2011-12 Notre Dame Women’s Basketball Timeline
Relive All of the Excitement of the Run to a Second Straight National Title Game
- April 5, 2011
- April 6, 2011
- June 11, 2011
- August 21, 2011
- September 1, 2011
- October 20, 2011
- November 11, 2011
- November 20, 2011
- November 26, 2011
- December 10, 2011
- December 18, 2011
- December 30, 2011
- January 7, 2012
- January 10, 2012
- January 17, 2012
- January 23, 2012
- January 25, 2012
- January 28, 2012
- January 31, 2012
- February 12, 2012
- February 20, 2012
- February 27, 2012
- March 1, 2012
- March 2, 2012
- March 4, 2012
- March 5, 2012
- March 6, 2012
- March 7, 2012
- March 12, 2012
- March 15, 2012
- March 15, 2012
- March 16, 2012
- March 18, 2012
- March 20, 2012
- March 22, 2012
- March 23, 2012
- March 25, 2012
- March 26, 2012
- March 27, 2012
- March 27, 2012
- March 28, 2012
- March 30, 2012
- March 31, 2012
- April 1, 2012
- April 3, 2012
Irish Fall in Title Game, 76-70, to Texas A&M
April 5, 2011
Danielle Adams scored 22 of her 30 points in a dominating second half Tuesday night to help the Aggies beat Notre Dame 76-70 and bring the women’s title back to College Station and the former all-male military academy.
The Irish led by as many as seven in the second half, but surrendered the advantage and then fell short in a late rally.
Skyler Diggins finished with 23 points, and Devereaux Peters added 21 and 11 rebounds for Notre Dame (31-8). (read more)
Diggins, Irish Begin Quest for 2012 Title Game
April 6, 2011
Notre Dame’s Skylar Diggins sat at her locker, shaking her leg in disgust.
She was frustrated, angry and already pondering how to correct her mistakes when she gets back on the court.
All Diggins really wants after Tuesday night’s 76-70 loss to Texas A&M in the championship game is a second chance to get it right.
“We’ll be upset, and you’ll see the disappointment in our faces, but it all starts again tomorrow,” Diggins said in a defiant tone. “It will help me become a better leader for next year.” (read more)
Muffet McGraw Inducted Into Women’s Basketball Hall Of Fame
June 11, 2011
Notre Dame head women’s basketball coach Muffet McGraw, the 2001 consensus national coach of the year and winner of nearly 650 games in her illustrious career, offically was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame during a gala ceremony Saturday night at the Bijou Theatre in Knoxville, Tenn.
McGraw was one of six people — and the lone coach — named to the 2011 Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame Class. The others in McGraw’s Hall of Fame class include former Olympic gold medalists Ruthie Bolton (Auburn) and Vicky Bullett (Maryland), as well as Val Ackerman, the first WNBA president (1996-2005) and first female president of USA Basketball (2005-08), and a pair of three-time All-America players from the pre-NCAA era, Pearl Moore (Frances Marion) and Lometa Odom (Wayland Baptist). (read more)
The Golden (Dome) Girls: Notre Dame Trio Helps USA Win World University Games Title
August 21, 2011
Aided by a combined 32 points from three Notre Dame players, including 19 points from Fighting Irish junior guard Skylar Diggins (South Bend, Ind./Washington), the United States easily claimed the gold medal at the 2011 World University Games with a 101-66 win over Taiwan in the tournament final on Sunday night at the Universiade Main Gym in Shenzhen, China.
Diggins connected on 6-of-9 shots (including 3-of-4 from three-point range) and added six assists for the United States (6-0). Notre Dame fifth-year senior forward Devereaux Peters (Chicago, Ill./Fenwick) registered eight points and six rebounds, while senior guard Natalie Novosel (Lexington, Ky./Lexington Catholic) chipped in five points while starting alongside Diggins for the sixth consecutive game. (read more)
Notre Dame Announces 2011-12 Women’s Basketball Schedule
September 1, 2011
The 2011 NCAA national runner-up Notre Dame women’s basketball team is poised to take on representatives from each of the nation’s top six conferences, and will play up to 19 regular-season games against teams that qualified for postseason play last year (including 16 NCAA Championship qualifiers and four NCAA Elite Eight participants) as part of a demanding 2011-12 schedule that was released Thursday afternoon following approval by the University’s Faculty Board on Athletics.
