Notre Dame faces former BIG EAST rival for fourth consecutive year at Final Four, and fifth overall (8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN/WatchESPN; listen on Michiana's Pulse FM or nationwide on Westwood One/NCAA Radio Network).
Notre Dame takes on a conference opponent in national semifinals for the fifth time in six Final Four appearances (6:30 p.m. ET on ESPN/WatchESPN; listen locally on Pulse FM in South Bend or nationally on Westwood One/NCAA Radio Network).
No. 2 Notre Dame at No. 8 Maryland photos by USA TODAY Sports
2012: BIG EAST Freshman of the Week (Jan. 2).
OVERVIEW: Nicknamed "Keesh" ... strong, athletic post player ... well-schooled in fundamentals and moves fluidly around the basket ... has nose for the glass and good understanding of positioning in the lane at both ends of the court ... brings an added level of physicality that benefits the Fighting Irish in numerous ways ... not fazed by pressure situations ... expected to serve as one of veteran leaders among young Notre Dame post group this season.
2013 EUROPEAN TOUR: Played in all three games (starting once) while logging 6.3 points and 4.7 rebounds per game ... registered nine points and six rebounds in first of two wins over French All-Star Team.
SOPHOMORE SEASON (2012-13): Played in 36 games (starting once), averaging career higs of 4.3 points and 4.2 rebounds per game with one double-double ... scored in double figures three times ... had six points and seven rebounds (six at offensive end) in Carrier Classic win vs. No. 19/21 Ohio State ...earned first career start for home opener against UMass and responded with nine points and career-high four assists ... rang up (then) season-high 11 points (5-6 FG) and grabbed four rebounds in win over Mercer ...registered first double-double of year (second of career) vs. Utah State with 14 points and career high-tying 11 rebounds ...tallied seven points and career-high 14 rebounds (eight offensive) in 21 minutes against Alabama A&M ... dropped in season-high 20 points (7-14 FG, career-high 6-6 FT) and eight rebounds against Saint Francis (Pa.) ... scored four points, grabbed three rebounds and tied career high with four assists in 17 minutes against St. John's... had four points and four rebounds at Pittsburgh ... tied career high with four assists against Providence, while adding two points and five rebounds ...played significant minutes at No. 9 Tennessee in place of foul-plagued Natalie Achonwa, grabbing eight boards and dishing out three assists ...had impressive 20 minutes against Cincinnati, scoring six points (3-4 FG) and snaring nine rebounds (six offensive) ...scored seven points (3-3 FG) and grabbed three rebounds at Seton Hall ...had four points, three rebounds (all offensive) and two steals at Marquette ...contributed three points and five rebounds in 11 minutes at DePaul ... helped fuel comeback win over No. 22/20 Syracuse, playing majority of first half (in place of Natalie Achonwa who was in foul trouble); had two points (buzzer-beating basket to end first half), four rebounds and two steals in nine minutes ...had another strong effort at Providence with five points (2-3 FG) and seven rebounds in 17 minutes ...offered two points and four rebounds in 15 minutes of triple-overtime win against No. 3 Connecticut ...scored nine points (2-2 FG, 5-6 FT) and grabbed four rebounds in BIG EAST semifinal win over No. 16/15 Louisville ...played critical role in BIG EAST Championship title-game win at No. 3 Connecticut, tying season high with 27 minutes and adding four points, four rebounds and two assists (came on when Natalie Achonwa was in foul trouble for the majority of the game and helped ND to first BIG EAST postseason crown) ...in homecoming to state of Iowa, had four points, two rebounds and two assists in NCAA Championship first-round win over Tennessee-Martin ...turned in solid all-around effort in NCAA Sweet 16 win over Kansas with six points, five rebounds, two assists and two steals in 22 minutes ... collected six points, three rebounds and two steals in NCAA Women's Final Four semifinal game against No. 3 Connecticut.
FRESHMAN SEASON (2011-12): Played in 36 games, averaging 3.3 points and 2.1 rebounds per night with a .482 field goal percentage ... debuted with 12 points (5-10 FG) and seven rebounds against Akron ... first career double-double came against Indiana State with 14 points (6-9 FG) and season-high 11 rebounds while adding two blocks ... snared game-high eight rebounds in Junkanoo Jam win over USC ... sank 5-6 FT against Penn ... blocked two shots during a home rout of Marquette ... scored eight points and pulled down four rebounds vs. Longwood ... scored a career-high (and game-best) 24 points on 10-of-12 shooting and collected four rebounds in 20 minutes of action at Mercer ... named BIG EAST Freshman of the Week (Jan. 2) after averaging 16.0 points and 4.0 rebounds with a .542 FG% in two games that week ... went 5-for-6 at the foul line during a road win over Seton Hall ... six points and seven rebounds at Cincinnati ... tallied 11 points and season highs of three steals and two assists in win over Pittsburgh ... had first postseason stats with basket, rebound and blocked shot in BIG EAST semifinal win over No. 25 West Virginia ... tallied the first points of her NCAA Championship career by registering three points in a Sweet 16 victory over No. 21/25 St. Bonaventure ... played 19 minutes in NCAA national championship game against No. 1 Baylor, scoring two points and pulling in two rebounds.
