Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website

Women's Hoops Returns Home To Face Big Ten Member Wisconsin

Dec. 3, 2003

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Notre Dame Fighting Irish (2-3)
vs. Wisconsin Badgers (2-2)

The Date and Time: Thursday, Dec. 4, 2003, at 7 p.m. ET.

The Site: Joyce Center (11,418) in Notre Dame, Ind.

The Tickets: Still available by calling the Notre Dame Ticket Office (574-631-7356).

The Radio Plans: All Notre Dame games are broadcast live on WDND-AM (ESPN Radio 1620) and/or WNDV-AM (1490) in South Bend with Sean Stires (play-by-play) and Shawn Lewallen (analysis). These broadcasts also are available through the Notre Dame athletics web site at

Real-Time Statistics: Live in-game statistics are available for the Wisconsin game through the Notre Dame ( athletics web site.

Web Site: Notre Dame (, Wisconsin (

For only the second time this season, the Notre Dame women’s basketball team will enjoy the comforts of home when it plays host to Wisconsin Thursday at 7 p.m. (ET) at the Joyce Center. The Irish opened their season with four of their first five games on the road, all against teams that are now appearing in both major national polls (Auburn, Colorado, Michigan State and Tennessee). Notre Dame went 1-3 in that stretch, although it narrowly missed a win over CU, losing in overtime in the title game of the WBCA Classic.

The Irish (2-3) are looking to reverse their fortunes after losing twice over the Thanksgiving holiday. Most recently, they dropped an 83-59 decision at third-ranked Tennessee on Sunday afternoon. Junior forward Jacqueline Batteast tallied team highs of 16 points and seven rebounds and sophomore guard Megan Duffy chipped in with a career-high 14 points (all in the second half) for Notre Dame. However, the Irish misfired on 18 of their first 20 shots from the floor and were forced to play from behind the entire game against one of the nation’s premier powers.

Wisconsin (2-2) also enters Thursday’s game on a sour note, having lost to Western Illinois, 64-58 on Monday night in Madison. Sophomore guard Ashley Josephson scored a team-high 12 points and junior guard Stephanie Rich added nine points and eight assists for the Badgers, who are 2-0 away from home, but 0-2 at the Kohl Center this season. Senior center Emily Ashbaugh is UW’s leading scorer (13.8 ppg.) and second-best rebounder (7.8 rpg.).

Notre Dame leads the all-time series with Wisconsin, 3-2, although the Badgers won the only prior meeting at the Joyce Center in 1996. The Irish won their last matchup, 83-56, on Nov. 22, 2000, at the Coaches vs. Cancer Challenge in Madison.

Coming into this season, one of the bigger question marks surrounding Notre Dame was its perimeter play. The Irish figured to count on their post offense in the early part of the year while their outside shooting developed to fill in the void left by the graduation of Alicia Ratay. Yet, through the first five games of the season, it has been the Notre Dame backcourt that has sparkled while the posts have had difficulty getting on track.

Sophomore Megan Duffy (10.2 ppg., team-high 4.0 apg., .538 3FG%) is in her first season as the everyday point guard for the Irish and she already is showing signs of being a key cog in the Notre Dame offensive arsenal. After averaging only three points and 2.3 assists per game last year, the Dayton, Ohio, native has more than tripled her scoring output and she owns a team-best 1.05 assist/turnover ratio. In addition, she is showing offensive diversity, knocking down seven of 13 three-pointers this season and posting a career-high 14 points in a loss at No. 3 Tennessee.

Senior captain Le’Tania Severe (10.2 ppg., 3.2 apg.) has slid over to the shooting guard position in place of Ratay and has filled in admirably thus far. While not putting up the three-point numbers Ratay had in her remarkable career, Severe is getting her points as a slasher, driving to the basket and creating havoc for opposing defenses. She also leads the Irish with 2.0 steals per game and has been a vital piece of Notre Dame’s transition game. She collected a season-high 14 points in the loss to Colorado, earning a spot on the WBCA Classic All-Tournament Team, before adding 13 points (on six fo 10 shooting) last Sunday at third-ranked Tennessee.

Senior guard Jeneka Joyce (6.0 ppg., .750 3FG%) also has been a pleasant surprise recently. After missing more than 20 months with recurring leg injuries, Joyce returned to action Nov. 21 vs. Valparaiso and promptly drained all three of her three-point attempts. She then knocked down three more treys to begin the Michigan State game before missing her final two long-range tries. Still, she leads the Irish in three-point percentage and ranks fifth on the school’s career charts in that category (.391).

Junior forward and preseason All-American Jacqueline Batteast (16.6 ppg., 7.4 rpg., 1.8 bpg., two double-doubles) has lived up to her accolades early this season, leading Notre Dame in scoring, rebounding and blocked shots while posting a solid .455 field goal percentage. She was named to the WBCA Classic All-Tournament Team on Nov. 15 after a superb weekend that included a career-high 27 points against 22nd-ranked Auburn. She then piled up back-to-back double-doubles vs. No. 20 Colorado (13p, 10r) and Valparaiso (15p, 10r) before logging a team-high 12 points at Michigan State and team bests of 16 points and seven caroms at No. 3 Tennessee. She now has 51 career double-figure scoring games, 21 career double-doubles and needs only 114 points to become the 20th Notre Dame player to score 1,000 career points.

Junior Katy Flecky (7.2 ppg., 3.4 rpg.) and sophomore Courtney LaVere (8.4 ppg., 5.2 rpg.) also have made important contributions at times this season. Flecky scored 17 points in the season-opening win over No. 22 Auburn, burying a trio of three-pointers in the win. Meanwhile, LaVere, a freshman All-American last season, has had to deal with several bouts of foul trouble, but appears to have strugged that off lately. She tied Batteast for team-high scoring honors with 12 points at Michigan State and she now is second on the Irish with a .500 field goal percentage this year (18-36).

A new era in Wisconsin basketball has tipped off this season under the direction of first-year head coach Lisa Stone. The Badgers have 10 letterwinners and four starters back from last season’s squad, with the majority of those veterans being underclassmen (five sophomores, three juniors).