What’s more, Notre Dame is in position to make at least 11 national or regional television appearances in 2011-12, highlighted by a second consecutive CBS matchup with BIG EAST Conference rival Connecticut (Jan. 7 at Purcell Pavilion) and six games on the ESPN family of networks, three of which are slated as part of ESPN’s Big Monday lineup (the second-most appearances by any team next season). (read more)
Irish Claim Top Spot In 2011-12 BIG EAST Preseason Poll
October 20, 2011
For the first time in its 17-year membership in the BIG EAST Conference, Notre Dame has been selected as the outright No. 1 team in the annual BIG EAST preseason women’s basketball poll, according to a vote of the league’s 16 head coaches released Thursday morning during the 2011-12 BIG EAST Women’s Basketball Media Day at the B.B. King Blues Club & Grill in New York City.
In addition, Notre Dame junior guard Skylar Diggins (South Bend, Ind./Washington) was chosen as the BIG EAST Preseason Player of the Year, becoming just the second Fighting Irish player to earn that honor, and the first since fellow South Bend Washington High School graduate and Notre Dame All-American Jacqueline Batteast did so prior to her senior season (2004-05).
The Fighting Irish picked up 219 points and nine first-place votes in the balloting (coaches are not permitted to select their own teams), edging out Connecticut. (read more)
No. 2 Notre Dame Nabs 81-61 Win Over Akron in Season Opener
November 11, 2011
With its offense struggling to get in synch, No. 2 Notre Dame turned up its defensive to put away Akron.
Skylar Diggins scored 21 points, and the Irish forced 46 turnovers to beat the Zips 81-61 on Friday night in the opening round of the preseason WNIT. Notre Dame will host Indiana State on Sunday in the second round.
“First win usually comes with some first game jitters,” Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw said. “That was a little unexpected with our veteran team. I thought we did some good things. We forced a lot of turnovers which was one of our goals, but I was disappointed in our rebounding.” (read more)
Novosel’s 28 Not Enough, No. 2 Irish Fall to No. 1 Bears, 94-81
November 20, 2011
Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw was already prepared that 6-foot-8 Baylor phenom Brittney Griner would probably have her way inside against the Irish.
Griner did just that, scoring 32 points with 14 rebounds and six blocked shots. The problem was she wasn’t alone for the top-ranked Lady Bears.
Point guard Odyssey Sims had one of her best overall games and Destiny Williams also had a double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds for Baylor in a 94-81 victory over Notre Dame in a No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup in the preseason WNIT championship game Sunday.
“The game was particularly disappointing because defensively we really played poorly,” McGraw said. “We tried a couple of different looks on (Griner), but it didn’t really matter. … I was disappointed with the way we guarded the other players.” (read more)
No. 4 Irish Rally From Behind To Defeat No. 7 Duke, 56-54
November 26, 2011
Natalie Novosel couldn’t have had much worse of a first half for Notre Dame.
The senior guard missed nine of her 10 shots and just wasn’t in sync on offense.
Yet she didn’t stop shooting, banking in a shot from the foul line with under a second left to lift the fourth-ranked Irish to a 56-54 win over No. 7 Duke in the Junkanoo Jam final on Saturday night.
“This is unbelievable. It’s surreal. It’s an amazing, amazing feeling,” Novosel said. “I almost fell out of bounds. The ball was supposed to go to the middle. I caught the ball and I had my eye on the rim and I knew that’s where I was going. I wasn’t even trying to get contact for a foul. Just focused on the rim and shot it. I drove right to the foul line and took off with one leg, and used the backboard to my advantage, and I banked it in.” (read more)
No. 3 Notre Dame Rolls Past No. 12 Purdue, 66-38
December 10, 2011
Notre Dame’s pressure defense harassed Purdue into one of its worst offensive performances ever, and the No. 3 Fighting Irish manufactured enough points to roll past the No. 12 Boilermakers 66-38 on Saturday.
It was only the ninth time in school history that Purdue scored fewer than 40 points, and its 24.1 percent shooting was the fifth-worst in school history.
The Fighting Irish forced the Boilermakers into 24 turnovers. (read more)
No. 3 Irish Race Past No. 8/7 Kentucky, 92-83
December 18, 2011
Skylar Diggins and No. 3 Notre Dame carry a grudge.
