Feb. 15, 2000
NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- This is the first of two consecutive road games for the Notre Dame women's team, who currently own the nation's longest winning streak having with a school-record 17 straight victories, visits Villanova this evening for the first and only meeting between the two teams this season. The Irish (21-2, 12-0) will play three of their final four remaining regular season contests on the road. Villanova enters this evening's matchup having won four of its last five, including Saturday's 60-59 victory over 18th-ranked Boston College.
Coach Muffet McGraw's squad is coming off a 94-51 decision over St. John's on Saturday night, its largest margin of victory (43 points) this season. The Irish have not lost since dropping a 71-61 decision on December 8 at Purdue. The 51 points scored by the Red Storm marked the ninth time in 10 games that Notre Dame held an opponent to under 60 points. The win also marked the 20th consecutive win at the Joyce Center. The Irish have not lost at the Joyce Center since dropping a 106-81 decision on December 8, 1998 to Connecticut.
This is the seventh consecutive 20-win season for the Irish. Notre Dame reached that mark against Pittsburgh last Tuesday night (February 9) in the 22nd game of the season. It marked the second straight year the Irish reached the 20-win plateau in its 22nd game. It is, however, the earliest a Notre Dame team has reached the 20-win mark in the program's history. A year ago, McGraw's team earned its 20th win of the season at Villanova on February 10, 1999.
Tonight's game is a homecoming for McGraw, a native of Pottsville, Pa. Notre Dame leads the series 9-3 and has won four straight over the Wildcats. The Irish are 3-3- in games played at Villanova. Notre Dame's last loss to Villanova was a 70-54 decision at the The Pavilion on January 28, 1998.
For the fifth consecutive week, the Irish are fifth in the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today rankings, which marks all-time highs in both polls during the regular season.
In its last nine outings, Notre Dame has given up just 56.9 points per game and have held opponents to 60 points and under in eight of those games.
Notre Dame has been ranked in the top 10 of the AP poll 28 of the past 31 weeks, including a school-record 19 consecutive weeks from November 16, 1998 thru November 29, 1999. The Irish have been in the top 10 of the ESPN/USA Today poll for 31 straight weeks.
Villanova (14-8, 7-4) at
No. 5/5 Notre Dame (21-2, 12-0)
Date: Wednesday, February 16, 2000
Place: The Pavilion (6,500)
Time: 7:30 p.m. (EST)
Radio: All Notre Dame games are broadcast on WJVA (1580 AM in South Bend). Jeremy Gray provides play-by-play for games.
Notre Dame Probable Starting Lineup
|32||Julie Henderson***||Ann Arbor, MI||F/C||6-3||Sr.||4.4||4.2|
|00||Ruth Riley**||Macy, IN||C||6-5||Jr.||15.3||6.6|
|12||Danielle Green***||Chicago, IL||G||5-8||Sr.||12.1||3.8|
|22||Alicia Ratay||Lake Zurich, IL||G||5-11||Fr.||15.1||5.1|
|33||Niele Ivey**||St. Louis, MO||G||5-8||Sr.||10.9||3.7|
Off The Bench
|3||Ericka Haney||Toledo, OH||G/F||6-1||So.||6.6||3.9|
|11||Karen Swanson||Westlake, OH||G||5-7||Fr.||0.8||0.4|
|23||Monique Hernandez||Rio Rancho, NM||G||5-9||Fr.||2.6||1.0|
|31||Amanda Barksdale||Friendswood, TX||F||6-3||Fr.||1.2||1.4|
|41||Imani Dunbar**||San Angelo, TX||G||5-7||Jr.||1.0||1.6|
|44||Meaghan Leahy*||Wilbraham, MA||F||6-4||So.||2.7||2.6|
|50||Kelley Siemon**||Edina, MN||F||6-2||Jr.||7.2||5.0|
* - Indicates monograms won
Notre Dame leads 9-3
|Home: 4-0||Away: 3-3||Neutral: 2-0|
|2-11-84||Notre Dame, IN||W||85-79|
|2-14-96||Notre Dame, IN||W||72-56|
|2-19-97||Notre Dame, IN||W||68-51|
|12-12-98||Notre Dame, IN||W||63-62|
*BIG EAST Tournament
Current Win Streak: Notre Dame, 4 games
McGraw vs. Villanova: 7-2
ND Biggest Win: 30 (83-53 on 2-28-99)
VU Biggest Win: 16 (54-70 on 1-28-98)
ND Longest Win Streak: 4 (1998-99)
VU Longest Win Streak: twice
ST. JOHN'S REVIEW - Alicia Ratay had her fifth 20-point outing of the season as she scored a game-high 28 points to lead three Irish players in double figures in the 94-51 victory. The 43-point margin of victory was the largest of the season and marked the third 90-plus point contest for the Irish. Ratay hit a career-high six three-pointers in the game as she finished nine-of-.14 from the field, including six-of-nine from three-point range. In addition, the Irish rookie recorded her first career double-double as she grabbed a personal best 12 rebounds. Ruth Riley scored in double figures for the 19th time this season as her seven-for-eight performance from the field contributed to her 19 points. Niele Ivey had 12 points and dished off seven assists. Norre Dame shot 51.7 percent from the field, while holding the Red Storm to just 23.1 percent accuracy (the lowest by any Irish opponent this season).... and forcing 28 turnovers.