UW is off to a 2-2 start this season, winning the Conesto/Coconut Grove Thanksgiving Classic in Miami last weekend. The Badgers defeated Hampton (49-38) and Butler (61-46) to claim the tournament title, with sophomore forward Jordan Wilson earning Most Valuable Player honors and sophomore guard Ashley Josephson winning a spot on the all-tournament team.

The celebration from the Coconut Grove tourney championship was tempered a bit for Wisconsin on Monday night, as the Badgers returned home and dropped a 64-58 decision to Western Illinois at the Kohl Center. Josephson was the only UW player to score in double figures, winding up with 12 points.

Senior forward Emily Ashbaugh has been the main workhorse for Wisconsin in the early going this season, leading the team in scoring (13.8 ppg.), while ranking second in rebounding (7.8 rpg.), field goal percentage (.560) and blocked shots (1.3 bpg.). Josephson and Rich have ably complemented Ashbaugh on the perimeter — Josephson averages 12.5 ppg. and is shooting a team-best .538 from the three-point line, while Rich is logging 8.8 points, 6.5 assists and 3.0 steals per game. Wilson has been an imposing presence off the bench, collecting 6.3 points and a team-high 8.0 rebounds per night.

As a team, the Badgers are averaging 58.2 ppg., while shooting .409 from the field. They are also winning the battle on the boards by more than four per game, and they are a very strong free throw shooting team, making better than 74 percent of their charity tosses per game.

Stone came to Madison after a successful three-year stint as the head coach at Drake, where she guided the Bulldogs to a 64-27 (.703) record and two NCAA Tournament appearances, including a trip to the Sweet Sixteen in 2001-02. Stone ranks ninth among active Division I coaches with a .759 winning percentage, posting a 377-120 record in 18 years on the sidelines (she previously spent three seasons at Cornell and 12 years at Wisconsin-Eau Claire). She has never faced Notre Dame as a head coach.

Notre Dame and Wisconsin have met five times in their series, with the Irish maintaining a narrow 3-2 edge over the Badgers. Thursday’s game also will be just the second between the two clubs at the Joyce Center — Wisconsin came away victorious in their only other visit to South Bend, posting an 81-69 win on Dec. 9, 1996.

The Irish and Badgers met for the first time late in the 1986-87 season, just before Muffet McGraw came aboard as Notre Dame’s head coach. The Irish won that first meeting, 80-70, at the UW Field House in Madison, behind 22 points from Annie Schwartz and a 16-point, nine-rebound effort from Heidi Bunek.

The teams would not meet again until Dec. 4, 1993, when Notre Dame claimed a 77-55 win over Wisconsin in the opening round of the Brown PowerBar Tournament in Providence, R.I. Playing in just her third collegiate game, Beth Morgan scored 23 points and Kara Leary chipped in with 14 points in the victory. It was the first of Morgan’s school-record 56 20-point games.

UW got its first win in the series on Dec. 9, 1996, coming into the Joyce Center as the nation’s No. 19 squad and taking down the 10th-ranked Irish, 81-69. All-American Katryna Gaither scored a game-high 27 points and Sheila McMillen contributed 20 points for Notre Dame, but the Badgers forced 25 Irish turnovers and got 26 points from Keisha Anderson to rally from a two-point halftime deficit and secure the victory.

Wisconsin made it two straight over Notre Dame a year later on Dec. 8, 1997, winning by an 89-77 count in one of the final games played at the UW Field House. The Badgers jumped out to a 48-32 halftime lead and kept the visitors at arm’s length the rest of the way for the win. McMillen and Niele Ivey each scored 16 points for Notre Dame, while LaTonya Sims led five UW players in double figures with 20 points. The Badger defense was in full force once again, coming with 18 steals and forcing 28 Notre Dame turnovers.

Fifth-ranked Notre Dame broke the series deadlock in the most recent encounter with Wisconsin, leading from tip to buzzer in an 83-56 victory over the 19th-ranked Badgers on Nov. 22, 2000, in the opening round of the Coaches vs. Cancer Challenge at the Kohl Center in Madison. Notre Dame shot 54.3 percent from the field and went 27 for 36 at the free throw line in the contest, while holding the Badgers to a .389 field goal percentage and coming up with 22 UW turnovers.

All-America guard and eventual Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award winner Niele Ivey carded game highs of 22 points, nine rebounds and seven assists, canning seven of 11 shots, including all four of her three-point attempts. Kelley Siemon contributed 21 points on seven of eight shooting and Ericka Haney tossed in 14 points for the victorious Irish.

Notre Dame jumped out to a 10-3 lead in the first three minutes of the game, but Wisconsin hung tough and whittled the gap to two points twice, the last coming at 15-13 with 12:44 left in the first half. Ivey then ripped off eight straight points in a 78-second span (two three-pointers, two free throws) to give the Irish their first double-digit lead of the day. The Badgers clawed their way back to within 29-24 on a Tamara Moore layup at the 3:58 mark, but Notre Dame closed the half on a 12-2 run (with eight points coming from the foul line) to open up a 15-point lead at the intermission.

Wisconsin scored the first five points of the second half and seemed poised for another rally, trailing 41-31 with still 19:16 remaining in the game. However, the Irish quickly doused those comeback hopes by going on a 19-4 run over the next six minutes, taking a 60-35 lead on Ivey’s fourth three-pointer of the game with 13:22 to play. From there, Notre Dame maintained its 20-point lead, with the final score proving to be the largest margin of the game.