Diggins made her only 3-pointer of the game and then forced a turnover as Notre Dame used an 11-0 run to finish off No. 8 Kentucky on Sunday, winning 92-83 and handing the Wildcats their first loss of the season. Not only did the Irish snap Kentucky’s 10-game winning streak, which was tied for second-best in the country, they avenged a loss last season in Lexington, Ky., in the first meeting between the teams.
“The pride thing kicked in,” Diggins said. “This was such a big game for us personally because we lost last year, we’re at home and it’s a very good team. All those things. We wanted to win.”
Natalie Novosel, a Lexington native, led five Irish players in double figures with 23 points, while Diggins (16 points, 11 assists) and Devereaux Peters (13 points, 13 rebounds) each had double-doubles. (read more)
No. 3 Notre Dame Downs Mercer, 128-42
December 30, 2011
After watching Notre Dame set a school record with 72 points in the first half, coach Muffet McGraw had a simple message for her players:
“Let’s keep doing it.”
The No. 3 Fighting Irish kept piling up the points – and the school records, including for most points in a game – and overwhelmed Mercer 128-42 Friday night.
Markisha Wright had 24 points and Skylar Diggins had 21 as Notre Dame stretched its winning streak to 10 games.
“I thought we executed really well,” McGraw said.
Notre Dame (13-1) set school marks for the biggest margin of victory, most free throws made (43) and attempted (52) and points in a half. The Irish matched their best shooting night in school history by making 70.2 percent of their shots (40 of 57) from the field. (read more)
No. 3 Notre Dame Pushes Past No. 2 UConn, 74-67
January 7, 2012
Skylar Diggins and Notre Dame ended another Connecticut run.
Diggins scored 22 points and Natalie Novosel added 20, including six free throws in overtime, to help the third-ranked Irish rally to beat No. 2 UConn 74-67 on Saturday, snapping the Huskies 57-game BIG EAST winning streak.
“We knew it was going to be a game of runs. We played better in the second half. We knew we had to attack and we knew if we did, it would be worth it,” said Diggins, who had 16 of her points in the second half and OT.
The Irish, who hadn’t beaten UConn at home since 2004, also topped the Huskies in the national semifinals last April, marking the first time they’ve won consecutive games against UConn. A feat not many teams have accomplished. (read more)
Stifling Defense Helps No. 2 Irish Beat No. 18 Hoyas 80-60
January 10, 2012
What a strange first five minutes it was. The game was essentially played on one end of the court. Notre Dame never seemed to have the ball. Georgetown kept grabbing offensive rebound after offensive rebound.
And only had two points to show for it.
It’s a bit dicey to let the No. 2 team in the country off the hook like that, and the Hoyas paid the price. Once the Irish got going, they rolled to a 21-point halftime lead and beat No. 18 Georgetown 80-60 Tuesday night.
“We were lucky,” Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw said. “We were just really lucky.”
To be fair, the Irish were also pretty good over the final 35 minutes. Skylar Diggins finished with 22 points, Natalie Novosel added 21, and Kayla McBride had 16 for Notre Dame (16-1, 4-0 BIG EAST, while Brittany Mallory’s defense made Georgetown’s Sugar Rodgers a nonfactor, holding the conference’s leading scorer to 13 points on 3 for 18 shooting. (read more)
No. 2 Notre Dame Crushes Pittsburgh 120-44
January 17, 2012
Skylar Diggins loves to pass the ball, so this was a particularly fun night for her. Diggins directed a record-breaking performance Tuesday, finishing with 11 points, nine assists and no turnovers in No. 2 Notre Dame’s 120-44 victory against overmatched Pittsburgh.
Devereaux Peters had 20 points and reserve Natalie Achonwa finished with 19 for the Irish (18-1, 6-0 BIG EAST), who had 33 assists on 48 baskets in their 15th consecutive win. Kaila Turner (14), Natalie Novosel (13), Kayla McBride (11), Brittany Mallory (11), and Markisha Wright (11) also scored in double figures.
The 76-point difference was the largest ever for Notre Dame against a BIG EAST opponent. The Irish passed 100 points for the second time this season and beat a conference opponent by more than 50 points for the second time. They defeated Mercer 128-42 on December 30 and also posted a 95-42 victory over Marquette. (read more)
No. 2 Notre Dame Stomps No. 7 Tennessee, 72-44
January 23, 2012
Notre Dame lost the first 20 times it played Tennessee. Now the Irish have carved out a modest but impressive two-game winning streak against the Vols.
