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    Women's Hoops Opens BIG EAST Season Against West Virginia

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    FIGHTING IRISH

    FIGHTING IRISH

    West Virginia (5-6, 0-1) at
    No. 8/6 Notre Dame (9-2, 0-0)

    Date: Wednesday, January 5, 2000
    Place: Joyce Center (11,418)
    Time: 7:00 p.m. (EST)
    Radio: All Notre Dame games are broadcast on WJVA-AM (1580 in South Bend). Jeremy Gray provides play-by-play for games.

    TONIGHT'S GAME -- The Notre Dame women's basketball team, 9-2, will look for its sixth straight win this evening as the Irish play host to West Virginia (5-6, 0-1) in their BIG EAST season opener. Coach Muffet McGraw's squad is coming off a 75-60 victory over Marquette which marked the final non-conference test of the season. Tonight's game concludes a four-game homestand for the Irish who are 5-0 at the Joyce Center and have won 13 straight at home. Notre Dame has not lost at home since December 8, 1998. The Mountaineers enter this evening's matchup having lost three of their last four games, including a 69-57 setback to Liberty on Sunday at home.

    Notre Dame returns to action on Saturday, January 8 when the Irish travel to Georgetown for a 12:00 p.m. tipoff. The game will be shown live on WHME-TV 46 in South Bend as part of the BIG EAST Women's Game of the Week.

    Notre Dame leads the series with West Virginia 6-0 and this will be the only meeting between the two teams this season. It also is the fourth time the two schools will be squaring off at the Joyce Center.

    Notre Dame is ranked in the top 10 of both polls for the second straight week as the Irish moved up two spots in both rankings. McGraw's team is eighth in the AP and sixth in the ESPN/USA Today polls. The Irish have been ranked in the top 10 of the AP poll 22 of the past 25 weeks, including a school-record 19 consecutive weeks from November 16, 1998 thru November 29, 1999. Notre Dame has been in the top 10 of the ESPN/USA Today poll for 25 straight weeks.

    Notre Dame Probable Starting Lineup

    No. Name               Hometown        Pos.   Ht. Cl.  PPG  RPG
    32 Julie Henderson***  Ann Arbor, MI   F/C   6-3  Sr.  4.5  4.3
    00  Ruth Riley**       Macy, IN         C    6-5  Jr. 15.5  6.1
     3  Ericka Haney*      Toledo, OH      G/F   6-1  So.  8.5  4.5
    22  Alicia Ratay       Lake Zurich, IL  G   5-11  Fr. 15.5  4.9
    33  Niele Ivey**       St. Louis, MO    G    5-8  Sr. 11.8  3.5
    

    Off The Bench 11 Karen Swanson Westlake, OH G 5-7 Fr. 0.8 0.4 12 Danielle Green*** Chicago, IL G 5-8 Sr. 10.6 3.4 23 Monique Hernandez Rio Rancho, NM G 5-9 Fr. 2.6 1.3 31 Amanda Barksdale Friendswood, TX F 6-3 Fr. 0.7 0.7 41 Imani Dunbar** San Angelo, TX G 5-7 Jr. 1.4 1.8 44 Meaghan Leahy* Wilbraham, MA F 6-4 So. 3.2 3.2 50 Kelley Siemon** Edina, MN F 6-2 Jr. 5.4 3.6 * Indicates monograms won

    MARQUETTE REVIEW - Ruth Riley scored in double figures for the ninth straight game in leading Notre Dame to its fifth consecutive win. Riley finished with 18 points to lead three Irish players in double figures and also grabbed a game-high nine rebounds. Niele Ivey led all scorers in the game as she registered a season-high 19 points and dished off 12 assists for her third double-double of the season. Riley connected on nine-of-12 shots from the field. Danielle Green reached double figures for the fourth straight game as she had 15 points and five rebounds. The Irish shot under 50 percent for the second straight game as they hit just 42.6 percent from the field. Notre Dame's defense, however, limited the Golden Eagles to just 32.8 accuracy from the field and forced 18 Marquette turnovers. The Irish also owned a convincing 48-36 advantage on the boards.

    IRISH CONCLUDE NON-CONFERENCE SCHEDULE - Notre Dame played its final non-conference game of the season against Marquette on Sunday. With its 9-2, mark, the Irish are now 17-7 versus non-league foes during the regular season over the past two years.