  • Notre Dame associate coach Carol Owens and Wisconsin assistant coach Denise Ianello were teammates at Northern Illinois University from 1988-90. In fact, the pair, who often roomed together on road trips, could easily have been labelled NIU’s “Miss Inside” and “Miss Outside” — Owens is the Huskies’ all-time leading scorer with 2,102 points, while Ianello (then known as Denise Dove) ranks ninth on the school’s career scoring list and holds 11 school records, including all nine of its three-point marks. In the 1989-90 season, Owens was Northern Illinois’ Player of the Year, while Ianello was the team Defensive Player of the Year as they combined to lead the Huskies to the best record in school history (26-5), the school’s first-ever NCAA Tournament bid and a No. 11 national ranking. In addition, NIU had the nation’s highest-scoring offense that year (94.5 ppg.), led the country in free throw percentage (.775) and posted the second-highest point total in a single half in NCAA history (76 vs. Valparaiso, 2/20/90).
  • There are three Indiana natives between the two teams, with Notre Dame junior forward Jacqueline Batteast (South Bend/Washington HS), Wisconsin senior center Lello Gebisa (West Lafayette/West Lafayette HS) and UW junior forward Ebba Gebisa (West Lafayette/West Lafayette HS) all hailing from the Hoosier State.
  • Although it’s more than 1,500 miles away from the site of Thursday’s game, the state of Washington will be well represented by Notre Dame junior center Teresa Borton (Yakima/West Valley HS) and Wisconsin senior center Emily Ashbaugh (Woodinville/Redmond HS).
  • Five Wisconsin natives have suited up for Notre Dame over the years, including all-conference posts Sandy Botham (1984-88) and Heidi Bunek (1985-89). Botham is a native of Madison and a graduate of Madison West High School who ranks seventh on Notre Dame’s career scoring list with 1,460 points. She was a four-time all-North Star Conference selection, earning first-team honors in each of her final three seasons with the Irish. She also ranked sixth in the nation in field goal percentage (.639) as a sophomore and ranks fourth in school history with a .588 career field goal percentage. She played her final season under new head coach Muffet McGraw and later returned as a graduate assistant (1988-90) and assistant coach (1991-95) on McGraw’s staff. Botham now is in her eighth season as the head coach at Wisconsin-Milwaukee, sporting a 115-87 career record with the Panthers.
    Meanwhile, Bunek was a standout center at Pius XI High School in Milwaukee, leading her team to four straight state titles. She went on to a superb career at Notre Dame, finishing 14th on the school’s career scoring list (1,202 points) despite missing nearly her entire senior year with a knee injury. Her 7.8 career rebounding average and .604 all-time field goal percentage both rank third in school history and she was the first Irish player ever to score 1,000 points by her junior season. Now known as Heidi Hamilton, she serves as the head girls’ basketball coach at Arrowhead High School in Hartland, Wis.

Notre Dame is 26-40 (.394) all-time against the current alignment of the Big Ten Conference, although the Irish have split their last 10 games against Big Ten schools. They also are 14-14 (.500) all-time against the Big Ten at the Joyce Center.

Notre Dame has played all 11 members of the Big Ten, owning winning records against Indiana (5-3), Wisconsin (3-2), Northwestern (2-1) and Iowa (1-0). UW is the second of three Big Ten opponents on this year’s Irish schedule — Notre Dame lost at Michigan State (92-63) on Nov. 26 and will travel to West Lafayette, Ind., on Jan. 4 for a matchup with Purdue in the inaugural BIG EAST/Big Ten Challenge.

The Irish have played on Dec. 4 seven times in their history, posting a 5-2 (.714) record, including a 1-1 mark at home. They also have won their last three games on this day. Just last season, Notre Dame visited Valparaiso on Dec. 4, posting a 74-68 victory over the Crusaders.

This also will mark the second time Notre Dame and Wisconsin have tipped off on Dec. 4. Back in 1993 at the Brown PowerBar Tournament in Providence, R.I., a young Irish freshman named Beth Morgan scored 23 points and Kara Leary added 14 points as the Irish downed the Badgers, 77-55 en route to the tournament title. It was the first of a school-record 56 20-point games in Morgan’s storied career.

Notre Dame is quickly learning how it rates against the rest of the nation’s elite programs. The Irish recently wrapped up a brutal stretch that included playing four of their first five games away from home, with all four road contests coming against teams that were either ranked or receiving votes in both major national polls. Notre Dame already has defeated No. 22 Auburn (77-64), lost a narrow overtime decision at No. 20 Colorado (67-63) after leading much of the way in that game, fell at Michigan State (92-63) after the Spartans came into the game receiving votes in both polls, and lost at third-ranked Tennesse (83-59). Partly on the strength of its win over Notre Dame, MSU jumped into the Associated Press poll this week, checking in at No. 24.

The tough early-season Irish schedule has not gone unnoticed by the national media. The latest Sagarin ratings have pegged the Notre Dame docket as the second-toughest in the nation (through Dec. 2), while has the Irish schedule ranked 11th-hardest in the land.

In actuality, all seven of Notre Dame’s non-conference road games are against teams that are presently ranked or receiving votes. The remaining out-of-conference road lineup includes trips to Washington (Sunday – receiving votes), Colorado State (Dec. 29 – receiving votes) and Purdue (Jan. 4 – 7th in AP/10th in ESPN-USA Today).


  • Notre Dame will pick up its 250th all-time win at the Joyce Center, moving its career home record to 250-70 (.781) in 27 seasons. It also will be the 100th home win for the Irish since they joined the BIG EAST Conference in 1995-96 — ND will improve to 100-9 (.917) at the Joyce Center over the past nine seasons.
  • The Irish will earn their 42nd win in their last 44 non-conference home games, dating back to the 1994-95 season.
  • Notre Dame will jump to 27-40 (.403) all-time against the Big Ten Conference (15-14 at the Joyce Center) and earn its first win over a Big Ten opponent since a 68-66 conquest of Purdue in the 2001 NCAA Championship game at the Savvis Center in St. Louis.
  • Head coach Muffet McGraw will see her record at Notre Dame rise to 366-141 (.722) in 17 seasons under the Golden Dome. She also will watch her career ledger improve to 454-182 (.714) in 22 years at the college level.
  • The Irish will raise their all-time record to 530-240 (.688) in 27 seasons of varsity competition.

No. 17 Notre Dame dropped its second consecutive game with an 83-59 loss at third-ranked Tennessee on Sunday, Nov. 30 in Knoxville, Tenn. The Irish struggled to find their shooting touch in the early going, misfiring on 18 of their first 20 shots while the Lady Vols quickly opened up a 13-3 lead. Notre Dame steadied itself and remained within 10 points for the next five minutes before UT went on a 15-2 run to take a 37-14 lead with 3:44 left in the first half. Tennessee took a 23-point lead to the locker room and bumped its edge to 50-23 early in the second half before the margin settled in the 20-26-point range for the remainder of the game.

