December 29, 1998
No. 7/7 Notre Dame (9-1, 1-1 ) at Boston College (9-1, 1-1 )
Date: Wednesday, December 30, 1998
Places: Conte Forum (8,606), Chestnut Hill, Mass.
Time: 7:00 p.m. (EST)
Radio: All Notre Dame games are broadcast on WHME-FM (103.1 in South Bend). Bob Nagle provides play-by-play for the games.
Notre Dame Probable Starting Lineup1998-99 StatisticsNo. Name Hometown Pos.Ht. Cl. PPG RPG50 Kelley Siemon* Edina, MN F 6-2 So. 6.0 5.000 Ruth Riley* Macy, IN C 6-5 So. 13.6 9.812 Danielle Green** Chicago, IL G 5-8 Sr. 16.8 8.020 Sheila McMillen*** Rochester, IN G 5-10 Sr. 14.5 4.133 Niele Ivey* St. Louis, MO G 5-8 Jr. 14.4 3.9Off The Bench3 Ericka Haney Toledo, OH G/F 6-1 Fr. 3.8 3.611 Sherisha Hills Tampa, FL G 5-8 Fr. 7.9 3.132 Julie Henderson** Ann Arbor, MI F/C 6-3 Jr. 1.8 2.040 Diana Braendly** Staten Island, NY C 6-4 Sr. 1.8 2.141 Imani Dunbar* San Angelo, TX G 5-7 So. 0.6 0.744 Meaghan Leahy* Wilbraham, MA F 6-4 So. 0.8 1.0
* - Indicates Monograms won
TODAYS GAME — The seventh-ranked Notre Dame womens basketball team (9-1, 1-1) returns to BIG EAST action this evening on the road at Boston College (9-1, 1-1).
Tonights game is the third of four straight road games for the Irish who opened up the season by playing six of their first eight games in the friendly confines of the Joyce Center.
Following tonights game, Coach Muffet McGraws squad will play at Georgetown on Saturday, January 2 at 2:00 p.m. before returning home against West Virginia on January 7 at 7:00 p.m.
Boston College, 9-1 overall and 1-1 in the BIG EAST, is also riding a three-game win streak. Like the Irish, the Eagles have had a nine-day layoff for the Christmas holidays.
For the second straight week, Notre Dame is seventh in both the Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN rankings.
MICHIGAN STATE REVIEW – Four of Notre Dame five starters scored in double figures as the Irish won their third straight with a 75-64 victory over Michigan State.
Ruth Riley recorded her fifth double-double of the season as she had game-highs of 18 points and 12 rebounds. Danielle Green posted her third double-double of the season with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Niele Ivey and Sheila McMillen were also in double figures scoring 16 points and 11 points, respectively.
Notre Dame owned a decisive rebounding advantage on the boards over Michigan State as the Irish outrebounding the Spartans 52-27.
The win was Notre Dames second over a Big Ten opponent. Earlier in the season, the Irish beat Illinois 101-92.
POLL CLIMBING – For the second straight week, Notre Dame is seventh in both the Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN polls. The Irish are in the top 10 for the sixth straight week. Notre Dame has been ranked as high as sixth in both polls, its highest ranking during the regular season in either of the two rankings. Prior to this season, the only other top 10 ranking for Notre Dame was in December of 1996 when the Irish were seventh in the AP Poll. Its highest ranking ever in the USA Today/ESPN Poll poll is fifth (the final poll following its appearance in the 1997 Final Four). Since the start of the season, Notre Dame has jumped 10 and 12 spots, respectively, in both polls. The Irish began the season 17th in the AP ranking and 19th in the USA Today/ESPN Poll.
HEAD COACH MUFFET McGRAW – Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw is in her 12th season with the Irish 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 Reginal championship. In 1998, McGraws 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 244-106 (.697), and in 16-plus campaigns overall, her teams have registered a 332-147 (.693) ledger. Prior to coming to Notre Dame, she spent five seasons at Lehigh where she compiled an 88-41 record for a .683 winning percentage.
SERIES RECORD VERSUS BOSTON COLLEGE – Notre Dame is 3-2 all-time versus Boston College and is 1-2 against the Eagles on the road. Last season, Notre Dame dropped a 78-76 decision to Boston College at the Conte Forum in the only regular season meeting between the two teams.