1999-2000 BIG EAST STANDINGS
(through games of Feb. 14)
1999-2000 BIG EAST WEEKLY AWARDSPlayer 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)|
|Jan. 10||Sue Bird (UC)|
|Jan. 17||Jenea Skeeters (VU)|
|Niele Ivey (ND)|
|Jan. 24||Beth Record (SU)|
|Jan. 31||Latasha Thompson (SJU)|
|Alissa Murphy (BC)|
|Feb. 7||Kelley Siemon (ND)|
|Katie Smrcka-Duffy (GU)|
|Feb. 14||Jamie Cournoyer (BC)|
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)|
|Jan. 10||Alicia Ratay (ND)|
|Brooke Stewart (UP)|
|Jan. 17||Alicia Hartlaub (UM)|
|Jan. 24||Shannon Perry (SU)|
|Jan. 31||Aiysha Smith (SJU)|
|Feb. 7||Alicia Ratay (ND)|
|Mandy Wittenmyer (UP)|
|Feb. 14||Alicia Ratay (ND)|
|Trish Juhline (VU)|
NOTRE DAME EARNS SEVENTH STRAIGHT 20-WIN SEASON - Notre Dame's 21 wins this season is the seventh consecutive 20-win season. McGraw's squad has reached that mark in 11 of the 13 seasons she has been with the program. Notre Dame's 20 wins in the 22nd game of the season equals the fastest the Irish squad has reached that mark, but the earliest in terms of date. Notre Dame has won 20 or more games in 15 of its 23 seasons.
TOUGH TO SCORE ON - Notre Dame's defense currently is yielding just 60.3 points per game to its opponents in 23 games overall, and in its 12 BIG EAST wins, has given up just 56.5 ppg. In its last 16 games, only one opponent (Pittsburgh on February 9) has scored more than 63 points. The Irish held St. John's in their first meeting back on January 26 to 49 points, the fewest yielded by an opponent this season.
BIG CROWDS - Notre Dame is averaging 3,043 fans this season in their 12 home games. The 7,530 who attended Saturday nights win over St. John's was the second largest in school history. The largest crowd to see a women's basketball game at the Joyce Center is 8,134 (vs. Tennessee on January 12, 1992).
RILEY HAS HIGH SCHOOL NUMBER RETIRED - Notre Dame junior Ruth Riley had her high school number "25" retired at North Miami High School (Indiana) on Thursday night (January 6). The Macy, Ind., native was a standout in three sports - basketball, volleyball and track. She is the first such athlete from her high school to have her number retired.
FOLLOW RUTH ON THE WEB - A website highlighting the season accomplishments of Irish junior center Ruth Riley has been created on the official Notre Dame athletic department website (www.und.com). Information (season and career statistics and audio updates) can be found at www.und.com/ruthriley.
FIVE-TIME BIG EAST ROOKIE OF THE WEEK - For the second consecutive week and the fifth time this season, Alicia Ratay was named the BIG EAST Rookie of the Week. She shares the honor this week with Trish Juhline of Villanova. Ratay averaged 24.0 points and 7.0 rebounds in Notre Dame's two wins. She hit 11-of-17 from three-point range, including a personal best six three-pointers against St. John's. Ratay scored 28 points against the Red Storm and grabbed a personal best 12 rebounds for her first career double-double. Against Pittsburgh, she made five three-point field goals and finished with 20 points. Ratay has topped the 20-point mark on five occasions this season.