Junior forward Jacqueline Batteast led the Irish with 16 points and a game-high seven rebounds, while sophomore guard Megan Duffy contributed a career-best 14 points, all in the second half on six of 11 shooting (and two of three from beyond the arc). Senior guard Le’Tania Severe tallied 13 points on six of 10 from the floor and sophomore Courtney LaVere chipped in with eight points and a game-high seven rebounds.

Notre Dame has its troubles from both the field and the foul line, posting season-low marks for field goal percentage (.393) and free throw percentage (.474). The Irish also turned the ball over 21 times (14 in the first half) and lost the rebounding battle by a 48-41 count.

Despite not having seen any meaningful action since March 17, 2002 at Tennessee in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, senior guard Jeneka Joyce has looked very comfortable in her first three games this season. The Topeka, Kan., native missed Notre Dame’s two games at the WBCA Classic, but returned to action Nov. 21 vs. Valparaiso and promptly canned all three of her three-point attempts (including the last from nearly 25 feet out), finishing with nine points. Five nights later on Nov. 26 at Michigan State, Joyce nailed her first three three-point shots before missing her last two and again wound up with nine points. She is six of eight from beyond the arc this season, good for a team-best .750 percentage, while averaging 6.0 points per game.

For her career, Joyce now ranks fifth in school history with a .391 three-point percentage (54 of 138). She also stands ninth with 54 career treys and 138 career three-point attempts.

Notre Dame put the clamps on Valparaiso from the three-point line on Nov. 21, as the Crusaders went 0 for 11 from beyond the arc. It represented the first three-point shutout for the Irish since Nov. 27, 1999 (a span of 130 games), when Illinois went 0 for 5 from the three-point line, but still managed to pull out a 77-67 win over Notre Dame in Champaign, Ill.

The Irish dished out 24 assists on 29 baskets against Valparaiso on Nov. 21, which works out an .828 assist percentage. That’s the highest assist ratio for Notre Dame since Dec. 21, 2002, when the Irish had 26 assists on 30 field goals (.867) in an 82-54 win over IPFW at the Joyce Center.

Notre Dame’s backcourt played a key role in their efficient performance against Valparaiso. Sophomore guard Megan Duffy tied her career high with seven assists, while senior guard Le’Tania Severe chalked up six assists. The tandem also combined for just three turnovers, giving them a superb 4.33 assist/turnover ratio for the contest.

Junior forward Jacqueline Batteast needs only 114 points to become the 20th player in school history to score 1,000 career points. Batteast already is one of only five Irish players to have scored 800 points in her first two seasons at Notre Dame and at her current 16.6 ppg. pace, she should reach the millennium milestone sometime in early January. For her career, the South Bend native ranks sixth in school history with a 14.1 ppg. scoring average (886 points in 63 games).

Although they didn’t come away with the trophy they wanted at the WBCA Classic, junior forward Jacqueline Batteast and senior guard Le’Tania Severe did receive individual honors as members of the WBCA Classic All-Tournament Team. Batteast averaged 20 points and 7.5 rebounds in the two-game tournament, while shooting .529 from the field. Severe carded 11.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game in the tournament and posted a stellar .857 free throw percentage (12 of 14). It was the first career all-tournament team selection for both players.

Notre Dame is receiving 60 votes in the latest Associated Press poll (good for 26th if the poll were extended) after spending the first three weeks of this season in the AP Top 25 poll. The Irish were ranked 15th in the preseason AP poll, marking the seventh time in the last eight seasons that the Irish were tapped in the initial AP survey of the year.

Notre Dame also is earning 71 votes in the most recent ESPN/USA Today coaches poll (placing ND 27th in the poll were extended), following its No. 16 in the preseason coaches poll. That represented the seventh time in eight years that the Irish had appeared in the first ESPN/USA Today poll of the year.

Notre Dame has faced or will face six teams that are currently ranked in both major polls (No. 1/1 Connecticut, No. 3/3 Tennessee, No. 7/10 Purdue, No. 17/15 Colorado, No. 23/19 Virginia Tech and No. 22/22 Rutgers). In addition, Michigan State is 24th and Auburn is 25th in the latest AP poll, while Boston College is 24th in the most recent ESPN/USA Today coaches’ poll. Four other Notre Dame opponents presently are receiving votes in one or both of the major polls this week — Colorado State, Georgetown, Villanova and Washington.

Over the last four seasons, Notre Dame has been nearly unbeatable when it has the lead at halftime. The Irish are 64-5 (.928) since the start of the 2000-01 campaign when they go into the dressing room with the lead, including a 2-1 mark this year. One of those rare losses occurred vs. Colorado in the WBCA Classic on Nov. 15. Notre Dame led 37-33 at the intermission before the Buffaloes rallied for a 67-63 overtime win.

Over the last nine seasons, Notre Dame has discovered that a solid defensive effort can almost certainly guarantee a victory. In fact, since the beginning of the 1995-96 season (Notre Dame’s first in the BIG EAST Conference), the Irish have an amazing 115-4 (.966) record when they hold their opponents to less than 60 points in a game. Notre Dame added another notch on that tally on Nov. 21 vs. Valparaiso by holding the Crusaders to 57 points.

Not resting solely on its defensive laurels, Notre Dame also seemingly has found the magic mark when it comes to outscoring its opponents. Over the last nine seasons (1995-96 to present), the Irish are 85-3 (.966) when they score at least 80 points in a game. The only blemishes on that record are a pair of overtime losses to Texas A&M (88-84) and Michigan State (87-83) in 1995 and a 106-81 loss to Connecticut in 1998.

Notre Dame is one of only eight schools in the country to have appeared in the NCAA Sweet Sixteen five times in the past seven seasons (1997-2003). The others are Connecticut (seven times), Tennessee (seven times), Duke (six times), Louisiana Tech (six times), North Carolina (five times), Old Dominion (five times) and Texas Tech (five times).

The Irish are one of just six teams nationwide to have an active streak of 10 consecutive 20-win seasons. The others in these elite club are Tennessee (27), Texas Tech (14), Louisiana Tech (12), Old Dominion (12) and Connecticut (10).