It wasn’t so much how second-ranked Notre Dame won Monday night but how easily the Irish did it, routing the Vols 72-44 and holding No. 7 Tennessee to the lowest-scoring game and second-worst margin of defeat in the school’s modern history.
“That’s a pretty amazing accomplishment against a team of that caliber,” coach Muffet McGraw said after her team won its 17th straight game.
Skylar Diggins matched her season high with 27 points, and Devereaux Peters added 16 points and a career-high 16 rebounds. (read more)
Natalie Novosel Selected As Finalist For 2011-12 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award
January 25, 2012
Notre Dame senior guard/tri-captain Natalie Novosel (Lexington, Ky./Lexington Catholic) has been chosen as one of the 10 finalists for the 2011-12 Lowe’s 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 60 candidates, based on personal qualities that define a complete student-athlete. (read more)
No. 2 Notre Dame Dominates St. John’s, 71-56
January 28, 2012
Devereaux Peters has a simple explanation for her success lately: She’s been able to stay out of foul trouble.
Peters had 18 points, 15 rebounds, five blocks and four steals to help No. 2 Notre Dame beat St. John’s 71-56 on Saturday – the Fighting Irish’s 18th straight victory.
“I think the biggest difference is I’ve been in the game,” Peters said. “You have more opportunities to score and rebound. I do what they need me to do.”
Peters had a career-high 16 rebounds in the Irish’s 28-point blowout of No. 7 Tennessee on Monday night. (read more)
No. 2 Notre Dame Rolls Past No. 13 Rutgers, 71-41
January 31, 2012
Devereaux Peters has stepped her game up the last week, helping Notre Dame run over its opponents.
Peters had 10 points and a career-high 17 rebounds to lead second-ranked Notre Dame to a 71-41 victory over No. 13 Rutgers on Tuesday night.
“Devereaux was simply amazing,” Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw said. “She’s playing like an All-American and that’s why we’re playing so well.”
The fifth-year senior became the first Irish player to have three straight double-doubles since Jacqueline Batteast did it in the 2004 NCAA tournament. Peters can see the end of her run at Notre Dame in the offing. (read more)
No. 2 Notre Dame’s Streak Ends Against West Virginia, 65-63
February 12, 2012
Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw said her team had it coming to them.
“I thought we’ve been building up to this game now for a couple of weeks,” she said. “We just haven’t played well for a long time.”
The second-ranked Irish almost played well enough Sunday, but West Virginia ended their 21-game winning streak with a 65-63 victory.
Brooke Hampton made two free throws with 4.6 seconds left to give the Mountaineers (18-6, 8-3 BIG EAST) the lead and a 15-footer by Natalie Novosel of Notre Dame bounced off the rim as time expired. (read more)
Second Half Run Powers #3 Irish Past #16 Louisville, 68-52
February 20, 2012
Skylar Diggins felt the pressure building during Notre Dame’s 21-game win streak. Now that it’s firmly in the past, the guard and her teammates have their swagger back.
Diggins scored 21 points and sophomore Kayla McBride added 15 to lead the No. 3 Fighting Irish over No. 16 Louisville 68-52 on Monday and moving them one step closer to a BIG EAST title.
“I think we’re finally getting back to playing with our swag, playing our style of basketball. And it feels good. We’re having fun out there again,” said Diggins, who added seven assists. “We’re smiling, we’re laughing, you know what I mean? With that tough schedule, we took it too serious, kind of lost the fun in it.”
Notre Dame (26-2, 13-1) has won two straight since losing at home to West Virginia and controls its destiny in its quest for its first regular-season league championship since 2001, when the Irish tied Connecticut. (read more)
No. 3 Notre Dame Dominates No. 4 UConn, 72-59
February 27, 2012
There are few things missing from Muffet McGraw’s impressive resume as coach of Notre Dame.
Skylar Diggins and Natalie Novosel filled one of the holes by guiding the third-ranked Fighting Irish to their first outright BIG EAST championship with a 72-59 victory over No. 4 Connecticut on Monday night.
“This team is really special,” McGraw said. “They have really high goals and a lot of pride. I’m happy for them and appreciate they are happy for me to win the first one. I love this group.”
Novosel scored 21 points, and Diggins added 20 for the Irish (28-2, 15-1 BIG EAST), who will try and win their first BIG EAST conference tournament when they begin play on Sunday.