    IRISH TOUGH AT HOME AGAINST BIG EAST FOES - Notre Dame has compiled a 34-3 (.919) record against BIG EAST opponents at the Joyce Center since joining the league in 1995-96. All three of those losses have been to Connecticut. Notre Dame was a perfect 9-0 at the Joyce Center in league action during the 1996-97 campaign.

    HELPING PUT THE BIG IN THE BIG EAST - During its four 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 59-13 record (81.9 percent) in regular season games and an 8-4 mark (66.7 percent) in BIG EAST tournament action for an overall record of 67-17 (79.8 percent) against league opponents. Of Notre Dame's 17 league losses, 10 have come against Connecticut. The Irish have lost to four other teams in the BIG EAST - Rutgers (three times), Boston College (twice), Villanova and Miami. All of the losses to those teams have come on the road.

    RILEY REACHES DOUBLE FIGURES FOR NINTH STRAIGHT GAME - After being held scoreless for the first time in her career (64 games) in the season opener against Toledo, Ruth Riley has come back to score in double figures in 10 consecutive games. She has scored 20-plus points twice this season as she netted a season-high 32 points against Liberty on December 5 which marked the third 30-point performance of her career. Riley also had 20 points in a win over Florida International at the Orange Bowl Women's Basketball Fab Four. She and freshman Alicia Ratay lead the team in scoring with 15.5 points per game. Riley has led the Irish in scoring in four games this season.

    FRESHMAN FOLLIES - Freshman guard Alicia Ratay, who along with Ruth Riley leads the Irish in scoring with 15.5 ppg., has been Notre Dame's top scorer in five games this season and in two of the last four outings. Ratay, a two-time BIG EAST rookie-of-the week honoree, had 19 points recently against USC on December 27 after scoring 17 versus Florida International on December 19. She has topped the 20-point mark twice this season, including a 32-point performance against North Carolina which marked just the second 30-point performance by an Irish rookie in the 22-year history of the program.

    IRISH CAPTURE WACHOVIA WOMEN'S INVITATIONAL - Notre Dame captured the Wachovia Women's Invitational Tournament in Richmond, Va., as the Irish beat North Carolina and Liberty in the seventh annual event. The tournament is recognized as one of the most prestigious in-season events.

    Junior center Ruth Riley was named MVP of the tournament in addition to being selected along with freshman Alicia Ratay to the all-tournament team. Riley scored 32 points (the third 30-point performance of her career) against Liberty in the championship game as she connected on 12-of-14 shots from the field and was a perfect eight-for-eight from the free throw line. In addition, she had seven rebounds and two blocked shots in 29 minutes of action. Against North Carolina, she registered 12 points, seven rebounds and four blocked shots in 28 minutes. For the tournament she averaged 22.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.0 blocked shots. Riley also was 17-of-22 (.773) from the field and a perfect 10-for-10 from the charity stripe.

    Ratay had the first 30-point performance of her career, and second-ever by a Notre Dame freshman, when she tossed in 32 points on a 12-for-15 shooting performance against North Carolina. The Irish rookie also hit six-of-eight from three-point range. In the championship tilt, she was the only other Notre Dame player in double figures as she netted 17 points, grabbed four rebounds and dished off five assists playing a season-high 36 minutes. For the tournament, she averaged 24.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.5 steals. Ratay shot 18-of-25 (.720) percent from the field and was seven-for-11 (.636) from three-point range.

    POLL WATCHING - Notre Dame is ranked eighth in the Associated Press poll and sixth in the ESPN/USA Today ranking this week. The number six ranking ties the all-time high for Irish in the regular season. Notre Dame has been ranked in the top 10 of the AP poll 22 of the last 25 weeks over the past two seasons. The Irish slipped out of the top 10 (after a school-record 19 consecutive weeks there) on November 29, 1999, prior to that, Notre Dame had held a spot in the top 10 of every poll dating back to November 16, 1998. Coach Muffet McGraw's squad has now been ranked 25 consecutive weeks in the top 10 of the ESPN/USA Today ranking. Notre Dame has earned a top 25 ranking for a school-record 28 consecutive weeks, breaking the old mark of 24 weeks set from February 5, 1996 thru March 10, 1997.