For the first time since the 1998-99 season, the Irish are wearing white uniforms at home this season, eschewing the golden togs they sported for the past four seasons. Notre Dame has worn white uniforms on numerous occasions on the past, dating as far back as the school’s first varsity women’s basketball squad, which took the floor in 1977-78. Blue will continue to be the primary color for the Irish road uniforms.

The newest addition to the Notre Dame coaching staff is Jonathan Tsipis, who was hired on May 13, 2003. Tsipis (pronounced SIP-iss) comes to Notre Dame following one season as the director of men’s basketball operations at UNC Greensboro, working under former Irish assistant coach Fran McCaffery.

Prior to arriving at UNC Greensboro, Tsipis spent two seasons as an assistant men’s coach at Elon (N.C.) University. While there, he worked primarily with the Phoenix’s perimeter players and also helped coordinate the team’s scouting and recruiting efforts. In addition, he was responsible for organizing the team’s travel plans and off-season workout programs.

Tsipis came to Elon after one year as the top assistant men’s coach at LeMoyne College in Syracuse, N.Y. He also spent three seasons on the men’s basketball staff at Cornell University (one as a full-time assistant, two as a volunteer aide), and one year as a student assistant men’s basketball coach at Duke University. In the latter role, he served under legendary Blue Devils head coach Mike Krzyzewski and worked alongside current University of Missouri head men’s basketball coach Quin Snyder.

In addition to his coaching duties, Tsipis also serves as the President of the Future Hoopsters Basketball Camp which he founded in 1991. The four-week camp, which focus on specialized individual instruction, originated with 13 campers and now brings in over 100 each summer. He also worked at the Basketball Camp USA in Letahoria, Greece, in July of 2001. There, Tsipis worked clinics for top-ranked junior players from Greece and Macedonia, focusing on perimeter and ball handling skills.

A Cleveland, Ohio, native, Tsipis graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1996 with a bachelor of science degree in Pharmacy. He and his wife, Leigh, reside in South Bend.

Notre Dame has won 183 games over the last eight seasons, which stands as the ninth-most wins of any school in the country during that time.

One of the hallmarks of Notre Dame’s success has been its stellar play at home. In fact, the Irish have been virtually untouchable at home in recent years, winning 86 of their last 93 games (.925) at the 11,418-seat Joyce Center, including a school-record 51-game winning streak from 1998-2002 (at the time, it was the 10th-longest string in NCAA history. Notre Dame also has a 61-7 (.897) record in BIG EAST Conference play at the Joyce Center, sporting a 31-game winning streak at home before it was snapped with a 48-45 loss to Villanova in the 2002 home finale.

The Irish have been particularly strong when it comes to non-conference games at home, winning 41 of their last 43 non-BIG EAST contests at the Joyce Center, dating back to the 1994-95 season. The only two losses in that span came to Wisconsin in 1996 (81-69) and Purdue in 2003 (71-54). The Purdue loss snapped a 33-game non-conference home winning streak which began after the UW setback.

Since its inaugural season in 1977-78, Notre Dame has played all of its games at the Joyce Center, posting a 249-70 (.781) record at the venerable facility. In both the 1999-2000 and 2000-01 seasons, the Irish were a perfect 15-0 at home, setting a school record for home wins in a season. Also, since joining the BIG EAST for the 1995-96 season, Notre Dame is 99-9 (.917) at the Joyce Center.

Beginning with its national championship season of 2000-01, Notre Dame has ranked in the Top 10 in the nation in attendance each of the past three years. The Irish are looking to extend that streak to a fourth straight season and got off to a good start with a crowd of 6,029 watching the home opener vs. Valparaiso on Nov. 21. According to the first unofficial national attendance rankings compiled by the Wisconsin Sports Information Office (as of Dec. 1), Notre Dame ranks ninth in the country in attendance.

The Irish averaged 7,132 fans for their 13 home games last season, good for their second consecutive eighth-place finish in the final NCAA attendance rankings. Last year also saw Notre Dame register two of the top 10 crowds in school history, including a season-high gathering of 9,483 fans, the fifth-largest in school history for the nationally-televised matchup with Purdue on Jan. 4.

All of the top 20 crowds in the Irish record book have occurred during the 17-year tenure of head coach Muffet McGraw (1987-present). And, as more evidence of Notre Dame’s rapid elevation to “hot ticket” status in South Bend, 19 of the top 20 crowds in school history have been recorded in the last four seasons.

Historically, Notre Dame has always played a difficult schedule and 2003-04 is more evidence of that fact. The Irish will play no less than 17 teams that qualified for postseason play last year, including 12 NCAA Tournament squads and six that advanced to the Sweet Sixteen (highlighted by two-time defending national champion Connecticut and NCAA runner-up Tennessee). In addition, five opponents (Connecticut, Purdue, Tennessee, Valparaiso and Villanova) won the regular-season or tournament title in their respective conference. Furthermore, 19 of the 26 possible Irish opponents finished with records of .500 or better last season, including 12 squads that posted 20-win campaigns. All told, Notre Dame opponents had a combined winning percentage of .610 last season (490-313).

Based on its success in recent years, Notre Dame continues to be a favorable television draw and the 2003-04 season will be no exception. The Irish are slated to play on the small screen no less than eight times in the coming campaign, including four appearances on national television.

Notre Dame will make its ’03-04 television debut Sunday at Washington in a matchup that will be shown to a national cable audience on Fox Sports Net. The Irish are back on coast-to-coast television Jan. 4 when they visit Purdue for the inaugural BIG EAST/Big Ten Challenge. That contest will be shown live on ESPN2.

In addition, Notre Dame has been selected to appear on the BIG EAST Conference television package four times this season, including three home games. The Irish will take on Virginia Tech (Jan. 10), Villanova (Jan. 24) and Boston College (Jan. 31) at home and travel to Rutgers (Feb. 28) for games in front of the BIG EAST TV cameras. Those games may be seen on a regional basis in several major East Coast markets, including New York, Boston, Miami, Philadelphia and Washington, as well as South Bend, where WHME-TV (Channel 46) will show the games on a delayed basis.

