Feb. 18, 2013
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - For the sixth time in her All-America career, Notre Dame senior guard/co-captain Skylar Diggins (South Bend, Ind./Washington) has been selected as the BIG EAST Conference Player of the Week, it was announced Monday afternoon by the conference office. It's also the second time this season Diggins has earned the award (one of three players in the conference to garner the award twice this year), with her six career honors standing as the second-most by a Notre Dame player in program history, topped only by Ruth Riley's eight citations from 1997-2001.
Last week, Diggins averaged 22.0 points, 7.0 assists and 4.0 steals per game with a .559 field goal percentage and 2.8 assist/turnover ratio as No. 2/3 Notre Dame ran its winning streak to 19 games and remained unbeaten in BIG EAST play with convincing wins over No. 10/11 Louisville (93-64) and Marquette (87-49).
Diggins had nearly identical statistical lines in both games, chalking up 21 points (on 9-of-13 shooting), seven assists and four steals in the nationally-televised Big Monday win over Louisville on Feb. 11 at Purcell Pavilion (Notre Dame's seventh in eight games against a ranked team, and third in four outings against a top-10 opponent). She then added a game-high 23 points (on 10-of-21 shooting), seven assists and four steals in Sunday's win on the road at Marquette.
In the latter game, Diggins achieved two historic milestones, becoming the first Notre Dame women's basketball player to amass 2,000 points/500 rebounds/500 assists in her career (on a rebound with 12:43 left in the first half) and then moving into second place on the Notre Dame all-time scoring list (now with 2,131 points, passing Katryna Gaither's 2,126 points from 1993-97 on a layup with 18:31 left in the second half).
For the season, Diggins ranks sixth in the BIG EAST in scoring (16.2 ppg.), while leading the conference in assists (5.8 apg) and also placing in the top 11 in the conference in free throw percentage (3rd - .823), steals (3rd - 2.9 spg.), assist/turnover ratio (6th - 1.76) and three-point percentage (11th - .347). She also ranks 25th in the nation in assists and 35th in steals this season.
Diggins' selection marks the 82nd time a Fighting Irish women's basketball player has earned a BIG EAST weekly award (47 Players of the Week, 35 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). Besides Diggins' dual player-of-the-week selections this year, junior guard Kayla McBride (Erie, Pa./Villa Maria Academy) copped the honor on Jan. 7 (en route to being named the National Player of the Week by espnW and the United States Basketball Writers Association), and freshman guard Jewell Loyd (Lincolnwood, Ill./Niles West) is a three-time BIG EAST Freshman of the Week, garnering that award on Nov. 26, Dec. 10 and Jan. 14.
Notre Dame players also have appeared regularly on the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll during the 2012-13 season, with Diggins being chosen for that honor four times, junior forward Natalie Achonwa (Guelph, Ontario/St. Mary's Catholic) being a three-time selection and McBride earning a spot on the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll twice.
Notre Dame (24-1, 12-0 BIG EAST) returns to the hardwood at 3:30 p.m. ET (2:30 p.m. CT) Sunday when it travels to Chicago for a conference matchup with DePaul at McGrath-Phillips Arena. The game will be televised live to a national cable audience by ESPNU, as well as worldwide on the WatchESPN mobile platform. It also can be heard live in the South Bend area on Pulse FM (96.9/92.1) and free of charge worldwide at UND.com.
The Fighting Irish then return home at 7 p.m. (ET) Feb. 26 to play host to Syracuse at Purcell Pavilion in a game that will be televised live on the CBS Sports Network. That evening, Notre Dame will hold its Senior Night ceremonies to honor Diggins and fellow senior guard/co-captain Kaila Turner (Joliet, Ill./Marian Catholic), as well as senior student managers Brigitte Lawless and Katie Schwab. For more details on ticket availability for that game, 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), visit the program's official Facebook page (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.