Jan. 7, 2013
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - For the first time in her career, Notre Dame junior guard Kayla McBride (Erie, Pa./Villa Maria Academy) has been selected as both the espnW National Player of the Week and the BIG EAST Conference Player of the Week, it was announced Monday. McBride is the second Fighting Irish women's basketball player to earn the BIG EAST award this season, following in the footsteps of senior guard/co-captain Skylar Diggins (South Bend, Ind./Washington), who was chosen on Dec. 23, and McBride is the first Notre Dame player to be recognized with a national weekly award this year.
In addition, this marks the 80th time a Fighting Irish women's basketball player has earned a BIG EAST weekly award (46 Players of the Week, 34 Freshmen of the Week), the second-most selections in conference history despite the fact Notre Dame joined the BIG EAST in 1995-96, a full 14 seasons after the league began sponsoring women's basketball (1982-83).
McBride averaged 20.0 points, 2.5 assists and 2.0 steals per game with a .531 field goal percentage as Notre Dame picked up two wins last week, including a 73-72 victory at No. 1 Connecticut on Jan. 5. McBride started her week with 19 points (on 7-of-11 shooting) and four steals in just 16 minutes of a record-setting 128-55 home win over Saint Francis (Pa.) on New Year's Eve.
Then, before a hostile sellout crowd at UConn and a CBS national television audience, McBride thrived on the biggest stage, scoring a career-high (and game-high) 21 points and adding three assists as Notre Dame defeated a top-ranked team on its home court for the first time in school history, while earning its fifth win in the last six games against Connecticut.
For the season, McBride ranks 10th in the BIG EAST in scoring (15.7 ppg.) and 15th in steals (2.0 spg.). She also would be leading the conference in free throw percentage (.955; 21-of-22), but she has not yet converted the minimum number of foul shots (2.0/game) to qualify.
Notre Dame (12-1, 1-0 BIG EAST), which moved up to No. 2 in the latest Associated Press poll released Monday, returns to action at 7 p.m. (ET) Tuesday when it takes on conference foe South Florida at the Sun Dome in Tampa, Fla. The Fighting Irish then return to Purcell Pavilion to begin a three-game homestand at 3:30 p.m. (ET) Sunday against Rutgers, with that game to be televised to a national cable audience by ESPNU.
Tickets are on sale for all Fighting Irish home games, starting at $8 for adults and $5 for youths (21 and younger)/seniors (55 and older), with slightly higher prices for adult tickets ($12) for the March 4 Connecticut game. For details or to make a purchase, call (574) 631-7356, visit the Murnane Family Athletics Ticket Office at Gate 9 of Purcell Pavilion during normal business hours (8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. ET Monday-Friday), or go on-line 24 hours a day to the official Fighting Irish athletics ticketing web site, UND.com/tickets.
For more information on the Notre Dame women's basketball program, sign up to follow the Fighting Irish women's basketball Twitter pages (@ndwbbsid or @ndwbb), like the program on Facebook (facebook.com/ndwbb) or register for the Irish ALERT text-messaging system through the "Fan Center" pulldown menu on the front page at UND.com.