“It’s great,” said Diggins, who was proudly wearing a BIG EAST championship T-shirt in the postgame news conference. “You know we come out here and play for coach. She deserves it. It’s something we wanted to do for her.” (read more)
Three Irish Named All-BIG EAST; Peters Repeats As BIG EAST Defensive Player Of The Year
March 1, 2012
After earning the first outright BIG EAST Conference regular season title in its 17 years as a league member, the No. 3 Notre Dame women’s basketball team was recognized for its efforts with numerous individual honors on Thursday, as the BIG EAST office announced this year’s all-conference and all-freshman teams, as well as several specialty awards.
For the second consecutive season, the Fighting Irish had three players named to the All-BIG EAST First Team, with junior guard Skylar Diggins (South Bend, Ind./Washington) being chosen unanimously to the first team for the second consecutive season, and earning her third all-conference citation overall after copping second-team plaudits in 2009-10. Senior guard/tri-captain Natalie Novosel (Lexington, Ky./Lexington Catholic) and fifth-year senior forward/tri-captain Devereaux Peters (Chicago, Ill./Fenwick) once again joined Diggins on the All-BIG EAST First Team. (read more)
Skylar Diggins Named BIG EAST Player Of The Year
March 2, 2012
Notre Dame junior guard Skylar Diggins (South Bend, Ind./Washington HS) has been chosen as the 2011-12 BIG EAST Conference Player of the Year, it was announced Friday during a press conference at the XL Center in Hartford, Conn., site of this year’s BIG EAST Championship. Diggins was chosen for this year’s award through a vote of the league’s head coaches, who were not allowed to select their own players.
Diggins is the third Notre Dame player ever to be named the BIG EAST Player of the Year, following the path blazed in 2001 by consensus National Player of the Year Ruth Riley and 2005 recipient Jacqueline Batteast. Diggins also is just the fifth player from a school other than Connecticut to be named BIG EAST Player of the Year in the past 19 seasons — along with the Notre Dame trio, Rutgers’ Cappie Pondexter received the award in 2005-06, followed one year later by Louisville’s Angel McCoughtry. (read more)
No. 3 Notre Dame Rolls Past No. RV/23 DePaul, 69-54, in BIG EAST Tournament
March 4, 2012
Devereaux Peters had 16 points, 12 rebounds and six blocks to lead No. 3 Notre Dame to a 69-54 win over No. RV/23 DePaul in the BIG EAST Conference Championship quarterfinals Sunday at the XL Center in Hartford.
Natalie Novosel also had 16 points and Kayla McBride added 14 for the Irish (29-2) who are coming off the program’s first outright regular-season conference championship.
Katherine Harry had 10 of her 14 points in the first half for eighth-seeded DePaul (22-10).
Notre Dame will face West Virginia in Monday’s semifinal. The Mountaineers beat No. 12 Georgetown 39-32 in Sunday’s first quarterfinal. (read more)
No. 3 Notre Dame Beats No. 25 West Virginia, 73-45, in BIG EAST Semifinals
March 5, 2012
Muffet McGraw and Notre Dame are one victory away from crossing another item off this season’s to-do list.
Natalie Novosel scored 18 points and Kayla McBride added 15 to help third-ranked Notre Dame beat No. 25 West Virginia 73-45 on Monday night in the semifinals of the BIG EAST tournament.
Notre Dame has played in the BIG EAST title game five times and come up short each trip, losing to UConn each time. The Irish haven’t had any problems with the Huskies lately, winning the last three meetings – including beating UConn in Hartford last Monday night to earn its first outright BIG EAST regular season title.
The Irish will play Connecticut in the title game Tuesday night. The Huskies defeated No. 18/21 St. John’s, 74-43 in Monday’s other conference semifinal. (read more)
#3 Irish Fall At #4 Connecticut in BIG EAST Final
March 6, 2012
Skylar Diggins knows Notre Dame will bounce back from another loss in the BIG EAST title game to Connecticut.
After all, the Irish have a bigger prize in mind.
Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis scored 19 points, and Bria Hartley added 18 to help No. 4 UConn beat the third-ranked Irish 63-54 on Tuesday night and win its fifth straight BIG EAST tournament title.