It also was recently announced that the BIG EAST matchup between Notre Dame and two-time defending national champion Connecticut will be televised jointly by WHME-TV and Connecticut Public Television (CPTV), with College Sports Television (CSTV) also picking up the broadcast and airing it nationally. That game will take place Jan. 13 at 7 p.m. (ET) from the Joyce Center.

Notre Dame will make a fourth national TV appearance on Feb. 25, when the BIG EAST game between the Irish and Miami at the Joyce Center is broadcast live by CSTV. That contest will tip off at 8 p.m. (ET) — some early schedules initially had this game listed one hour earlier.

In addition, the semifinals of this year’s BIG EAST Championship presented by State Farm will be broadcast on the BIG EAST television package Monday, March 8 at 6 and 8 p.m. (ET) from the Hartford (Conn.) Civic Center. WHME-TV in South Bend will carry those games live. The championship game will air live on ESPN2 on Tuesday, March 9 at 7 p.m. (EST).

After a two-year absence, the Joyce Center once again will be home to NCAA Tournament competition as Notre Dame was selected to be one of 16 sites for first- and second-round games in the 2004 NCAA Tournament. Action at the South Bend subregional will take place Sunday, March 21 and Tuesday, March 23, with exact tipoff times and potential television broadcasts to be determined by the NCAA during the week leading up to the competition.

Should Notre Dame qualify for the NCAA Tournament for the 11th time in school history (and the ninth consecutive season), the Irish are guaranteed to play at home. Notre Dame has played five NCAA tourney games at the Joyce Center in its history, going 4-1 and and advancing to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen in 2000 and 2001 (the Irish went on to win the national championship in the latter season).

Tickets for NCAA Tournament games at the Joyce Center currently are available only to Notre Dame season ticket holders, who have a priority option to purchase seats for the event. Tickets for the Sunday and Tuesday sessions will go on sale to the general public Monday, Dec. 1. Single-game tickets will not be made available until after the field of 64 is announced on March 14. For more information on how to purchase tickets for the 2004 NCAA Tournament at the Joyce Center, contact the Notre Dame ticket office at (574) 631-7356.

Once again this season, every Irish women’s basketball game (home and away) will air on the flagship stations of the Artistic Media Partners (AMP) Network — WDND-AM (ESPN Radio 1620) and WNDV-AM (1490) in South Bend. Veteran broadcaster and AMP sports director Sean Stires is now in his fourth season handling the play-by-play for Notre Dame, while AMP sports personality Shawn Lewallen is in his second season providing analysis. The Irish also can be heard on the Internet at Notre Dame’s official athletics website ( by subscribing to Fighting Irish Pass, which gives listeners full access to a variety of Irish athletics events on radio for only $6.95 per month.

THE Muffet McGraw SHOW
Muffet McGraw’s half-hour, weekly television show is produced by LeSea Broadcasting and hosted by Bob Nagle. The show, now in its seventh season, is carried by WHME-TV (Channel 46) in South Bend and will air at 6:30 p.m. (ET) on Saturdays through the completion of the 2003-04 season. The show also is available via satellite (Galaxy 6, Transponder 15) each Saturday at 10:30 a.m. (ET), and may be seen on LeSea Broadcasting stations in Denver, Honolulu, Indianapolis, New Orleans and Tulsa (check local listings).

Notre Dame has a full stable back in the fold this season, with four starters and eight monogram winners returning from last year’s club that advanced to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen for the fifth time in seven seasons. Numerous media outlets took notice of these facts and pegged the Irish high in the their preseason rankings. Seven of those publications ranked Notre Dame in the Top 20 in the country to begin this season — Athlon Sports (13th), Basketball Times (13th), Women’s Basketball Magazine (16th), Street & Smith’s (17th), Women’s Basketball News Service (17th), Full Court Press (18th) and Lindy’s Annual (18th). In addition, Women’ had the Irish ranked 14th in its “Early Bird Top 50 for 2003-04.”

According to a preseason survey of the BIG EAST Conference coaches, Notre Dame will finish third in the conference this season. Those were the results released at the league’s annual Media Day Oct. 30 in Newark, N.J. The Irish earned 139 points, placing them behind two-time defending national champion Connecticut (169 points, 13 first-place votes) and Rutgers (156 points, one first-place vote) in the preseason poll. Virginia Tech was fourth, followed by Boston College, Miami and Villanova. All seven of those schools qualified for the NCAA Tournament last season, with Notre Dame, Connecticut, Boston College and Villanova all advancing to the Sweet Sixteen.

Notre Dame is beginning its ninth season as a member of the BIG EAST Conference in 2003-04. The Irish have gone 112-24 (.824) all-time in regular-season conference games, posting the best winning percentage in league history. Connecticut is second with a .773 success rate. Notre Dame also has finished either first or second in the final BIG EAST regular-season standings six times, including a share of the BIG EAST title in 2000-01.

Junior forward Jacqueline Batteast (South Bend, Ind.) is one of 30 players who were named to the 2003-04 John R. Wooden Women’s Award Preseason All-America Team on Aug. 13. Based on a vote of the Wooden Women’s Award National Advisory Board, these 30 players are considered the top candidates for the inaugural Wooden Women’s Award, which will be presented to the most outstanding female collegiate basketball player at the conclusion of the ’03-04 season.

Batteast is a two-time all-BIG EAST Conference selection who started every game for the Irish last season, leading the team in scoring (13.9 ppg.), rebounding (8.3 rpg.) and blocked shots (1.56 bpg.). She also ranked among the top 15 in the BIG EAST in those categories, as well as steals (1.97 spg.) and double-doubles (8). In addition, the 6-2 wing scored in double figures 26 times, topped the 20-point mark five times, and earned game-high rebounding honors of 14 occasions. She ranks among Notre Dame’s career leaders in scoring average (6th – 13.8 ppg.) and rebounding average (tie-2nd – 8.1 rpg.), and she is one of only five players in school history to amass at least 800 points in her first two seasons under the Golden Dome.

Batteast is one of five BIG EAST players named to the Wooden Preseason All-America Team, joining Rebekkah Brunson of Georgetown, Cappie Pondexter of Rutgers, and the Connecticut duo of Ann Strother and Diana Taurasi.