HIGH SCHOOL: Graduated from East High School in Des Moines, Iowa, where she was coached by Sam Powell ... helped East to combined record of 87-10 (.897) during her career ... career per-game statistical averages of 12.7 points and 7.4 rebounds with .533 field goal percentage ... scored 1,193 points and grabbed 697 rebounds as a prep standout ... helped pace the Scarlets to Iowa Class 4A state title in 2011 following state runner-up finish in 2010 ... East posted 71-4 (.947) record during her final three seasons, when she averaged 13.7 points and 8.2 rebounds per game ... team also won two regional titles (2010, 2011) and four Central Iowa Metropolitan League (CIML) Metro Conference championships (2008-11) ... as a senior in 2010-11, paced East to perfect 26-0 record and Iowa Class 4A championship (second in school history and first since 1979 during 6-on-6 player era) ... in final prep season, averaged 16.3 ppg. and 9.1 rpg., with .553 field goal percentage and .794 free throw percentage ... had balanced team-leading performance (16 points, eight rebounds, four steals) in 52-40 win over Iowa City West in 4A state title game ... in final three games of state tournament, averaged 21.7 points, 10.3 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game with .634 field goal percentage ... team was ranked 47th in final MaxPreps national rankings and was one of 10 schools in country to be recognized on MaxPreps' Tour of Champions (another was Montini Catholic High School in Lombard, Ill., a squad led by Notre Dame classmate Whitney Holloway) ... as a junior in 2009-10, helped East to a 25-1 record as team rolled to brink of state title before 38-35 loss to Linn-Mar in 4A championship game; finished season ranked fourth in the state ... averaged 12.8 ppg. and 8.5 rpg., while shooting .492 from the floor and .754 from the free throw line ... as sophomore in 2008-09, helped team to a 20-3 record while averaging 11.9 ppg. and 6.9 rpg. with .559 field goal percentage and .742 free throw percentage ... as freshman in 2007-08, contributed to team's 16-6 record, averaging 8.6 ppg. and 4.2 rpg. with .522 field goal percentage and .789 free throw percentage in 19 games ... found great success on the AAU circuit, playing for All Iowa Attack and coach Dickson Jensen ... program posted 120-10 (.923) record in her final three seasons ... averaged 12.0 ppg., 11.0 rpg., 3.0 bpg., in AAU play.
AWARDS/HONORS: Sporting News preseason honorable mention All-American (2010-11) ... three-time all-state selection by three different outlets (coaches, media and hybrid by Des Moines Register: first/second team - 2009 and 2010; consensus first team - 2011) ... captain of Iowa Class 4A All-Tournament Team and overall Most Valuable Player of the entire four-class Iowa girls' basketball state championship (2011) ... four-time first-team all-metro pick (2008-11) ... four-time all-district choice (2008-11) ... three-time all-conference selection (2009, 2010, 2011) ... ranked 51st by All-Star Girls Report (eighth among centers) ... ranked 53rd by Blue Star Basketball ... ranked 77th by Collegiate Girls Basketball Report (12th among power forwards).
PERSONAL DATA: First name is pronounced marr-KEE-shuh ... daughter of Nichole and Mark Wright ... has two brothers, Joseph Martin and Mark Wright, Jr. ... third Iowa resident to join the Notre Dame women's basketball program, and the first in two decades since the Liebscher sisters -- Sheila (1979-81) and Sara (1987-91) -- from Davenport, Iowa, played for the Fighting Irish; Sara Liebscher currently is a director of regional development at Notre Dame ... earned high school nickname of "Mom" for her maternal instincts while looking out for her teammates ... first cousin in former eight-time Major League Baseball All-Star slugger Darryl Strawberry, who played for 16 seasons with the New York Mets, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants and New York Yankees, winning four World Series titles, two National League Silver Slugger awards and the 1983 National League Rookie of the Year award ... second cousin is D.J. Strawberry, son of Darryl, and a standout basketball player at the University of Maryland from 2004-07 before being selected in the second round of the 2007 NBA Draft by the Phoenix Suns (he currently played professionally overseas) ... currently enrolled in Notre Dame's College of Arts and Letters ... among trio of Fighting Irish women's basketball players participating in 2013-14 Rosenthal Leadership Academy at Notre Dame (along with classmate Whitney Holloway and senior Kayla McBride) ... some other Fighting Irish players who have worn No. 34 include Crystal Erwin, Jane Politiski and Majenica Rupe.