IRISH TOUGH AT HOME AGAINST BIG EAST FOES - Notre Dame has compiled a 41-3 (.932) 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.
20 AND COUNTING - Notre Dame won its 16th consecutive home game (a school record) with its 71-56 victory over Syracuse on January 15. The current win-streak stands at 20 with the 94-51 victory over St. John's on Saturday night. The former mark of 15 was set on two previous occasions before the current win streak. The 19-game Joyce Center streak began on December 10, 1998 when the Irish defeated Villanova 63-62. That win followed a 106-81 setback to Connecticut on December 8, 1998 which snapped a 15-game win streak.
HELPING PUT THE BIG IN THE BIG EAST - During its four-plus 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 71-13 record (84.5 percent) in regular season games and an 8-4 mark (66.7 percent) in BIG EAST tournament action for an overall record of 79-17 (82.3 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 STREAK SNAPPED - Ruth Riley's streak of 79 consecutive games started was snapped as she missed her first start in nearly two-plus seasons. The junior has started all but seven of the 86 games she has played in during her career. Her first career start came in the seventh game of her freshman season at Wisconsin in Madison, Wis., on December 8, 1997.
RATAY ADDS ANOTHER 20-POINT PERFORMANCE - Alicia Ratay recorded her fifth 20-point performance of the season on Saturday night as she scored 28 points against the Red Storm, which included a career-high six three-point field goal attempts. It marked the second 20-point outing of the week for the Irish rookie who also had 20 points in a win over Pittsburgh. Ratay's three other 20-plus efforts were against North Carolina (32 points), Florida International (27) and Georgetown (23).
SIEMON PROVIDES A SPARK OFF THE BENCH - Kelley Siemon has been a real spark for the Irish off the bench scoring in double figures in three of the last four games. She is averaging 7.2 points and 5.0 rebounds this season. Siemon recorded her first double-double of the season (and second of her career) against Boston College on February 5 when she scored 11 points and grabbed a career-high 14 rebounds. That game was preceded by a personal-best 23 points versus Providence which marked the second 20-point performance in her two-plus seasons at Notre Dame. Against the Friars, Siemon hit 10-of-12 shots from the field and nailed three-of-six attempts from the charity stripe. She also grabbed seven rebounds in the contest and dished off three assists in 28 minutes of action. Her only other 20-point outing came during her freshman year at UCLA when she scored 20 points against the Bruins in a double overtime victory on November 30, 1997.
GREEN HITS 1,000-POINT MARK - Danielle Green became the 16th player in Notre Dame women's basketball history to reach the 1,000-point mark. The senior guard now has 1,009 career points and owns a 9.4 career scoring average. Green is the second player this season to reach the milestone, earlier in the season, junior Ruth Riley became Notre Dame's 15th 1,000-point scorer.
A BIG ASSIST - For the second straight year, Niele Ivey has dished off 100-plus assists and has 442 in her career. Ivey reached the 400-assist mark against Pittsburgh on January 18 and is just the fifth Notre Dame player to reach that mark. She ranks 12th nationally with a 6.8 assist-per-game average and has dished off eight or more assists in 10 of Notre Dame's last 16 games. Ivey has dished off 10 or more assists in four games this season.
RILEY IN DOUBLE FIGURES - Ruth Riley has failed to score in double figures in just three games this season - Toledo (0 points), West Virginia (9 points) and Providence (8 points). After being held scoreless for the first time in her career (64 games) in the season opener against Toledo, Riley came back to score in double figures in 10 consecutive games. She has scored 20-plus points three times and netted a season-high 32 points against Liberty on December 5 which marked the third 30-point performance of her career. Riley had 20 points in a win over Florida International at the Orange Bowl Women's Basketball Fab Four and scored 23 in her squad's recent victory over Boston College. She leads the team in scoring as she is averaging 15.3 ppg. Riley has scored in double figures in 66 of 86 career games.
