January 12, 1999
NOTRE DAME, IND. — The Notre Dame women’s basketball team (12-2, 4-2) will play four of its next five games on the road beginning with a contest at Pittsburgh on Saturday, January 16 at 1:00 p.m. in the only outing of the week for the Irish.
The Irish remained in the top 10 for the eighth straight week (a school record) as Coach Muffet McGraw’s squad held onto the ninth spot in both polls for the second consecutive week.
Notre Dame has 12 games remaining in its regular season and will play seven of those games on the road.
THE WEEK IN REVIEW — WEST VIRGINIA: For the fourth consecutive game, four of Notre Dame’s five starters scored in double figures , and for the second time this season, three players netted 20-plus as the Irish went over the century mark for the second time this season. The 111 points were the most ever by a Notre Dame team at the Joyce Center and the second most in school history. Notre Dame shot 55.2 percent from the field and 40.0 percent from three-point range. Danielle Green (Chicago, Ill.) had a career-high 28 points, including 21 in the first half, as she connected on 11-of-17 shots from the field. Green also grabbed a game-high nine boards in the contest. Sheila McMillen (Rochester, Ind.) and Ruth Riley (Macy, Ind.) also topped the 20-point mark and registered season-highs scoring 26 and 23, respectively. McMillen also finished with a career-high eight rebounds in the contest. Niele Ivey (St. Louis, Mo.) had her second double-double of the season as she finished with 12 points and tied her career-high with 11 assists. PROVIDENCE: Ruth Riley scored a career-high 36 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to record her seventh double-double of the season as Notre Dame won for the fifth time in as many meetings against the Friars, 79-56. Riley shot 14-of-19 from the field and was eight-of-10 from the charity stripe. Niele Ivey recorded her third double-double and second straight as she scored 10 points and dished off 10 assists. Sheila McMillen finished with 11 points and seven rebounds while playing a career-high 39 minutes. Notre Dame held a slim four-point lead at halftime (39-35), but outscored the Friars 40-21 in the second half. The Irish hit just 40.0 percent (26-55) of its shots from the field, while Providence shot 44.2 percent. Notre Dame outrebounded the visitors 50-28 in the game.
HEAD COACH MUFFET McGRAW — Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw is in her 12th season along the Notre Dame sidelines and 17th as a collegiate coach. She has guided Notre Dame to three straight NCAA tournament appearances and five overall. McGraw led the Irish to the 1997 Final Four as her team claimed the East Regional championship. In 1998, McGraw’s squad finished with a 22-10 mark and advanced to the Sweet 16. In her 11-plus seasons at Notre Dame, she has a record of 247-107 (.698) and in 16-plus campaigns overall, her teams have registered a 335-148 (.694) ledger.
SERIES RECORD VERSUS UPCOMING OPPONENT — PITTSBURGH: Notre Dame has won all five meetings between the two teams and the Irish are 2-0 at Fitzgerald Field House. This will be only time the two schools will meet during the regular season.
A BIG GAME FOR RILEY — Ruth Riley’s 36-point performance marked a career-high for the 6-5 sophomore. The 36 points tied her for the second most in a single-game at Notre Dame and was the first 30-performance by an Irish player since Beth Morgan scored 36 in the East Regional semifinal game versus Alabama on March 22, 1997. Riley also finished with 13 rebounds which marked her seventh double-double of the season.
RILEY EARNS BIG EAST PLAYER OF THE WEEK HONORS — For the second time this season, Ruth Riley has been named the BIG EAST Player of the Week. Riley averaged 29.5 points and 10 rebounds in Notre Dame’s two wins last week. She had her seventh double-double of the season when she scored a career-high 36 points and grabbed 13 rebounds against Providence. Riley had a then season-high 23 points and hauled in seven rebounds against West Virginia. In the two games, she shot .759 (22-29) from the field and hit 15-of-18 free throw attempts.