In mid-January, the Wooden Women’s Award Committee will release its Midseason Top 20 List, followed in March by the official voting ballot which will consist of the top 10-15 players who have proven their success in the classroom (minimum 2.0 grade-point average) as well as on the court. More than 250 voters, comprised of sports media members and women’s college basketball experts around the country, will then cast their votes for the five-member Wooden All-America Team and the Wooden Award winner.

Although the 2003-04 season marks the debut of the Wooden Women’s Award, the honor initially was created in 1976 to recognize the top male collegiate basketball player in the nation. Past winners include Larry Bird (’79), Michael Jordan (’84) and Tim Duncan (’97).

Junior forward Jacqueline Batteast is one of 35 players who were selected to the 2003-04 State Farm Wade Trophy Preseason Watch List on Aug. 20 by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA). Based on a vote of committee members which include leading coaches, journalists and basketball administrators, these 35 players are considered the top candidates for the State Farm Wade Trophy, which will be presented to the most outstanding female collegiate basketball player at the conclusion of the ’03-04 season.

Batteast is a two-time all-BIG EAST Conference selection who started every game for the Irish last season, leading the team in scoring (13.9 ppg.), rebounding (8.3 rpg.) and blocked shots (1.56 bpg.). She also ranked among the top 15 in the BIG EAST in those categories, as well as steals (1.97 spg.) and double-doubles (8). In addition, the 6-2 wing scored in double figures 26 times, topped the 20-point mark five times, and earned game-high rebounding honors of 14 occasions. She ranks among Notre Dame’s career leaders in scoring average (6th – 13.8 ppg.) and rebounding average (tie-2nd – 8.1 rpg.), and she is one of only five players in school history to amass at least 800 points in her first two seasons under the Golden Dome.

Batteast was one of five BIG EAST players named to the ’03-04 Wade Trophy Preseason Watch List, joining Rebekkah Brunson of Georgetown, Ieva Kublina of Virginia Tech, Cappie Pondexter of Rutgers and last year’s Wade Trophy recipient, Diana Taurasi of Connecticut.

The State Farm Wade Trophy, now in its 27th year, is named after Margaret Wade, the late Delta State University coach who won three national championship in the mid-1970s. The Wade Trophy is considered the one of the most prestigious individual awards in women’s college basketball and is organized by the WBCA and the National Association for Girls and Women in Sport (NAGWS).

Adding to her armload of preseason hardware, junior forward Jacqueline Batteast (South Bend, Ind.) was named a preseason honorable mention All-American by Street & Smith’s in the magazine’s annual basketball preview issue. It’s the third preseason honor for the talented 6-2 wing, who is a two-time all-BIG EAST Conference selection. She also was the 2001-02 United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) National Freshman of the Year and a WBCA/Kodak honorable mention All-American that season, as well as the unanimous choice for BIG EAST Rookie of the Year.

Junior forward Jacqueline Batteast and freshman forward Crystal Erwin both received preseason recognition in a vote of the BIG EAST Conference coaches that was released at the league’s annual Media Day on Oct. 30 at the Newark (N.J.) Liberty Airport Hilton. Batteast was a preseason first-team all-BIG EAST selection, while Erwin was named the Preseason BIG EAST Co-Freshman of the Year, sharing the honor with Connecticut’s Liz Sherwood.

Batteast led the Irish in scoring (13.9 ppg.), rebounding (8.3 rpg.), blocked shots (1.56 bpg.) and double-doubles (8), ranking among the BIG EAST leaders in all four categories. She is a two-time second-team all-conference selection and is one of only five players in school history to score 800 points in her first two seasons at Notre Dame.

As a senior last year at St. Paul High School in Santa Fe Springs, Calif., Erwin earned All-America honors from Parade, Street & Smith’s and the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA), and also was selected to play in the McDonald’s All-America Game in Atlanta. She averaged 22.3 points, 13.4 rebounds and 3.1 blocks per game during her storied prep career, averaging double-doubles during both her junior (24.9 ppg., 14.9 rpg.) and senior seasons (21.2 ppg., 10.2 rpg.). She holds career records at St. Paul for points (2,720), rebounds (1,630) and blocks (380), as well as the school single-season scoring mark (869 in 2001-02). She follows Batteast as the second Irish rookie in three years to be chosen the BIG EAST Preseason Freshman of the Year.

Junior forward Jacqueline Batteast is among 30 preseason candidates named to the watch list for 2003-04 Naismith College Basketball Player of the Year Awards which are presented annually by the Atanta Tip-Off Club. The Naismith Awards program, now in its 36th year, honors the outstanding male and female college basketball players in the United States. The awards program was founded by the Atlanta Tipoff Club, an organization dedicated to recognizing the achievements of student-athletes in basketball. The candidates were selected by a vote of the Board of Selectors comprised of leading basketball coaches, journalists and basketball analysts.

Batteast is a two-time all-BIG EAST Conference selection who started every game for the Irish last season, leading the team in scoring (13.9 ppg.), rebounding (8.3 rpg.) and blocked shots (1.56 bpg.). She also ranked among the top 15 in the BIG EAST in those categories, as well as steals (1.97 spg.) and double-doubles (8). In addition, the 6-2 wing scored in double figures 26 times, topped the 20-point mark five times, and earned game-high rebounding honors of 14 occasions. She ranks among Notre Dame’s career leaders in scoring average (6th – 13.8 ppg.) and rebounding average (tie-2nd – 8.1 rpg.), and she is one of only five players in school history to amass at least 800 points in her first two seasons under the Golden Dome.

The Naismith Award is the latest in a series of preseason honors for the Batteast. She was named a preseason All-American by both the John R. Wooden Women’s Award and Street & Smith’s magazine, and she also was selected to the State Farm/WBCA Wade Trophy Preseason Watch List. In addition, she was a first-team all-BIG EAST choice, according to a vote of the league’s head coaches.