RILEY'S DOUBLE-DOUBLES - Ruth Riley, who led Notre Dame and the BIG EAST Conference with 12 double-doubles last season, registered her third double-double of the season against Pittsburgh on January 18 as she scored 12 points and grabbed a season-high 14 rebounds. It marked the third time in four games that she posted a double-double. She had back-to-back double-double performances in in early January against Georgetown and Seton Hall. Riley had 18 points and 13 rebounds versus the Hoyas which marked her first double-double of the season, and then followed that with a 17-point and 13-rebound performance in a win over Seton Hall. She has 24 career double-doubles and has grabbed 10 or more rebounds 25 times in her career
BABY RUTH GIVEAWAY - Baby Ruth candy bars are being thrown into the stands this season following every blocked shot by an Irish player. The Notre Dame-Michigan State game was designated "Baby Ruth Day." All fans entering the game received a Baby Ruth bar.
FRESHMAN FOLLIES - Freshman guard Alicia Ratay is second on the team in scoring (15.3) and second in rebounding (5.1). Ratay, a four-time BIG EAST rookie-of-the-week honoree, has topped the 20-point mark five times 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. Ratay led Notre Dame in scoring for the 10th time this season against St. John's on Saturday night as she scored a game-high 28 points, the second highest point total of her career. She has reached double figures in 15 contests this season.
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 - For the fifth straight week, Notre Dame is ranked fifth (an all-time high) in the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today rankings. The Irish have been been ranked in the top 10 of the AP poll 28 of the last 31 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 31 consecutive weeks in the top 10 of the ESPN/USA Today ranking. Notre Dame has earned a top 25 ranking for a school-record 33 consecutive weeks, breaking the old mark of 24 weeks set from February 5, 1996 thru March 10, 1997.
NOTRE DAME POLL WATCHING
(Week By Week)
*all-time regular-season high
(Week of Feb. 14)
|7.||North Carolina St.||11|
(Week of Feb. 14)
|7.||North Carolina St.||8|
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 282-112 (.716), and in 17-plus campaigns overall, her teams have registered a 370-153 (.707) 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 February.
IRISH GET 200TH WIN AT JOYCE CENTER - Notre Dame earned its 200th win at the Joyce Center against Valparaiso on December 29. Since its inaugural season in 1977-78, the Irish own a 208-65 mark for a .762 winning percentage. Notre Dame set a new school record with its 16th consecutive home victory at the Joyce Center against Syracuse on January 15. The last time the Irish lost at home was on December 8, 1998.
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 208-65 mark for a .762 winning percentage since that first season. Currently, the Irish are 12-0 at home and have won 20 straight home games dating back to the 1998-99 campaign. The 12 wins ties the school record for home wins set last season as the Irish finished with a 12-1 record in its 13-game slate. During the last four-plus seasons, Coach Muffet McGraw's squad is 58-4 (.935) at the Joyce Center.
SERIES RECORD VERSUS VILLANOVA - This will be the first and only meeting between the two teams this season. Notre Dame owns a 9-3 advantage in the series and has won four straight over the Wildcats. The Irish are 3-3 in the six games they have played at Villanova. Notre Dame's last loss (70-54) to Villanova was on January 28, 1998.
LINEUP SHAKEUP - In the 23 games played this season, Notre Dame has used eight different starting lineups. Below is a listing of the starting lineups and ND's record with that starting five. The lineup of Julie Henderson, Ruth Riley, Danielle Green, Alicia Ratay and Niele Ivey has been what Coach Muffet McGraw has used nine of the last 10 games.
- Haney, Siemon, Riley, Ratay and Ivey - (1-0)
- Haney, Ratay, Riley, Green and Ivey - (0-1)
- Henderson, Riley, Ratay, Ivey and Dunbar - (3-1)
- Haney, Henderson, Riley, Ratay and Ivey - (5-0)
- Haney, Siemon, Riley, Ratay and Dunbar - (1-0)
- Riley, Green, Ratay, Ivey and Siemon - (1-0)
- Henderson, Riley, Green, Ratay and Ivey - (9-0)
- Henderson, Siemon, Green, Ratay and Ivey - (1-0)
HOT SHOOTING - Notre Dame is hitting 50.4 percent of its shots from the field this season (672-1333), including a season-high 63.3 percent (31-49) against Georgetown on January 29. The Irish shot better than 60 percent in one other game this season - Liberty (62.7 percent). In 12 of its 23 games, Notre Dame has shot better than 50 percent from the field.