“This team’s not a team that hangs their head,” said Diggins, who led the Irish with 16 points. “The biggest goal of them all is ahead of us. We’re only guaranteed one game. This a great game going into the (NCAA) tournament. We’ll learn from this game.” (read more)
Skylar Diggins Named Finalist For Wooden Award
March 7, 2012
For the second consecutive year, Notre Dame junior guard Skylar Diggins (South Bend, Ind./Washington) has been selected as one of 15 finalists for the John R. Wooden Award, it was announced Wednesday 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.
The 15 finalists for the Wooden Award were selected by the Wooden Award National Advisory Board, with voting to take place March 12-19, allowing voters to take into account a finalist’s performance during the first weekend of the NCAA Championship, making this a unique aspect of the Wooden Award among college postseason honors. (read more)
Notre Dame Earns 17th Consecutive NCAA Championship Berth
March 12, 2012
For the 17th consecutive season, and the 19th time in school history, Notre Dame has earned a berth in the NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship. The Fighting Irish are the No. 1 seed in the Raleigh Region — the second time in program history they have earned a top seed — and will play 16th-seeded Liberty (the Big South Conference champion) at approximately 2:30 p.m. ET Sunday at Purcell Pavilion.
Eighth-seeded California and No. 9 seed Iowa will square off in Sunday’s other first-round Raleigh Region game in South Bend (12:10 p.m. ET tipoff on ESPN2), with the two first-round winners advancing to a March 20 second-round contest at Purcell Pavilion — the start time for that game and the television coverage are still to be announced. (read more)
Skylar Diggins Among Four Finalists For Naismith Trophy
March 15, 2012
For the first time since 2001, a Notre Dame player has been selected as a finalist for the Naismith Trophy, with junior guard Skylar Diggins (South Bend, Ind./Washington) one of four remaining contenders for the prestigious national player of the year award, it was announced Thursday by the award’s presenting organization, the Atlanta Tipoff Club. It’s the second time in a little more than 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 7.
Diggins also follows in the footsteps of Ruth Riley, who not only was one of four finalists for the 2001 Naismith Trophy, but went on to become the first Fighting Irish player to receive the award that season. The other finalists for this year’s Naismith Trophy are Elena Delle Donne (Delaware), Brittney Griner (Baylor) and Nnemkadi Ogwumike (Stanford). (read more)
Irish Women’s Basketball Trio Earns All-Region Honors
March 15, 2012
For the third consecutive year (and the third 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 2012 State Farm Coaches’ All-America Team, it was announced Thursday afternoon by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA). The Fighting Irish are one of only three programs in the country (along with Baylor and St. John’s) 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 last three years.
Junior guard Skylar Diggins (South Bend, Ind./Washington) earned her third all-region citation in as many seasons, while senior guard/tri-captain Natalie Novosel (Lexington, Ky./Lexington Catholic) and fifth-year senior forward/tri-captain Devereaux Peters (Chicago, Ill./Fenwick) both garnered all-region honors for the second time in their respective careers. (read more)
Muffet McGraw Named Finalist For Naismith National Coach Of The Year Award
March 16, 2012
For the fifth time in her storied career, Notre Dame women’s basketball head coach Muffet McGraw has been selected as a finalist for the Naismith National Coach of the Year award, it was announced Friday by the Atlanta Tipoff Club. McGraw previously was chosen as a finalist for the Naismith Award in 1998, 1999, 2001 and 2005, and she was accorded the honor in ’01 when the Fighting Irish won their first NCAA national championship.
This season, McGraw has piloted Notre Dame to a 30-3 overall record and 15-1 mark in the rugged BIG EAST Conference, securing the outright BIG EAST Conference regular season title by two full games (the second BIG EAST crown for the Fighting Irish, and first outright championship in their 17 seasons as a conference member). She also has led Notre Dame to its second consecutive 30-win season, with the Fighting Irish reaching that milestone before the start of the NCAA Championship. (read more)
#4 Notre Dame Overwhelms Liberty in First Round, 74-43
March 18, 2012
Kayla McBride scored 15 points, and top-seeded Notre Dame opened the game with an 11-0 run to rout Liberty 74-43 on Sunday in the opening round of the NCAA tournament.
The Irish (31-3) will face California (25-9) on Tuesday at the Purcell Pavilion, where Notre Dame is 16-1 this season. The Golden Bears beat Iowa 84-74 in the first game.
“It was important for us to come out and understand that the game started at 0-0 and we did not want to underestimate them, so we wanted to get off to a good start,” guard Skylar Diggins said.