    HEAD COACH MUFFET McGRAW - Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw is in her 13th season with the Irish and 17th as a collegiate coach. She has guided Notre Dame to four straight NCAA tournament appearances and six 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 12-plus seasons at Notre Dame, she has a record of 270-112 (.707), and in 17-plus campaigns overall, her teams have registered a 358-153 (.701) 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. Last season, McGraw, after guiding the Irish to their sixth consecutive 20-win season, was named as a finalist for the Naismith Women's Basketball and Associated Press coach-of-the-year awards.

    PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER MAGAZINE TO FOLLOW IRISH ALL SEASON - Annette John-Hall, a feature writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer will be following head coach Muffet McGraw, a native of Pottsville, Pa., and the Irish all season long and feature them in the magazine section of that publication. She will file stories throughout the season on McGraw and her squad. Hall has already written three features thus far with the fourth installment scheduled for sometime in January.

    IRISH GET 200TH WIN AT JOYCE CENTER - Notre Dame earned its 200th win at the Joyce Center a week ago against Valparaiso. Since its inaugural season in 1977-78, the Irish own a 201-65 mark for a .756 winning percentage. Notre Dame has won 13 straight at home, a streak that started last season. The last time the Irish lost at home was on December 8, 1998. The school record for consecutive home victories is 15.

    HOME SWEET HOME - Since its inaugural season in 1977-78, Notre Dame has played all of its games at the Joyce Center. The Irish own a 201-65 mark for a .756 winning percentage since that first season. Currently, the Irish are 5-0 at home and have won 13 straight home games dating back to the 1998-99 campaign. Last season, Notre Dame won a school-record 12 games at home en route to a 12-1 home mark. During the last four-plus seasons, Coach Muffet McGraw's squad is 51-4 (.927).

    SERIES RECORD VERSUS WEST VIRGINIA - Notre Dame has been victorious over the Mountaineers all six times the two schools have played each other. The Irish are 3-0 against West Virginia at the Joyce Center. The last time the two squads played at Notre Dame (on January 7, 1999), the two teams combined for 201 points as the Irish earned a 111-90 victory. It was the most points ever scored by a Notre Dame team at the Joyce Center.

    IRISH LOOK TO REGAIN SHOOTING TOUCH - Despite hitting 49.5 percent of its shots from the field this season, the Irish have struggled with their field goal shooting percentage in the last two games as they have shot under 43 percent. In the last two games against Valparaiso and Marquette, Notre Dame shot 42.7 percent from the field as they have connected on 59 of 138 field goal attempts.

    RILEY REACHES 1,000-POINT - Junior center Ruth Riley became the 15th player in Notre Dame women's basketball history to reach the 1,000-point plateau this season. Riley reached the mark in the first half of Notre Dame's win over Florida International on December 19. The 6-5 Macy, Ind., native has 1,052 career points in 74 career games for a 14.2 career scoring average. Currently, Riley is 13th on the Irish career scoring list.

    IRONWOMEN - Against Marquette, Ruth Riley made her 68th consecutive start in an Irish uniform. The Irish junior has played in all 74 games throughout her career. Her first career start came seven games into her freshman season during the 1997-98 campaign and was against Wisconsin on the road in Madison, Wis., on December 8, 1997.

    "I" GETS THE ASSIST - Junior guard Imani Dunbar, who has been a part-time starter for the Irish this season with five starts in 11 games, dished off a career-high eight assists against USC on December 27 in playing a personal best 23 minutes. Dunbar is second on the team in assists with 36 for a 3.3 assists-per-game-average. She has dished off five or more assists in three games.

    GREEN PROVIDES A SPARK OFF BENCH - Senior guard Danielle Green has been a spark for the Irish off the bench as she has scored in double figures in her last four outings. Green had 15 points and five rebounds in Notre Dame's win over Marquette on Sunday. The 15 points were one shy of the season-high 16 she scored in the season opener at Toledo. Green has scored in double figures in five of the eight games she has played and is averaging 10.6 points per game. Her lone start of the campaign was in the second game of the season versus Illinois.

    RILEY NEARLY PERFECT FROM THE LINE - Ruth Riley has missed just four times and is 28-32 from the line (.875). Heading into the game against Purdue on December 8, Riley had made all 12 of her free throw attempts on the season. She hit her first three attempts in the contest, but missed for the first time on her 16th attempt. Riley was a perfect eight-for-eight from the line against Liberty in the championship game of the Wachovia Women's Basketball Invitational and was seven-for-seven from the charity stripe against Valparaiso.

