Feb. 24, 2014
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - For the second time this season, both in the past three weeks, a Notre Dame player has earned a pair of major weekly honors, this time with sophomore guard Jewell Loyd (Lincolnwood, Ill./Niles West) 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.
Loyd was chosen as the ACC Player of the Week via a vote of the conference's Blue Ribbon Panel. She becomes the second Notre Dame women's basketball player to earn the award in the program's inaugural ACC season, following the path of senior guard/tri-captain Kayla McBride (Erie, Pa./Villa Maria Academy), who was chosen for the honor (along with the espnW national award) on Feb. 3.
A day later, McBride was named the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) Ann Meyers Drysdale National Player of the Week, an honor Loyd 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, Loyd averaged 25.7 points and 7.7 rebounds per game with a .509 field goal percentage as Notre Dame picked up three ACC wins, including an 81-70 victory over No. 7 Duke on Sunday that clinched the ACC regular season title for the Fighting Irish in their inaugural season in the conference.
Loyd opened her week by scoring a game-high 27 points (on 11-of-17 shooting) and grabbing nine rebounds in an 87-72 win over Georgia Tech on Feb. 17 at Purcell Pavilion.
Loyd then posted her third double-double of the season (and fourth of her career) with game highs of 29 points and 10 rebounds in last Thursday's 86-61 win at Wake Forest.
Loyd then capped the week with 21 points against Duke, making seven of her final 13 shots, as Notre Dame earned its third consecutive outright regular season conference title (a first in the program's 37-year history).
For the season, Loyd has started 26 games (missing one due to injury) and averages a team-high 18.7 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.7 steals per game with a team-best 10 20-point games and three double-doubles. She ranks sixth in the ACC in scoring, eighth in free throw percentage (.809), and 12th in both field goal percentage (.529) and steals, all while posting at or near career-high marks in each category.
Loyd, a midseason candidate for the John R. Wooden Award and Naismith Trophy, as well as a Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Wade Trophy Watch List selection, as scored in double figures in 32 consecutive games, dating back to last season, the second-longest streak of its kind in school history. What's more, she has scored 30 points in two games this year (30 vs. Central Michigan on Dec. 22; 31 at No. 8/6 Maryland on Jan. 27), becoming the first Fighting Irish player since 1999-2000 (Ruth Riley) to post multiple 30-point games in the same season.
No. 2 Notre Dame (27-0, 14-0 ACC) will close out its regular season home schedule at 7 p.m. (ET) Thursday when it plays host to No. 14/8 North Carolina at Purcell Pavilion. The first regular season meeting between the Fighting Irish and Tar Heels since 2000-01 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