FIRST 6-0 START IN SCHOOL HISTORY – Notre Dames 6-0 start was the first in school history. The best start ever by an Irish team prior to this was in the programs first year (1977-78) when it started 5-0 before finishing up with a 13-4 record. The best start ever for 12th-year head coach Muffet McGraws team before this was in 1993-94 when it began the season 4-0 and ended up with a 22-7 ledger.
9-1 START BEST EVER – Notre Dames 9-1 record through its first 10 games is the best start ever by a Notre Dame team. The best record by an Irish team had produced prior to this in its first 10 games of the season was 8-2 during both the 1977-78 and 1978-79 campaigns.
NOTRE DAME GETS 400TH WIN IN PROGRAMS HISTORY – Notre Dames victory over UCLA in the season opener marked the 400th in the programs history since the inaugural season in 1977-78. In the 21-plus seasons, Irish teams have compiled a 408-205 mark for a 66.6 winning percentage and have averaged 19.0 victories since the programs first campaign.
POINT PILE UP AT HOME – Notre Dames 63 points against Villanova on December 12 were the fewest scored by Notre Dame in any home or away game this season. Coach Muffet McGraws Irish had put up some big numbers in its first four home games as they averaged 91.5 ppg. (366 points). Notre Dame scored 99 points in the season opener against UCLA and went over the century mark for the first and only time this season in scoring 101 points against Illinois on November 24. The Irish are averaging 85.0 ppg. (510 points) in six home contests. In the four road contests it has played, Notre Dame is averaging 75.8 points per game.
RILEY GARNERS BIG EAST PLAYER OF THE WEEK HONORS – Sophomore center Ruth Riley became the fourth Irish player to earn BIG EAST honors this season as she was selected as the leagues co-Player of the Week (sharing the honor with Shawnetta Stewart of Rutgers) after posting her league-leading fifth double-double of the season with 18 points and 12 rebounds against Michigan State. Riley, who was a three-time BIG EAST Rookie of the Week selection last year, earns the player-of-the week honor for the first time this season. Danielle Green and Niele Ivey also were BIG EAST Player of the Week selections earlier this season, while freshman Sherisha Hills garnered BIG EAST Rookie of the Week accolades.
DAILY DOUBLES FOR RUTH AND DANIELLE – Ruth Riley recorded her fifth double-double of the season (and 14th of her career) when she scored 18 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in Notre Dames last outing at Michigan State. Rileys double-double performances also have come against Duke (20 points, 18 rebounds), Illinois (21 points, 12 rebounds), Toledo (15 points, 17 rebounds), and Villanova (13 points, 10 rebounds). Danielle Green posted her third double-double outing of the season against the Spartans, giving her four for her career. Her other double-double efforts were against Duke (20 points, 15 rebounds) and Toledo (12 points, 13 rebounds).
COUNTING ON DANIELLE – Danielle Green hit the game-winning shot against Villanova with 9.8 seconds remaining in the contest. It the first game-winning shot of her career. Green, the only Irish player to score in double figures in all 10 games, leads the team in scoring with a 16.8 points per game average. She also is second in the rebounding column with 8.0 rebounds per game.
McMILLEN MOVES UP SCORING CHART – Senior guard Sheila McMillen is 12th on the all-time Notre Dame career scoring list with 1,108 points. She needs just 87 points to move into the number 11 spot. McMillen, who became the 14th womens basketball player to reach the 1,000-point mark. has a 10.1 career scoring average. She has played in 110 career games and made 48 starts in her three-plus seasons. Currently, McMillen is the teams second-leading scorer this season averaging 14.5 points per game.
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 leagues most dominant teams. The Irish have a 45-11 record (80.4 percent) in regular season games and 6-3 mark (66.7 percent) in BIG EAST tournament action for an overall record of 51-14 (78.5 percent) against league opponents. Of Notre Dames 14 total league losses, nine have come against Connecticut 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, Villanova and Miami.
IRISH TOUGH AT HOME AGAINST BIG EAST FOES – Notre Dame has compiled a 27-3 (.900) 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.
THE CAPTAIN – Sheila McMillen is Notre Dames captain this season. This is the first time since 1981-82, and the second time in the programs history that the Irish have had just one player serve as a captain during the course of the season. The only other lone captain during a basketball season was Missy Conboy, now an associate athletic director at Notre Dame.