    DOUBLE DIPPER - Guard Niele Ivey had her third double-double of the season when she scored a season-high 19 points and dished off 12 assists in Notre Dame wins over Marquette on Sunday. It marked the seventh double-double of her career and the seventh time in which she has dished off 10 or more assists in a game. Her other double-doubles this season have come against North Carolina (17 points, 13 assists) and Michigan State (14 points, 11 assists). Ivey leads the team in assists with 74 for a 6.73 average.

    IVEY SHINES AGAINST VALPARAISO - Guard Niele Ivey had one of her best games of the season against Valparaiso as she scored 13 points, dished off eight assists and tied her personal best with seven steals in the game. In 29 minutes of action, Ivey had just one turnover in the game. She is averaging 3.40 turnovers per game.

    RILEY NOTCHES THIRD 30-POINT PERFORMANCE - Ruth Riley's 32-point performance in the championship game of the Wachovia Women's Invitational marked the third time in her career that she scored better than 30 points in a game. Riley had two 30-plus efforts last season, both against Providence College, as she scored 36 and a school-record 41.

    A ROOKIE RARITY - Alicia Ratay's 32-point performance against North Carolina was the first 30-point outing of her brief career and marked just the second time an Irish freshman has scored better than 30 points in a game. The only other Notre Dame rookie to record a 30-point performance was Michelle Marciniak as she scored 33 versus Georgia in a 90-86 loss on December 8, 1991.

    RILEY NAMED FINALIST FOR NAISMITH PLAYER OF THE YEAR - On everyone's preseason All-America teams, Ruth Riley, a third-team Associated Press All-America selection in 1999, is one of 10 finalists for the 1999-2000 Naismith Women's Basketball Player of the Year Award which is presented by the Atlanta Tip-off Club. Riley and the nine other candidates were selected by a vote of the Board of Selectors comprised of leading college basketball coaches, journalists and basketball analysts. She is the first Notre Dame women's basketball player to be named a finalist for the award, which was first presented in 1983. The nine other finalists include: Svetlana Abrosimova (Connecticut), Edwina Brown (Texas), Tamika Catchings (Tennessee), Tamicha Jackson (Louisiana Tech), Maylana Martin (UCLA), Kelly Miller (Georgia), Lynn Pride (Kansas), Semeka Randall (Tennessee) and Nikki Teasley (North Carolina).

    RILEY RECORDS 500 REBOUNDS - Ruth Riley grabbed her 500th career rebound against Butler on December 1 and is 10th on the all-time career rebounding list with 560 boards. In 74 career games, Riley has a 7.6 rebounding average.

    NON-CONFERENCE LOSSES A RARITY - Notre Dame's loss to Purdue marked just the second loss the Irish had suffered to a non-conference opponent during the regular season in two seasons. The Irish were a perfect 8-0 against non-conference foes during the 1998-99 regular season. When Notre Dame lost to Illinois on November 27, it marked the first regular season loss to a non-conference opponent in 12 games. Heading into its matchup with the Illini, Notre Dame's last non-conference regular-season loss was to Wisconsin (89-77) on December 8, 1997.

    NOTRE DAME TO TAKE ON 10 NCAA TOURNAMENT FOES THIS SEASON - The 1999-2000 Notre Dame women's basketball slate features 10 teams which last season participated in the 64-team 1999 NCAA tournament field. Notre Dame has already played Toledo, Illinois, North Carolina, Liberty, Purdue and Florida International with four other tourney teams on the slate: Boston College (Feb. 5), Connecticut (Feb. 26), Marquette (Jan. 2), Rutgers (Feb. 19).

    BIG EAST DEBUTS 16-GAME SLATE - The BIG EAST Conference will begin its 16-game league schedule this season. That's a change from the 18-game format which had been in existence since the league expanded to 13 teams in 1995-96. In 1999-2000, Notre Dame will play Georgetown, Pittsburgh, Miami and St. John's twice and has single games against West Virginia, Seton Hall, Syracuse, Providence, Villanova, Rutgers and Connecticut.

    RATAY NETS 18 IN DEBUT - Freshman guard Alicia Ratay, a first-team Parade High School All-American, scored 18 points in her collegiate debut. It was the most by an Irish rookie in her first college game since Michelle Marciniak scored 16 points in an 86-70 loss to Penn State on November 22, 1991. Ratay's five field goals were all from three-point range as she hit five-of-eight field goals from beyond the arc.

