March 2, 2017
By Leigh Torbin
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The honors continued to pour in for Brianna Turner on Wednesday morning as the junior forward for the No. 3 Notre Dame women's basketball team was named one of 10 semifinalists for the Naismith Trophy annually presented to the national player of the year. Yesterday, Turner was named the ACC's Defensive Player of the Year and was included in the league's all-conference first team.
The junior center has been potent at both ends of the floor this year for the Irish. She stands 10th nationally with a .617 field goal percentage and also ranks 15th nationally in blocked shots with 77 on the year. Turner leads the ACC in both categories and is one of just two players nationally in the top 15 for both field goal percentage and blocked shots. Her 254 career blocked shots already rank 11th in ACC history and second in Irish lore behind only Ruth Riley's 370. Turner is eighth among all active players in the country in blocked shots and second among her peers in the junior class nationwide.
The centerpiece in a defense which held its foes to 60.9 points per game and a .389 shooting percentage while facing the nation's second-toughest schedule, Turner also has 25 steals and 7.3 rebounds per game and leads the Irish at 15.5 points per game. Turner has recorded six double-doubles this year with four of them coming against ranked teams. Among her top performances this year, she netted a career-high 31 points as the Irish rallied from a second half deficit to down No. 21 Syracuse, 85-80, before a women's record crowd at the Carrier Dome.
The Irish begin their quest for a fourth consecutive ACC Tournament championship at 2 p.m. on Friday when they face the winner of Thursday's second round game between Virginia and Wake Forest. The game will be broadcast regionally by the ACC Network. For those outside of the ACC Network's footprint (including the South Bend area), the game can be streamed live online at WatchESPN.
Leigh Torbin, athletics communications associate director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 2013 and coordinates all media efforts for Notre Dame's women's basketball and men's golf teams. A native of Framingham, Massachusetts, Torbin graduated from the University of Massachusetts in 1998 with a bachelor's degree in sports management. He has previously worked full-time on the athletic communications staffs at Vanderbilt, Florida, Connecticut and UCF.