GREEN HAVING BEST SEASON – Senior guard Danielle Green is Notre Dames leading scorer and is second in the rebounding column as she is averaging 16.8 points and 8.0 rebounds. She scored 20-plus points in the teams first three contests and has been the only player to score in double figures in all 10 contests. She netted a career-high 23 points in the first two games against UCLA and Butler. Green grabbed a personal best 15 boards against Duke, while recording her first double-double of the season and second in her career when she tossed in 20 points. Green recorded her second double-double of the season just the other against Toledo when she scored 12 points and grabbed 13 boards.
IRISH 3-1 AGAINST RANKED FOES – Notre Dames three wins over ranked opponents thus far are the most by an Irish team team during the regular season. Coach Muffet McGraws squad has 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).
BIG NUMBERS IN SEASON OPENER – Notre Dames 99 points were the second most in a season opener (the most was 113 versus Liberty on November 24, 1989) and most by a Notre Dame team in a season opener at the Joyce Center.
LOFTY RANKINGS – In just seven weeks, Notre Dame has climbed 10 spots in the Associated Press and 12 spots in the USA Today/ESPN rankings. For just the second time in its 22-year history, Notre Dame started the season ranked and has been in the top 10 for a school-record six straight weeks. The Irish began the 1998-99 campaign with its highest preseason rankings in both the Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN rankings at 17th and 19th, respectively. Two years ago, Coach Muffet McGraws squad was 20th in the AP and 25th in the USA Today/ESPN preseason rankings. Wins against top 10 opponents UCLA (#6), Duke (#6) and 25th-ranked Illinois propelled the Irish into the top 10.
HILLS HAS SUCCESSFUL HOMECOMING – Freshman Sherisha Hills returned to her hometown of Tampa, Fla. when the Irish played against South Florida. In leading Notre Dame to an 83-63 victory, Hills played a season-high 30 points, scored 15 points (one point shy of her personal best) as she hit five-of-nine shots from the field, including a four-four-eight performance from three-point range. In addition, she grabbed a career-high eight rebounds. Hills is the teams fifth-leading scorer averaging 7.9 points per game. She earned BIG EAST co-Rookie of the Week honors earlier this season and has scored in double figures in four games this season, netting a career-high 16 points coming off the bench in Notre Dames win at San Francisco.
IRISH IN THE JOYCE CENTER – Since its inaugural season in 1977-78, Notre Dame has played all of its games at the Joyce Center. The Irish own a 189-65 mark for a .744 winning percentage since that first season. Last season, Notre Dame won a school-record 12 games at home en route to a 12-1 record. Prior to the loss to Connecticut, Notre Dame had tied a school record with 15 straight victories at home. The last loss at home prior to the one on December 8 was against Connecticut on December 6, 1997. Ironically, it was Connecticut who stopped Notre Dames 15-game home wins streak two years ago.
BALANCED SCORING ATTACK – Four players are averaging double figures scoring for the Irish this season. Danielle Green leads the team with 16.8 ppg., followed by Sheila McMillen (14.5), Niele Ivey (14.4 ppg.) and Ruth Riley (13.6 ppg.). In three of Notre Dames 10 games already this season, the Irish have had five players in double figures scoring. Against, Illinois, four players netted double figures, including three with 20 or more points.
WITH THE STUFF – Notre Dame has 59 blocks on the season in its first 10 games (5.9 per game), while its opponents have just 19. Ruth Riley leads the Irish with 42 blocks (4.2) 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-LsCrosse on March 15, 1980.
DOMINATION ON THE BOARDS – Notre Dame is outrebounding its opponents by an 11.4 margin this season. 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 set against IUPUI-Fort Wayne on January 24, 1978. Ruth Riley and Danielle Green combined for 33 of those 67 rebounds as Riley finished with a career-high 18 boards, while Green also established a personal best with 15. Riley leads the team with 9.8 rpg., while Green is second in the rebounding column with an 8.0 average. Notre Dame is averaging 47.4 rebounds per game.
POINTS A PLENTY – Notre Dame is averaging 81.3 points through its first 10 games and is outscoring its opponents by an 12.0 margin as it has yielded opponents 69.3 ppg. Last season, Notre Dame averaged 74.2 points per game. Notre Dame outscored the three ranked opponents it played in the first three home games of the season – UCLA, Duke and Illinois – by 17.7 ppg. Against the four ranked teams they have faced, the Irish have averaged 91.3 ppg., while yielding their opponents 84.3 ppg. In its season opener against the Bruins, the scored 99 points which represented the second most points in a season opener and the most points by a Notre Dame team in a season opener at the Joyce Center.