BENCHMARK FOR THE IRISH — Notre Dame’s 12-2 start through its first 14 games matches that of only one other team — the 1977-78 squads. That team did not lose its third game until the 16th game of the season before finishing up with a 13-4 record in the first year of varsity women’s basketball at the school.
IRISH PUT UP BIG NUMBERS AT HOME — Notre Dame went over the century mark for the second time this season in its 111-90 victory over West Virginia. It was the most points ever scored by the Irish in a BIG EAST game and the second most in school history. The 111 points were the most by a Notre Dame team at the Joyce Center. Notre Dame went over the century mark earlier this season with its 101-92 victory over Illinois. It is the first time in the 22-year history of the program that an Irish team has topped the 100-point mark twice in a season.
IVEY HAS BACK-TO-BACK DOUBLE-DOUBLES — Niele Ivey has had back-to-back double-doubles as she scored 12 points and dished off 11 assists (tying a career-high) in Notre Dame’s win over West Virginia and followed that up with 10 points and 10 assists against Providence. Ivey registered her first career double-double when she scored a personal best 25 points and dished off 11 assists in the season opener against UCLA.
McMILLEN MOVES UP SCORING CHART — Senior guard Sheila McMillen is 12th on the all-time career scoring list with 1,173 points. She needs just 22 to pass Krissi Davis (1988-91) who finished her career with1,194 points. McMillen became the 14th player in Notre Dame women’s basketball history to reach the 1,000-point mark earlier this season. She has a 10.3 career career scoring average and has started 52 of the 114 games she has played in. Currently, McMillen is third on the team with a 15.0 scoring average. She leads the team with five 20-point outings.
GREEN HAVING BEST SEASON — Senior guard Danielle Green leads the team in scoring (16.7 ppg.) and is second in the Irish rebounding column with 7.6 rebounds per game. Green recorded her fourth 20-point outing of the season when she notched a career-high 28 points against West Virginia. She scored 20-plus points in the first three games of the 1998-99 campaign and scored in double figures in the first 13 games. Green had less than 10 points this season in Notre Dame’s last outing versus Providence when she scored just seven points.
HELPING PUT THE BIG IN THE BIG EAST — During its three-plus seasons as a member of the BIG EAST Conference, Notre Dame has proven to be one of the league’s most dominant teams. The Irish have a 48-12 record (80.0 percent) in regular season games and a 6-3 mark (66.7 percent) in BIG EAST tournament action for an overall record of 54-15 (78.3 percent) against league opponents. Of Notre Dame’s 15 total league losses, eight have come against Connecticut when the Huskies were ranked among the top three teams nationally. The Irish have lost to four other teams in the BIG EAST — Rutgers (twice), Boston College (twice), Villanova and Miami.
IRISH TOUGH AT HOME AGAINST BIG EAST FOES — Notre Dame has compiled a 29-3 (.906) record against BIG EAST opponents at the Joyce Center since joining the league in 1995-96. The only two losses have been to Connecticut. Notre Dame was a perfect 9-0 at home in league action during the 1996-97 season.
IRISH 3-1 AGAINST RANKED OPPONENTS — Notre Dame’s three wins over ranked opponents thus far are the most by an Irish team during the regular season. Coach Muffet McGraw’s squad posted victories over UCLA and Duke, when both teams were ranked sixth in the polls, and also had a win over then 25th-ranked Illinois. Last season, Notre Dame was 0-5 versus ranked opponents until its second round win in the NCAA tournament versus Texas Tech (ranked sixth at the time of the game). Notre Dame has two remaining opponents on its schedule who are ranked in this week’s two polls – Boston College and Rutgers.
GREEN HAVING HER BEST SEASON — Senior guard Danielle Green is Notre Dame’s leading scorer and second leading rebounder as she is averaging 16.7 points and 7.6 rebounds per game. She scored 20-plus points in the team’s first three contests and has been the only player in double figures in all 12 contests. Green netted a career-high 23 points in the first two games against UCLA and Butler and grabbed a personal-best 15 rebounds against Duke (to also go with her 20 points).