COLD SHOOTING - No opponent has shot better than 50 percent against the Irish this season as Notre Dame has limited its 23 foes to just 34.6 percent from the field. Four of those teams on five different occasions have shot under 30 percent - Butler (.265), West Virginia (.265), St. John's (.239 and .231) and Georgetown (.269). Illinois, a team the Irish faced in the second game of the season, shot 47.5 percent (the highest of any opponent). In 19 games, Notre Dame's opponents have shot under 40 percent.
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 1,235 career points in 86 career games for a 14.4 career scoring average. Currently, Riley is ninth on the Irish career scoring list. She needs just 64 points to move into eighth on the all-time scoring list ahead of Margaret Nowlin who played for the Irish from 1988-92 and finished her career with 1,298 career points.
RILEY GRABS 600TH REBOUND - Ruth Riley reached another milestone against Syracuse on January 15 when she grabbed her 600th career rebound. She is the 10th player in Notre Dame history to have achieved that mark. She currently is ninth on the all-time Irish rebounding list with 645. Riley is one of just nine Irish players to score 1,000 points and grab 600 rebounds.
A PERFECT 10 - Ruth Riley, who has made 77 of her 94 free throw attempts this season (.840), was a perfect 10-for-10 from the charity stripe against Georgetown. It marked a personal best for the Irish junior who earlier this season hit eight-of-eight from the line against Liberty en route to a 32-point performance. Riley's free throw shooting percentage has improved dramatically from a year ago a she made just 69.0 percent of her attempts.
MANDY IS DANDY AGAINST HOYAS - Freshman Amanda Barksdale had her best outing in an Irish uniform and had personal bests of eight points, eight rebounds and five blocked shots against Georgetown on Jan. 29 while playing a career-high 17 minutes against the Hoyas. Barksdale was three-of-four from the field and two-of-four from the charity stripe. She had a personal best seven blocked shots against Providence on February 1.
GREEN GAINS STARTING ROLE - Senior guard Danielle Green, who had come off the bench earlier in the season, has started the last 11 games for the Irish and has been in the starting lineup in 12 of the 20 games she has played. She is the team's third leading scorer averaging 12.1 ppg., and has scored in double figures in 12 of the last 16 games she has played. Green has scored in double figures in 13 games overall this season.
DOUBLE DIPPER - Guard Niele Ivey had her fourth double-double of the season in Notre Dame's win over Seton Hall on January 11 as she scored 14 points and dished off 10 assists. It was the eighth double-double of her career and the eighth time 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), Michigan State (14 points, 11 assists) and Marquette (19 points, 12 assists).
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).
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.
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.
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.
QUICK PLAYER BIOS
Amanda Barksdale blocked personal best seven shots and scored seven points in win at Providence after scoring eight points, grabbing eight rebounds and blocking five shots versus Georgetown while playing a season-high 17 minutes - has seen action in 22 contests - has blocked 19 shots in last six games- second on the team with 33 blocked shots.
Imani Dunbar earned starts against Butler, North Carolina, Liberty, Purdue and Marquette and has played in 21 games - 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.
Danielle Green has started the last 11 games and has been in double figure scoring in 12 of the last 16 games and in 13 games overall - became the 16th player in Notre Dame women's history to score 1,000 points (reached the mark against Pittsburgh on Wednesday night) - scored a season-high 22 points against Miami while adding six rebounds and a personal best six assists - had a stretch in which she scored in double figures in six consecutive games - chipped in 19 points in Saturday's win over Boston College - has scored 16 points in three different games - Toledo, St. John's and Providence - grabbed a season-high eight rebounds against Valparaiso - missed three games (Butler, North Carolina and Liberty) due to a disciplinary suspension.
Ericka Haney has started eight games this season and has played in all 23 contests - first career start came against Toledo in the season opener - scored in double figures in five of Notre Dame's first seven games, but has failed to reach double figures in last 14 contests - 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.
Julie Henderson has been in the Irish starting lineup in 19 of 23 contests - recorded her first career double-double scoring a season-high 13 points and grabbing a personal best 11 rebounds - prior to Miami, she had scored season-high six points on five different occasions (North Carolina, Liberty, Michigan State, USC and Seton Hall) - grabbed eight rebounds against Purdue - also 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 - scored seven points, grabbed six rebounds and dished off four assists against St. John's.