OVER THE CENTURY MARK – Notre Dame scored 100-plus points for the first time this season in its 101-92 victory over Illinois. It was also the sixth time during Irish head coach Muffet McGraws tenure that her team went over the century mark.
MIXING IT UP – In its eight non-conference games this season, the Irish played two teams from the Big Ten (Illinois and Michigan State) and one from the Pac-10 (UCLA), Midwestern Collegiate (Butler), Atlantic Coast (Duke), West Coast (San Francisco), Mid-American (Toledo) and Conference USA (South Florida). Notre Dame was a perfect 8-0 against their non-conference foes.
ON THE ROAD– Notre Dames four-game road swing continues after tonight when it travels to Georgetown on Sat, Jan. 2 for a 2:00 p.m. contest with the Hoyas. The Irish, who played six of their first eight games at home, return home on until Thurs., Jan. 7 when they host West Virginia at 7:00 p.m.
ELITE COMPANY – Notre Dame was one of just nine schools to advance to the Sweet 16 in both 1997 and 1998. The eight other schools on the short list included: Alabama, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana Tech, North Carolina, Old Dominion and Tennessee. The Irish also were one of 29 teams to earn an NCAA tournament bid each of the last three seasons.
RILEY STARS FOR U.S. SELECT TEAM – Ruth Riley starred for the 1998 USA Womens Select Team over the summer. The team compiled an eight-game, 15-day tour of Puerto Rico, Poland and Spain and finished 7-1 mark. Riley was the teams second-leading scorer and top rebounder with averages of 10.3 ppg. and 7.6 rpg. She registered two double-doubles in the seven games and recorded bests of 20 points and 10 rebounds ina 72-70 victory over Puerto . Riley led the team once and in rebounding on four occasions.
PRESEASON HONORS FOR RILEY AND McMILLEN – The names of Ruth Riley and Sheila McMillen appear on preseason All-America teams of several publications. Notre Dame also is ranked in the polls of every preseason publication.
Street & Smiths: Ruth Riley – First Team; Sheila McMillen – High Honorable Mention; Notre Dame – 24th
The Sporting News: Notre Dame -17th
Dick Vitales College Basketball: Notre Dame -14th
Athlon College Basketball: Ruth Riley – Third Team; Notre Dame – 18th
Basketball News: Notre Dame – 22nd
Womens Basketball Journal: Ruth Riley – Third Team; Notre Dame – 10th
Associated Press: Ruth Riley – Honorable Mention
MIMI GRIFFIN ON RUTH RILEY – ESPN womens basketball anaylst Mimi Griffin rated Ruth Riley one of the top five centers nationally. Griffin picked the top five players at each position. In addition to Riley, mentioned among Griffins list of top five centers were Demya Walker (Virginia), Maylana Martin (UCLA), Paige Sauer (Connecticut) and Angie Braziel (Texas Tech).
IRISH SIGN THREE RECRUITS – Irish head coach Muffet McGraw signed three players to national letters of intent during the early signing period. Set to join the Irish in the fall of 1999 are Alicia Ratay, a 5-11 guard from Lake Zurich, Ill.; 6-3 forward Amanda Barksdale from Friendswood, Tex.; and Monique Hernandez, a 5-9 guard out of Rio Rancho, N.M. All three players are ranked in the top 100 by Blue Star Basketball. Ratay, who led the U.S. Youth World Games team to a bronze medal during the summer, is eighth, while Barksdale is rated 41st and Hernandez 98th.
McMILLEN NAMED TO ALL-AMERICAN FARM BASKETBALL TEAM – Notre Dame guard Sheila McMillen has been named to the Successful Farming All-American basketball team. Five players were chosen to the womens team. Notre Dame will receive $500 scholarship check on Sheilas behalf. McMillen, who grew up on a farm in Rochester, Ind., is the second Irish athlete honored by the magazine. Irish punter Hunter Smith was selected to the football team in 1997.