“We hadn’t played in a while and that fed into it a lot. Plus, it’s the NCAA tournament and upsets happen on both sides (men and women) and you don’t want to be that team. So, we wanted to make a statement right off the tip and control the tempo right away.” (read more)
Sweet Sixteen Bound; Top-Seeded Irish Beat Cal 73-62
March 20, 2012
Notre Dame stayed cool at halftime. No big speeches needed. The top-seeded Irish knew they were in a struggle with a good team and had to do something to get themselves and their home crowd into the game.
“We knew what we needed to fix and we just came out and did it,” Irish forward Devereaux Peters said.
They did it with defense, making five steals in the first four minutes of the second half and using a 10-2 run to get some distance. They rode that surge to a 73-62 victory Tuesday night that sends them into the round of 16 at the NCAA tournament.
The Irish will take on fifth-seeded St. Bonaventure in the semifinals of the Raleigh Regional at 2:30 p.m. (ET) Sunday from PNC Arena in Raleigh, N.C. — ESPN2 will televise the game live to a national cable audience. (read more)
Muffet McGraw Named Finalist For WBCA Division I Coach Of The Year Award
March 22, 2012
For the second time in less than a week, Notre Dame women’s basketball head coach Muffet McGraw has been selected as a finalist for a major national coach of the year award, as she was named the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Region I Coach of the Year, it was announced Thursday by the WBCA. As this year’s regional selection (the third in her career to go along with nods in 1996 and 2001), McGraw becomes one of eight finalists for the WBCA Division I Coach of the Year award, an honor she took home in 2001 when the Fighting Irish won their first NCAA national championship. (read more)
Skylar Diggins Selected As Finalist For State Farm Wade Trophy
March 23, 2012
For the third time in three weeks, Notre Dame junior guard 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 2012 State Farm Wade Trophy, which is presented annually to the nation’s most outstanding NCAA Division I women’s basketball player.
Joining Diggins on this year’s rundown of State Farm Wade Trophy contenders are: Elena Delle Donne (Delaware), Brittney Griner (Baylor), Shenise Johnson (Miami-Fla.), Anna Martin (DePaul), A’dia Mathies (Kentucky), Chiney Ogwumike (Stanford), Nnemkadi Ogwumike (Stanford), Samantha Prahalis (Ohio State), Odyssey Sims (Baylor), Alyssa Thomas (Maryland) and Julie Wojta (Wisconsin-Green Bay). (read more)
No. 4 Irish Advance With 79-35 Rout of No. 21 St. Bonaventure
March 25, 2012
Notre Dame guard Brittany Mallory has heard it from her coach’s husband for the past year. He keeps reminding her of last year’s loss in the national title game and how it can propel the Fighting Irish forward this time.
The halfway point of their march toward redemption gave them a place in history – and came with no drama.
The Irish routed St. Bonaventure 79-35 Sunday in the Raleigh Regional semifinals, setting an NCAA tournament record for fewest points allowed in a regional game – while their 44-point romp also matched the 22-year-old record for scoring margin at the regional stage of the women’s NCAA tournament. (read more)
Devereaux Peters Named Finalist For WBCA National Defensive Player Of The Year
March 26, 2012
Notre Dame fifth-year senior forward/tri-captain Devereaux Peters (Chicago, Ill./Fenwick) has been chosen as one of five finalists for the 2012 Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Division I Defensive Player of the Year award, it was announced Monday by the WBCA. Peters is the first Fighting Irish player to be named a finalist for the honor since it was created in 2007.
Joining Peters as 2012 WBCA Defensive Player of the Year finalists are: Brittney Griner (Baylor), Glory Johnson (Tennessee), Chiney Ogwumike (Stanford) and Elizabeth Williams (Duke). (read more)
Skylar Diggins Named AP First-Team All-American
March 27, 2012
Notre Dame junior guard Skylar Diggins (South Bend, Ind./Washington) added another major award to her ever-growing trophy case on Tuesday, earning first-team All-America honors from the Associated Press. Diggins becomes the first Fighting Irish women’s basketball to garner first-team All-America recognition from the AP since Ruth Riley was accorded that distinction in 2000 and 2001.
In addition, Notre Dame had two players receive AP honorable mention All-America status on Friday, as both senior guard/tri-captain Natalie Novosel (Lexington, Ky./Lexington Catholic) and fifth-year senior forward/tri-captain Devereaux Peters (Chicago, Ill./Fenwick) were among the players also earning votes in the media balloting.
