Feb. 3, 2014
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - For the second time in her career, Notre Dame senior guard/tri-captain Kayla McBride (Erie, Pa./Villa Maria Academy) has earned a pair of major weekly honors, having been selected as both the espnW National Player of the Week and the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Player of the Week, it was announced Monday.
McBride was chosen as the ACC Player of the Week via a vote of the conference's Blue Ribbon Panel. She becomes the first Notre Dame women's basketball player to earn the award in the program's inaugural ACC season.
The All-America wing, who also recently was named to the 16-player watch list for the Dawn Staley Award (given to the nation's top guard), previously earned espnW and conference honors (the latter from the BIG EAST) back on Jan. 7, 2013. That same week, she was chosen as the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) Ann Meyers Drysdale National Player of the Week, an honor she is still in contention for this week (recipients are chosen from a candidate pool consisting of players of the week in all Division I conferences).
This past week, McBride averaged 20.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game with a .600 field goal percentage as Notre Dame picked up three ACC wins, including two road victories over top-10 opponents. The Fighting Irish now have won three road games against top-10 foes during the 2013-14 regular season (all within a 13-day span from Jan. 20-Feb. 2), something that had never been done in program history (dating back to 1977-78) prior to this season.
McBride began this past week's performance with an efficient 20-point outing (on 7-of-11 shooting) on Jan. 27 at No. 8/6 Maryland, punctuated her night when she sank the clinching basket with 11 seconds left, as the Fighting Irish raced to a 22-point lead, then held off a furious Terrapins' rally for the 87-83 win.
She then had a game-high 18 points in 21 minutes as Notre Dame led from the opening tip to the final horn in a 74-48 win over Virginia Tech on Jan. 30 at Purcell Pavilion.
McBride capped the week in impressive fashion on Sunday afternoon at No. 3 Duke with her first double-double of the season (fourth of her career), collecting game highs of 23 points, 11 rebounds (also a season high) and five assists while hitting her first five shots from the field (and finishing 9-of-15 for the day) as the Fighting Irish posted a wire-to-wire 88-67 victory over the Blue Devils in the program's first visit to Cameron Indoor Stadium since 1997 (and first as a member of the ACC).
For the season, McBride ranks 12th in the ACC in scoring (17.1 ppg.) and is tied for 12th in assists (3.7 apg.). She also is among the conference leaders in three-point percentage (3rd - .468), free throw percentage (6th - .823) and assist/turnover ratio (11th - 1.60) and she leads the team with eight 20-point games this year, posting career highs in all categories except free throw percentage.
No. 2 Notre Dame (21-0, 8-0 ACC) begins the second half of its inaugural ACC season at 7 p.m. (ET) Thursday when it travels to Tallahassee, Fla., to take on Florida State at the Tucker Center. The first-ever meeting between the Fighting Irish and Seminoles will be streamed live on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN mobile app, while the live Notre Dame Radio Network broadcast can be heard on Pulse FM (96.9/92.1) in South Bend or online free of charge through the official Fighting Irish athletics multimedia platform, WatchND.
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.
-- Chris Masters, Associate Athletic Media Relations Director