IRISH IN THE NCAA STATISTICS –
Ruth Riley - 2nd in blocked shots (4.1)Niele Ivey - 16th in assists (6.1)Team - 8th in scoring offense (81.3) 8th in rebounding margin (11.4) 11th in free throw percentage (74.5%)
QUICK PLAYER BIOS:
– Diana Braendly tied her career-best with three blocks against UCLA. She had six points, five rebounds and three blocks (tying her career best) against the Bruins. Braendly had eight rebounds in 18 minutes in Notre Dames win over Illinois. She currently is averaging 1.0 points and 2.1 rebounds and has played in nine games.
– Danielle Green leads the Irish with a 16.8 scoring average and is the second-leading rebounder (8.0 rebounds per game). She scored 20-plus points in Notre Dames first three games and is the only player to have scored in double figures in all 10 contests. In wins over UCLA and Butler, Green netted personal bests of 23 points. She recorded her first double-double of the season and second in her career against Duke as she poured in 20 points and grabbed a career-high 15 boards. She was named the BIG EASTs co-Player of the Week following her performances against Butler and Duke as she averagd 21.5 ppg. and 10.0 rpg. Green had her second double-double of the season with 12 points and 13 boards versus Toledo and her third double-double (fourth of her career) against Michigan State as she scored 16 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.
– Ericka Haney is averaging 3.8 points and 3.6 rebounds while playing in all 10 games. She scored season-high nine points against Connecticut and recorded a season-best six rebounds in 20 minutes of action. Haney is averaging 13.4 minutes per game.
– Sherisha Hills netted a career-high 16 points in win at San Francisco, while playing 29 minutes. In the contest, she also made four steals. It was the second double figures scoring effort for the Irish rookie as she came off the bench to score 14 points in season opener against UCLA. Against the Bruins, she hit her first three three-point attempts (was three-for-seven overall in the contest). She had missed the first two exhibition games after suffering a concussion following a collision with Danille Green in pre-game warmups of the first exhibition contest. Hills sparked the Irish in the first half against Illinois as she scored nine points. In that game, she also had four rebounds and three assists. She had her second straight double figures scoring effort (and third of the season) as she scored 12 points against Toledo. Hills recorded double figures for the fourth time this season when she scored 15 points and grabbed a personal best eight rebounds versus South Florida. In that game, she also played a career-high 30 minutes. Hills is averaging 7.9 ppg. in 18.9 minutes per game. She earned co- BIG EAST Rookie of the Week honors after averaging 12. 5 points and 3.5 rebounds in wins over Illinois and San Francisco.
– Niele Ivey had career bests of 25 points and 11 rebounds for her first career double-double in the season opener against UCLA. She had her second 20-point outing of the season when she netted 22 points in win over Illinois in 36 minutes of action. Ivey registered 17 points and dished off nine assists against Connecticut. She is the teams third-leading scorer (14.4 ppg.) and leads the team with 61 assists and 26 steals. Ivey has scored in double figures in eight of 10 games. She was the co-BIG EAST Player of the Week for the second time in her career against the Bruins. Played a career-high 39 minutes against Villanova.
– Sheila McMillen has had 54 double figure scoring outings in her career. She became the 14th player in Notre Dame womens basketball history to reach the 1,000-point plateau against Illinois on Nov. 24. She has 1,108 career points (12th on the career scoring list) and is averaging 14.5 ppg. this season. McMillen has scored in double figures in nine of 10 games, including a season-high 23 points against Toledo. She has hit for 20-plus points in three of the last four games. Her other 20-point outings came against Illinois (20 points) and Connecticut (21 points).
– Ruth Riley is averaging 13.6 ppg. and 9.8 rpg. (leads the team) this season as well as 4.2 blocks per game. She has had five double-doubles this season, most recent was on Dec. 21 against Michigan State when she scored 18 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. It was the 14th double-double of her career. In the Irish win over Duke, she netted 20 points, grabbed a personal-high 18 rebounds and tied a Notre Dame school record with eight blocked shots. Against Illinois in 23 minutes of action, Riley scored 21 points, hauled in 12 rebounds and blocked seven shots.
– Kelley Siemon is the third leading rebounder (5.0 rpg.) and is averaging 6.0 points per game. She has scored in double figures in one game this season – San Francisco (10 points). She grabbed a personal best nine rebounds agains Butler. Siemon had nine points and six rebounds in win at MIchigan State. Siemon dished off a personal best five assists against Duke.