    RILEY HELPS USA WOMEN'S BASKETBALL CAPTURE SILVER MEDAL - Ruth Riley was one of 12 players selected to the 1999 World University Games Team. She and 1999 graduate Sheila McMillen (now an assistant coach at Western Michigan) were among the 44 players invited to Colorado Springs, Colo., for the five-day tryout. The team, coached by Penn State's Rene Portland, took home the silver medal after posting a 4-2 mark in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, site of the basketball competition. Riley appeared in all nine games with the USA and started five of those contests and was the team's third-leading scorer and second-leading rebounder as she averaged 9.3 points and 5.2 rebounds, with a .630 field-goal percentage. At a tournament in Madrid Spain prior to the start of the World University Games, the USA Women's Basketball squad posted a 3-0 mark and captured first-place. During those three games, she averaged 7.3 points and 5.3 rebounds. This was Riley's second stint with the USA Women's basketball program. In the summer of 1998, she was a member of the USA Women's Basketball Select Team.

    SIEMON TOURS WITH BIG EAST TEAM - Junior Kelley Siemon averaged 6.6 points and 4.6 rebounds in helping the BIG EAST/Nike Women's Basketball All-Stars to a 4-1 record in a '99 summer tour of Belgium and Germany. Siemon scored 14 points in the win over Aalst (Division) and had seven points and eight rebounds in a win over the Belgian Junior National Team. The team was coached by Boston College's Cathy Inglese.

    THERE'S A NEW KID ON THE BLOCK - Coquese Washington, who played for Notre Dame from 1989-93, has joined head coach Muffet McGraw's coaching staff this season as an assistant coach. She replaces Letitia Bowen who has become the administrative assistant to the women's basketball program while attending graduate school. Washington, the Notre Dame record holder for steals (307) and steals average (2.7), has played professionally the last three years. During the summers of 1998 and 1999, she has been a member of the Women's National Basketball Association's (WNBA) New York Liberty. This past season, her Liberty advanced to the finals of the WNBA Championship. The 5-6 guard, who led the Irish in steals all four seasons she was at Notre Dame, spent the 1996-97 season on the roster of the Portland Power franchise of the now defunct American Basketball League (ABL).

    IRISH SIGN TWO - Notre Dame signed two players listed among the top 40 prep players in the country during the early signing period. Jeneka Joyce, a 5-9 shooting guard from Topeka, Kan., and Le'Tania Severe, a 5-9 point guard from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., were rated 26th and 40th, respectively, by Blue Star Basketball.

    PRESEASON HONORS FOR RILEY - The name Ruth Riley appears on preseason All-America teams of several publications. Notre Dame also is ranked in the polls of every preseason publication.

    Street & Smith's: Ruth Riley - High Honorable, Notre Dame Mention, Notre Dame - 7th
    Athlon College Basketball: Notre Dame - 8th
    Basketball News: Notre Dame - 8th
    Women's Basketball News Service: Ruth Riley - Second Team, Alicia Ratay - All-Freshman Third Team, Notre Dame - 9th
    Women's Basketball Journal: Ruth Riley - Second Team, Notre Dame - 25th

    QUICK PLAYER BIOS:
    Amanda Barksdale has seen action in all 11 contests... she scored her first career points against Michigan State when she made two of her three field goal attempts for four points... had two points and a career-high three rebounds against Valparaiso... has 11 blocked shots on the season.

    Imani Dunbar earned starts against Butler, North Carolina, Liberty, Purdue and Marquette... earned first career start versus the Bulldogs... played a career-high 23 minutes against USC and registered personal bests of eight assists, five rebounds and three steals... second on the team in assists with 31.

    Danielle Green has scored in double figures in Notre Dame's last four games... has been a spark for the Irish off the bench... scored a season-high 16 points and grabbed seven rebounds coming off the bench in the season opener at Toledo... netted 15 points and grabbed five rebounds versus Marquette... has made one start (versus Illinois) in the six games she has played... grabbed a season-high eight rebounds against Valparaiso... missed three games (Butler, North Carolina and Liberty) due to a disciplinary suspension... averaging 10.6 points and 3.5 rebounds.

    Ericka Haney has started seven games this season and has played in all 11 contests... first career start came against Toledo in the season opener... has scored in double figures in five games... recorded first career double-double with personal bests of 18 points and 14 rebounds against North Carolina... tallied a season-high 11 points against Butler and also added five rebounds and three assists in the game... grabbed six rebounds in the Valparaiso game... scored 10 points in her first collegiate start in the season opener at Toledo... averaging 8.5 points and 4.5 rebounds.