Besides Diggins, the rest of the 2012 AP All-America First Team consisted of: Brittney Griner (Baylor), Nnemkadi Ogwumike (Stanford), Elena Delle Donne (Delaware) and Alyssa Thomas (Maryland). (read more)
#4 Irish Back in Final Four After 80-49 Win Over #5 Maryland
March 27, 2012
The Sky’s the limit for revenge-minded Notre Dame – especially with its star guard playing like this.
Skylar Diggins had a triple-double, and Notre Dame earned its second straight Final Four berth by beating Maryland 80-49 on Tuesday night in the Raleigh Regional final.
Diggins did it all for the top-seeded Fighting Irish (34-3).
The BIG EAST Player of the Year and AP All-America First Team selection finished with 22 points, 11 assists, 10 rebounds and, for good measure, five steals. She kept Notre Dame’s four-guard lineup humming and causing the second-seeded Terrapins fits all night, while also becoming the first Irish player to record a triple-double since 1990. (read more)
Skylar Diggins Earns Two More All-America Honors
March 28, 2012
One day after she was named an Associated Press first-team All-American, Notre Dame junior guard Skylar Diggins (South Bend, Ind./Washington) collected two more All-America citations on Wednesday, 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.
Joining Diggins on the Wooden Award All-America Team are: Elena Delle Donne (Delaware), Brittney Griner (Baylor), Nnemkadi Ogwumike (Stanford) and Julie Wojta (Wisconsin-Green Bay).
Along with Diggins, the remainder of the USBWA All-America Team consists of: Delle Donne, Griner, Ogwumike, Chelsea Gray (Duke), Shenise Johnson (Miami-Fla.), A’dia Mathies (Kentucky), Samantha Prahalis (Ohio State), Odyssey Sims (Baylor) and Alyssa Thomas (Maryland). These 10 players also are the finalists for the USBWA National Player of the Year, which will be announced on April 3. (read more)
Skylar Diggins Named Recipient Of 2012 Nancy Lieberman Award
March 30, 2012
Notre Dame junior guard Skylar Diggins (South Bend, Ind./Washington) continues to blaze trails seldom seen in the history of Fighting Irish women’s basketball, adding to her ever-growing resume on Friday when she was selected as the 2012 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 is the first Notre Dame player chosen for the honor that debuted in 2000.
Sportswriters from across the country selected Diggins from a group of eight final nominees, with the award presented to the player who best exhibits the traits of floor leadership, play-making and ball-handling skills that personified Hall of Famer Nancy Lieberman during her legendary playing career. The three players named as finalists for the award besides Diggins were (in alphabetical order): Angel Goodrich (Kansas), Chelsea Gray (Duke) and Odyssey Sims (Baylor). (read more)
Skylar Diggins Chosen For 2012 WBCA Coaches’ All-America Team
March 31, 2012
For the second consecutive season, Notre Dame junior guard Skylar Diggins (South Bend, Ind./Washington) has been named to the prestigious Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Coaches’ All-America Team, it was announced Saturday at the Pepsi Center in Denver. Diggins is the first Fighting Irish player to earn WBCA Coaches’ All-America honors twice in her career.
With Saturday’s award, Diggins secured her place as the second consensus first-team All-America selection in the 35-year history of the Notre Dame women’s basketball program, joining Riley, who also garnered first-team All-America recognition from the Associated Press, WBCA Coaches and United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA). Diggins also is the third three-time All-American in school history, along with Riley (1999-2001) and Batteast (2002, 2004-05). (read more)
Irish In Championship After Overtime Defeat of UConn, 83-75
April 1, 2012
Notre Dame is back in the national championship thanks to Skylar Diggins’ steady leadership and Brittany Mallory’s clutch shooting.
Diggins scored 19 points, Mallory hit two big 3-pointers in overtime and the Irish beat Connecticut 83-75 on Sunday night.
The two hooked up for a game-turning play in overtime when Diggins stood her ground on a fast break, blocked the shot to prevent the Huskies from retaking the lead, then fed Mallory at the other end for her second important 3.
“That was game-saving. That was huge,” Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw said. “That would have turned it around if they made that layup. She sprinted the floor, made that huge play. It gave us such a big momentum lift, and Britt hitting that 3 made it a huge play.” (read more)
#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. (read more)