride had 22 points and 10 rebounds for the Fighting Irish (32-1), who outrebounded UT-Martin 49-14 and enjoyed a 56-22 advantage in points in the paint.

Skylar Diggins

#2 Irish Overpower Iowa, 74-57, To Reach Sweet Sixteen

March 26, 2013
Skylar Diggins hit the layup, drew the foul and pumped her fist as though she was playing in South Bend rather than Iowa City.

The Fighting Irish have made the road as comfortable as home – and that’s a great sign for a team with serious designs on the national championship.

Kayla McBride scored a career-high 28 points and top-seeded Notre Dame advanced to the regional semifinals of the women’s NCAA tournament with a 74-57 win over Iowa on Tuesday night.

Skylar Diggins

Skylar Diggins Selected As Finalist For State Farm Wade Trophy

March 27, 2013
For the third time in three weeks, Notre Dame senior guard/co-captain Skylar Diggins (South Bend, Ind./Washington) has been chosen as a finalist for a major national player of the year award, as the Fighting Irish floor general is one of 12 remaining candidates for the 2013 State Farm Wade Trophy, which is presented annually to the nation’s most outstanding NCAA Division I women’s basketball player. The Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) and the National Association for Girls and Women in Sport (NAGWS), the two organizations that coordinate the award, along with the State Farm Wade Trophy Committee, announced this year’s 12 finalists on Wednesday.

Skylar Diggins

McBride at Best at End of Season for Notre Dame

March 30, 2013
Kayla McBride has a knack for coming up big in Notre Dame’s toughest games.

She scored a career-high 21 points in a 1-point win at Connecticut in January, topped that with 26 points in a triple overtime victory over the Huskies in South Bend earlier this month to clinch the BIG EAST regular-season title, and then had 23 points against UConn in the league’s tournament title game and was named the tournament’s most outstanding player. She has scored at least 15 points in 11 of Notre Dame’s 12 games against ranked opponents this season.

Skylar Diggins and Muffet McGraw

#2 Irish Down Kansas, 93-63 To Reach NCAA Elite Eight

March 31, 2013
Skylar Diggins was already having such a great day, her coach figured she might as well make it historic.

The Notre Dame point guard scored 22 of her 27 points by halftime Sunday and became the school’s career scoring leader, leading the top-seeded Fighting Irish to a 93-63 victory against Kansas in the semifinals of the Norfolk Regional.

Skylar Diggins

Three Irish Players Earn AP All-America Honors

April 1, 2013
For the second consecutive season, Notre Dame has seen three of its women’s basketball players earn All-America honors from the Associated Press.

Senior guard/co-captain Skylar Diggins was a unanimous first-team All-America selection by the 40-member media panel, her second consecutive first-team citation and the fourth AP All-America selection of her career (she was a third-team pick in 2011 and an honorable mention choice in 2010). Diggins is both the first Fighting Irish player to be tapped as a unanimous first-team All-American and the first four-time AP All-America honoree in school history.

Two other Fighting Irish players garnered the first AP All-America certificates of their careers. Junior guard Kayla McBride was a third-team selection, while junior forward Natalie Achonwa was an honorable mention choice in the media balloting.

Muffet McGraw

#2 Irish Back To Final Four After Downing #5 Duke, 87-76

April 2, 2013
Skylar Diggins and Notre Dame are headed back to the Final Four for another rematch with Connecticut.

Before looking ahead, though, they wanted to soak in their third consecutive trip to the national semifinals.

The flashy left-hander shook off early foul trouble to score 24 points, and the Fighting Irish rallied to beat Duke 87-76 on Tuesday night to earn their third straight trip to the Final Four. The Irish have lost in the past two national-championship games.

Skylar Diggins

Diggins Picks Up Two More All-America Honors

April 3, 2013
One day after she was a unanimous Associated Press first-team All-America selection, Notre Dame senior guard/co-captain Skylar Diggins (South Bend, Ind./Washington) collected two more All-America citations, earning a spot on the five-player John R. Wooden Award All-America Team and the 10-person United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) All-America Team, according to separate releases issued by the Los Angeles Athletic Club (the Wooden Award’s presenting sponsor) and the USBWA.

Muffet McGraw with Skylar Diggins

McGraw, Loyd Take Home Top National Honors From USBWA

April 4, 2013
The Notre Dame women’s basketball program continues to pull in numerous national individual awards, receiving a pair of top national honors from the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA), the organization announced Thursday.

For the second time in her Hall of Fame career, head coach Muffet McGraw is the recipient of the USBWA Women’s National Coach of the Year Award. She is joined by freshman guard Jewell Loyd (Lincolnwood, Ill./Niles West), who was selected as the 2012-13 USBWA Women’s National Freshman of the Year, the first time since 2002 that a Fighting Irish player has earned that honor.

Natalie Achonwa

Achonwa Needs to Find the Right Balance vs. UConn

April 5, 2013
The challenge for Notre Dame forward Natalie Achonwa is to find the right amount of aggressiveness.

When the balance is right, the 6-3 junior from Guelph, Ontario, can have the type of performance she had against South Florida in the BIG EAST tournament, when she had 20 points and 20 rebounds.

When the balance is wrong, she can find herself on the bench in foul trouble, as she did when she played just 16 minutes against Tennessee in January and 14 minutes against Connecticut in the BIG EAST title game, or playing too timidly, as she did in the first half against Kansas last week after being called for a foul three minutes into the game.

Skylar Diggins

Skylar Diggins Earns Nancy Lieberman Award For Second Consecutive Season

April 6, 2013
Notre Dame senior guard/co-captain Skylar Diggins (South Bend, Ind./Washington) continues to blaze trails seldom seen in the history of Fighting Irish women’s basketball, once again adding to her ever-growing resume on Friday when she was selected for the second consecutive season as the recipient of the Nancy Lieberman Award, which is presented annually to the nation’s top NCAA Division I point guard by the Rotary Club of Detroit.

Diggins, who is the first Notre Dame player chosen for the honor that debuted in 2000, joins former Connecticut guards Sue Bird (2000-02) and Diana Taurasi (2003-04) as the only two-time recipients of the Lieberman Award.