Monique Hernandez played in the first seven games of the season and has seen action in 21 contests - scored a career-high six points against West Virginia and Seton Hall - had five points, four rebounds and two assists against Valparaiso - played a season-high 21 minutes against St. John's - scored four points and grabbed four rebounds against Butler - also netted four points in wins over Marquette and St. John's.
Niele Ivey has been in the starting lineup for 22 of 23 games - scored a season-high 22 points against Syracuse - 18 of those 22 points came from three-pointers as she made a career-high six in the contest - led the Irish with 18 points, seven rebounds, seven assists and five steals in win over Georgetown in second meeting between the two teams - had a career-high nine rebounds against Boston College - has registered four double-doubles, most recent was against Seton Hall as she scored 14 points and dished off 10 assists - has eight career double-doubles and has dished off 10 or more assists in eight games - registered a season-high 19 points and dished off 12 assists in win over Marquette for her seventh career double-double -?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 13 games this season - had 14 points and 11 assists in win over Michigan State.
Meaghan Leahy has come off the bench for the Irish in 22 games - tied her personal best of nine points against Georgetown - had career-highs of nine points and 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 has scored in double figures in 15 games and has been Notre Dame's leading scorer on 10 occasions - has 20-plus points five times this season - recorded first career double-double as she scored 28 points and grabbed a personal best 12 rebounds against St. John's - 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 - 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 - has earned BIG EAST Rookie of the Week honors five times this season - 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) - had the fourth 20-plus point performance of her career when she scored 20 points against Pittsburgh - the only player who has started all 23 games.
Ruth Riley has been in double figure scoring in 20 of 23 games and has three double-doubles this season - her most recent double-double was against Pittsburgh as she scored 12 points and grabbed a season-high 14 rebounds - posted back-to-back double-doubles against Georgetown (18 points, 13 rebounds) and Seton Hall (17 points, 13 rebounds) - has 24 career double-doubles - 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 - one of just nine players at Notre Dame who has scored more than 1,000 points and grabbed more than 600 rebounds.
Kelley Siemon recorded her first double-double of the season and second of her career as she scored 11 points and grabbed a career-high 14 rebounds - has scored in double figures in three of Notre Dame's last four games - netted a career-high 23 points (the second 20-point outing of her career) against Providence as she hit 10-of-12 shots from the field and was three-of-six from three-point range - has scored in double figures in five games - selected as the co-BIG EAST Player of the Week following her performances against Providence and Boston College.
Karen Swanson is a walk-on freshman who has played in 20 games - tallied her first career basket against USC - registered her first career three-pointer against Vaparaiso.
Irish All-Time vs. 1999-2000 Opponents
IRISH IN THE NCAA STATISTICS
|Ruth Riley||Field Goal Pct. (2nd)|
|Blocked Shots (3rd)|
|Niele Ivey||Assists (9th)|
|Alicia Ratay||3pt. Field Goal Pct. (22nd)|
|Team||Field Goal Pct. (3rd)|
|Won-Lost Pct. (3rd)|
|Field Goal Pct. Defense (3rd)|
|Scoring Margin (11th)|
|Rebound Margin (14th)|
|3pt. Field Goal Pct. (21st)|
|On Sundays:||3-0||On Mondays:||1-0||On Tuesdays:||3-0|
|On Wednesdays:||5-1||On Thursdays:||0-0||On Fridays:||0-0|
By Halftime Score
|Lead at halftime:||21-0|
|Trail at halftime:||0-2|
|Tied at halftime:||0-0|
By Rebound Margin
|Outrebounded by opponents:||2-1|
|Same number of rebounds||0-1|
By Field Goal Shooting
|Shoot better from field:||21-1|
|Shoot worse from field:||0-1|
|Shoot same from field:||0-0|
|Shoot 50% or better:||12-0|
|Shoot less than 50%:||9-2|
|Keep opponents under 50%:||21-2|
|Keep opponents under 40%:||17-0|
By Free Throw Margin
|Hit more free throws:||14-0|
|Hit fewer free throws:||6-2|
|Same number of free throws:||1-0|
|Commit fewer turnovers:||10-0|
|Commit more turnovers:||10-2|
|Commit same number of turnovers:||1-0|
|5-10 point games:||2-2|
|11-20 point games:||10-0|
|21-30 point games:||7-0|