Feb. 20, 2011
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Notre Dame sophomore guard Skylar Diggins (South Bend, Ind./Washington) is among a group of 11 players who have been selected as semifinalists for the 2011 Nancy Lieberman Award, given to the nation's top point guard, it was announced Saturday by the award's organizer, the Rotary Club of Detroit. Diggins is the only underclass player among the 11 remaining nominees, joining eight seniors and two juniors in contention for this year's award.
Diggins is the first Notre Dame player to be chosen as a Nancy Lieberman Award semifinalist since All-American Megan Duffy in 2006, and the third since the award's inception in 2001 (when another Notre Dame All-American and current Fighting Irish assistant coach Niele Ivey was a finalist). This year's 11 nominees were selected by a panel of sportswriters from around the country, based on the criteria of floor leadership, play-making and ball-handling skills that personified Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame selection Nancy Lieberman during her career. That same sportswriter panel will choose the three finalists and this year's award recipient during the weekend of the NCAA Women's Final Four (April 3-5), with the recipient to attend an awards luncheon on April 27 at the Detroit Athletic Club.
This season, Diggins is second on the team in scoring at a career-high 14.1 points per game, while leading the squad in assists (career-high 4.6 apg.) and adding 4.0 rebounds and 1.9 steals per game with a career-high 1.33 assist/turnover ratio. Entering this weekend, she ranked 11th in the BIG EAST in scoring, while also placing fifth in assists, tied for 12th in steals and 13th in assist/turnover ratio. Coming into the weekend's BIG EAST play, she stood ninth in the conference in scoring (14.5 ppg.), sixth in assists (4.6 apg.), fifth in steals (2.1 spg.), seventh in free throw percentage (.795) and 10th in assist/turnover ratio (1.30).
Diggins is one of three BIG EAST Conference players among the 11 Lieberman Award semifinalists, along with Sarah Miles (West Virginia) and Sam Quigley (DePaul). The other remaining nominees are: Cetera DeGraffenreid (North Carolina), Dawn Evans (James Madison), Melissa Jones (Baylor), Jeanette Pohlen (Stanford), Samantha Prahalis (Ohio State), Danielle Robinson (Oklahoma), Jasmine Thomas (Duke) and Courtney Vandersloot (Gonzaga).
No. 8 Notre Dame (22-5, 11-2 BIG EAST) returns to action at 7 p.m. (ET) Tuesday when it travels to Morgantown, W.Va., for a matchup with No. 21/20 West Virginia at WVU Coliseum. The game will be televised live to a national cable audience by CBS College Sports.
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