DOMINATION ON THE BOARDS — Notre Dame is out rebounding its opponents by an 11.6 margin. The Irish were most dominant against Duke as they outrebounded the Blue Devils 67-34, and were just seven rebounds away from tying the school record of 74. Ruth Riley and Danielle Green combined for 33 of those 67 rebounds as Riley finished with a career-high18 boards, while Green also established a personal best with 15. Riley leads the team with 9.6 rpg., while Green is second in the rebounding column with a 7.6 average. Notre Dame is averaging 46.3 rebounds per game and has only been outrebounded in two games this season (UCLA and Boston College).
BALANCED SCORING ATTACK — Four players are averaging double figures scoring for the Irish this season. Danielle Green leads the team with 16.7 ppg., followed by Ruth Riley (16.4 ppg.), Sheila McMillen (15.0 ppg.), and Niele Ivey (13.4 ppg.). In three games, Notre Dame has had five players in double figures scoring. Against Illinois and West Virginia, three Irish players ended up with 20 or more points.
WITH THE STUFF — Notre Dame has 78 blocks in 14 games (5.8 per game), while its opponents have just 28. Ruth Riley leads the team with 47 (3.6) and had a career-high eight blocks against Duke on November 21. The eight blocks tied the school mark set by Shari Matvey against Wisconsin-LaCrosse on March 15, 1980. Notre Dame failed to register a block for the first time this season in its game versus Providence.
ASSOCIATED PRESS(Week of Jan. 11) LW1. Tennessee (13-1) 22. Connecticut (13-1) 13. Purdue (11-1) 34. Georgia (14-0) 45. Louisiana Tech (12-2) 56. Texas Tech (14-1) 77. North Carolina (18-2) 68. Colorado State (17-1) 89. NOTRE DAME (12-2) 910. UCLA (12-4) 1011. Old Dominion (9-2) 1112. Duke (12-4) 1313. Virginia Tech (15-0) 1414. Iowa State (11-1) 1615. Rutgers (13-3) 1516. Clemson (13-2) 1217. Ohio State (11-3) 2318. Florida (12-5) 1919. Alabama (10-5) 1820. Penn State (9-4) 1721. Boston College (13-1) 2522. Virginia (9-4) 2223. Kansas (12-4) 2124 Nebraska (13-3) 2025. Auburn (12-2) NR
USA TODAY/ESPN(Week of Jan. 11) LW1. Tennessee (13-1) 22. Connecticut (13-1) 13. Purdue (11-1) 34. Georgia (4-0) 45. Louisiana Tech (12-2) 56. North Carolina (18-2) 67. Texas Tech (14-1) 78. Colorado State (17-1) 89. NOTRE DAME (12-2) 910. UCLA (12-4) 1111. Old Dominion (9-2) 1212. Clemson (13-2) 1013. Rutgers (10-3) 1314 Virginia Tech (15-0) T1515. Iowa State (11-1) T1516. Duke (12-4) 1717. Alabama (10-5) 1418 Florida (12-5) 2019. Nebraska (13-3) 1920. Penn State (9-4) 1821. Kansas (12-4) 2122. Boston College (13-1) 2423. Virginia (9-4) 2224. Ohio State (11-3) NR25. UC-Santa Barbara (10-3) T25
bold italics indicates 1998-99 opponent
1998-99 BIG EAST STANDINGS(through games of Jan. 10) BIG EAST Overall Final Record Record Connecticut 6-0 13-1Rutgers 6-0 13-3Boston College 5-1 13-1NOTRE DAME 4-2 12-2Miami 3-3 8-6St. John's 3-3 8-9Pittsburgh 2-3 7-6Georgetown 2-4 8-6Syracuse 2-4 6-8Villanova 2-4 6-8Seton Hall 2-4 5-9Providence 1-5 2-11West Virginia 1-6 5-9