Notre Dame women’s basketball coach Muffet McGraw announced Nov. 18 that three of the nation’s top high school student-athletes have chosen to continue their careers with the Irish, signing national letters of intent to attend Notre Dame beginning in the fall of 2004. Charel Allen , a 5-10 guard from Monessen, Pa., Melissa D’Amico, a 6-5 forward/center from Manorville, N.Y., and Tulyah Gaines (pronounced too-LIE-uh) , a 5-8 guard from North Las Vegas, Nev., all committed to the Irish during the early signing period, which lasted from Nov. 12-19.

Allen will arrive at Notre Dame next fall as one of the top college prospects from western Pennsylvania. She is a three-time Street & Smith’s honorable mention All-American who averaged 29.9 points, 11.4 rebounds, 7.2 steals and 4.8 assists per game last season at Monessen High School. She also is a two-time Associated Press first-team all-state pick and was named the 2003 AP Class A Player of the Year. In addition, she is a two-time all-Pittsburgh metro area selection and a ’03 AAU 16-and-under All-American. As a freshman in 2001, she was a fifth-team AP all-state choice when she averaged 23.6 points per game. In her first three seasons at MHS, Allen has piled up 2,302 points (26.2 ppg.), 995 rebounds (11.3 rpg.), 600 steals (6.8 spg.), 426 assists (4.8 apg.) and 102 blocks (1.2 bpg.). She was ranked 27th in the nation by Blue Star Index and she will be the fourth Pennsylvania native to play for the Irish (the first in 13 seasons).

At 6-5, D’Amico will be the tallest player on the Irish roster when she sets foot on the Notre Dame campus in the fall of 2004. A versatile post player, she averaged 16.8 points, 9.1 rebounds and 3.5 blocks per game last season for William Floyd High School in Mastic Beach, N.Y. (located on Long Island). She burst onto the national scene this past summer at the adidas Top Ten Camp in Suwanee, Ga., and is considered by most recruiting services to be one of the top players on the rise in this year’s class. She currently is ranked 47th in the country by All-Star Girls Report and 91st by Blue Star Index , and she follows in the footsteps of another talented New Yorker who came to Notre Dame — two-time honorable mention All-American and Mount Vernon, N.Y., product, Katryna Gaither (1993-97).

Gaines is a playmaking guard who will give the Irish solid depth in the backcourt. Last summer, she moved to North Las Vegas and is attending Cheyenne High School, where she will play for the Desert Shields this year. Gaines previously lived in Burbank, Calif., where she was a three-year starter at John Burroughs High School. She averaged 18.9 points and 5.1 assists per game last season and was a first-team all-CIF SS (Southern California) Division 2A First Team selection. In addition, she is a two-time Street & Smith’s honorable mention All-American and won a bronze medal with the West Team at the 2003 USA Basketball Youth Development Festival in Colorado Springs. Gaines averaged 6.0 points per game during the five-game tournament, which featured the top prep players from around the country. She is ranked 25th nationally by All-Game Sports, 52nd by Blue Star Index and 61st by All-Star Girls Report , and she is the second Las Vegas area resident in as many years to sign with Notre Dame — current Irish freshman guard Breona Gray graduated from Bishop Gorman High School last May.

With the addition of Allen, D’Amico and Gaines, Notre Dame has assembled the nation’s 13th-ranked recruiting class according to Blue Star Index. This marks the eighth consecutive year in which the Irish have attracted a Top 20 class, making Notre Dame one of only three schools (along with Connecticut and Tennessee) to have such a consistent run of recruiting success.

Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw tried her hand at writing during the past year and has co-authored a book with Bradley University professor Paul Gullifor entitled “Courting Success: Muffet McGraw’s Formula For Winning In Sports And In Life.” The book, which currently is in bookstores nationwide and may be purchased through on-line booksellers such as, touches on how, in the shadows of the nation’s most storied football program, McGraw has quietly built the women’s basketball program into a national power.

Women’s basketball has been one of the University’s most consistently successful varsity sport during the past 16 years, qualifying for the postseason 13 times, including 10 trips to the NCAA Tournament, five NCAA Sweet Sixteen appearances and two Final Fours berths. The team’s rise to national prominence was then cemented with a national championship in 2001. In short, the Notre Dame women’s basketball program has been steadily built into a perennial national championship contender, and its architect for those 16 years has been McGraw. Entering the 2003-04 season, the Pottsville, Pa., native has won 363 games at Notre Dame, has a stellar .725 winning percentage and was the consensus 2001 national Coach of the Year.

Personal accolades aside, McGraw has always been more concerned with off-court success than the progress of her teams. Accordingly, this book is a motivational and inspirational book in which she shares her ingredients for success — on and off the court. It provides lessons for those aspiring toward success in basketball, and in life, while illustrating why Muffet McGraw is one of college basketball’s most accomplished coaches.

Here’s a rundown of some upcoming promotions and giveaways at future Notre Dame women’s basketball games this season (additional promotions and giveaways may be added at a later date):

  • Dec. 4 vs. Wisconsin — Notre Dame player trading cards to the first 2,500 fans
  • Dec. 13 vs. Dayton — Women’s basketball window clings to the first 3,000 fans
  • Dec. 22 vs. USC — Holiday celebration; “Rubber Boy” will perform at halftime
  • Jan. 1 vs. Marquette — New Year’s Day celebration; combo magnets to the first 1,000 fans
  • Jan. 10 vs. Virginia Tech — Mini-foam basketballs to first 1,000 fans

Notre Dame heads back out on the road for the fifth time in seven games this season, taking on Washington Sunday at 1 p.m. (PT) in Seattle. Although this will mark the third time the Irish have visited the Emerald City (ND played in the Seattle Times Husky Classic in 1986 and 1994), it will be just the second time they have matched up with the Huskies. Notre Dame won its only other meeting with UW, claiming an 80-67 victory on Dec. 2, 1995, at the Kona Women’s Basketball Classic in Hawaii.

Washington is off to a 4-0 start this season, including tournament championships at the Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort Classic in Honolulu, and the Seattle Times Husky Classic. UW last played on Saturday, Nov. 29, defeating Oklahoma State, 89-65 in the title game of the Husky Classic. Reigning Pac-10 Player of the Week Giuliana Mendiola scored 30 points (10-15 FG, 4-4 3FG, 6-6 FT) and added eight rebounds and six assists for the Huskies in the victory.