    Julie Henderson has been in the Irish starting lineup in eight of Notre Dame's last nine games... has started all but three games this season after coming off the bench in the first two contests of the season... has had season-highs of six points in four games this season versus North Carolina, Liberty, Michigan State and USC... grabbed a season-high eight rebounds against Purdue, one shy of her career best? had four rebounds against the Tar Heels, five versus Florida International and six versus the Spartans and Women of Troy... grabbed five rebounds versus Valparaiso... averaging 4.5 points and 4.3 rebounds.

    Monique Hernandez played in the first seven games of the season and has seen action in 10 contests... had career bests of five points, four rebounds and two assists against Valparaiso... played a season-high 15 minutes in both the Butler and North Carolina contests... scored four points and grabbed four rebounds against Butler... also netted four points in win over Marquette.

    Niele Ivey started the first 10 games of the season, but was not in the starting lineup against Marquette... is averaging 11.8 points, 3.5 rebounds and 6.7 assists... has registered three double-doubles, most recent was against Marquette as she netted a season-high 19 points and dished off 12 assists (the seventh double-double of her career)... had first double-double of the season against North Carolina as she scored a then season-high 17 points and dished off a career-best 13 assists versus North Carolina in the Wachovia Women's Invitational Tournament... the 13 assists in the game also marked a tournament record... has scored in double figures in five games this season... had 14 points and 11 assists in win over Michigan State... had solid all-around game against Valparaiso as she scored 13 points, dished off eight assists and made seven steals, tying her career-high, while playing 29 minutes and committing just one turnover.

    Meaghan Leahy has come off the bench for the Irish in all 11 games... averaging 3.2 points and 3.2 rebounds... had a career-high nine points and tied her personal best with nine rebounds while playing 24 minutes (also a career-high) against Butler... scored seven points and grabbed seven rebounds in 18 minutes of action against Illinois... grabbed five rebounds against Michigan State and dished off a career-high four assists.

    Alicia Ratay shares team scoring honors with Ruth Riley as she is averaging 15.5 points per game... also averaging 4.9 rebounds... named game MVP at the Orange Bowl Women's Basketball Four Four against Florida International... scored 27 points, grabbed five rebounds and made five steals (personal best) in the contest while playing a season-high 39 minutes against the Panthers... turned in only the second 30-point performance by an Irish rookie when she scored 32 points against North Carolina... has scored in double figures in seven games and has been the team's leading scorer in five contests... in her collegiate debut, scored a game-high 18 points and grabbed seven rebounds in 33 minutes of action... it was the most points by an Irish rookie in a season opener since 1991... tallied 16 points and dished off seven assists against Butler... scored 19 points against USC as she hit six-of-10 shots from the field (4-5 from three-point range)... has twice earned BIG EAST Rookie of the Week for the week of December 6 and was selected to the all-tournament team at the Wachovia Women's Invitational Tournament... has had a career-high seven rebounds in three games (Toledo, Butler and Marquette).

    Ruth Riley has been in double figures scoring in 10 of 11 games... was plagued by foul trouble in the first two games of the season and played only 28 minutes in those outings... had the third 30-plus outing of her career when she scored 32 points against Liberty in the championship game of the Wachovia Women's Basketball Invitational... along with Alicia Ratay, leads the team in scoring as she is averaging 15.5 points... tops the rebounding shares with 67 (6.1 per game)... scored her 1,000th career point against Florida International and finished with 20 for the game on nine-for-11 shooting from the field... grabbed her 500th rebound against Butler... had a season-high nine rebounds against Florida International... hauled in eight rebounds versus Purdue... blocked a season-high seven shots versus Butler... was the only player in double figures against Illinois with 16 points in 18 minutes of action... played only 10 minutes in the season opener at Toledo because of foul trouble... held scoreless in the contest for the first time in 64 career games... scored 18 points and blocked six shots versus Michigan State... had 15 points and eight rebounds against Valparaiso... scored 18 points and tied her season-high with nine rebounds against Marquette... one of just two players who has started all 11 games.

    Kelley Siemon has come off the bench in nine of Notre Dame's last 10 games... started the season opener at Toledo and in the team's most recent outing versus Marquette... scored four points and grabbed four rebounds in the game... scored a season-high 12 points and grabbed five rebounds against North Carolina... had a season-high seven rebounds against Toledo... has fouled out in two games... averaging 5.4 points and 3.6 rebounds.

    Karen Swanson is a walk-on freshman who has played in seven games... tallied her first career basket against USC... registered her first career three-pointer against Vaparaiso.

    NOTRE DAME POLL WATCHING
    (Week By Week)

    Date       AP   ESPN/USA Today    
    Preseason  8         9   
    Nov. 15    7         9
    Nov. 22    6         6
    Nov. 29   11         8
    Dec. 6     7         6
    Dec. 13   11         7
    Dec. 20   12         8
    Dec. 27   10         8
    Jan. 3     8         6

    Series Record
    Notre Dame leads 6-0
    Home: 3-0     Away: 3-0   Neutral: 0-0
    

    Date Site Score 2-26-96 Morgantown, WV W 73-55 1-9-97 Notre Dame, IN W 103-58 2-25-97 Morgantown, WV W 80-67 1-14-98 Notre Dame, IN W 86-78 1-8-99 Notre Dame, IN W 111-90 2-20-99 Morgantown, WV W 89-54

    Series Scoring Total Average Notre Dame 542 90.3 West Virginia 402 67.0

    Current Win Streak: Notre Dame, 6 games McGraw vs. West Virginia: 6-0 ND Biggest Win: 45 (103-58 on 1-9-97) WVU Biggest Win: 0 ND Longest Win Streak: 6 (1996-99) WVU Longest Win Streak: 0 1999-2000 BIG EAST Coaches' Preseason Poll 1. Connecticut (10) 142 2. Rutgers (3) 135 3. NOTRE DAME 121 4. Boston College 112 5. Georgetown 90 6. Villanova 86 7. Miami 79 8. Syracuse 59 9. St. John's 46 10. Pittsburgh 44 11. Seton Hall 39 12. Providence 38 13. West Virginia 23

    Preseason All-BIG EAST First Team: Svetlana Abrosimova (Connecticut), Tasha Pointer (Rutgers), Shea Ralph (Connecticut), Ruth Riley (Notre Dame), Shawnetta Stewart (Rutgers)

    Preseason All-BIG EAST Second Team: Niele Ivey (Notre Dame), Alissa Murphy (Boston College), Katie Smrcka-Duffy (Georgetown), Tammy Sutton-Brown (Rutgers), Tamika Williams (Connecticut)

    BIG EAST Preseason Player of the Year: Svetlana Abrosimova (Connecticut)

    BIG EAST Preseason Rookie of the Year: Kennitra Johnson (Connecticut)

    1999-2000 BIG EAST STANDINGS
    (through games of Jan. 4)
                         BIG EAST    Overall
          Connecticut      2-0        11-0
          Providence       2-0         7-4
          Rutgers          1-0         8-2
          Boston College   1-0        12-3
          Georgetown       1-1         7-5
          NOTRE DAME       0-0         9-2
          Miami            0-0         6-4
          Pittsburgh       0-1         9-3
          Syracuse         0-1         7-5
          Seton Hall       0-1         6-5
          Villanova        0-1         6-5
          St. John's       0-1         5-6
          West Virginia    0-1         5-6

    1999-2000 BIG EAST WEEKLY AWARDS
    Player of the Week:
    Nov. 22   Becky Gottstein (BC)
              Jen Gombotz (PC)
    Nov. 29   Shea Ralph (UC)
    Dec. 6    Ruth Riley (ND)
              Swin Cash (UC)
    Dec. 13   Becky Gottstein (BC)
              Katie Smrcka-Duffy (GU)
    Dec. 20   Cal Bouchard (BC)
              Shawnetta Stewart (RU)
    Dec. 27   Shanetta Stewart (RU)
              Svetlana Abrosimova (UC)
    Jan. 3    Becky Gottstein (BC)
              Monika Roberts (PC)
    

    Rookie of the Week: Nov. 22 Amanda Papuga (UM) Nov. 29 Shannon Perry (SU) Trish Juhline (VU) Dec. 6 Alicia Ratay (ND) Dec. 13 Santia Jackson (GU) Dec. 20 Alicia Ratay (ND) Dec. 27 Kennitra Johnson (UC) Jan. 3 Mandy Wittenmyer (UP)


     

     

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