March 7, 2008
HARTFORD, Conn. - Five members of the Notre Dame women's basketball team collected individual honors at this year's BIG EAST Conference Championship awards banquet, which was held Friday night at the Hartford (Conn.) Hilton hotel. Senior guard Charel Allen (Monessen, Pa./Monessen) was a first-team all-BIG EAST selection for the second year in a row, while sophomore guard Ashley Barlow (Indianapolis, Ind./Pike) and junior guard Lindsay Schrader (Bartlett, Ill./Bartlett) were honorable mention all-conference picks. In addition, guard Brittany Mallory (Baltimore, Md./McDonogh School) and forward Devereaux Peters (Chicago, Ill./Fenwick) were named to the BIG EAST All-Freshman Team.
The three all-conference honorees are the most for Notre Dame in one season since 2000-01, when Niele Ivey (first team), Ruth Riley (first team), Alicia Ratay (third team) and Kelley Siemon (honorable mention) all were chosen. What's more, the Irish now have had a combined total of five players named to the All-Freshman Team in the past two seasons, the most for any school during that span.
This year's awards were voted upon by the league's 16 head coaches, who were not permitted to select their own players.
Allen is the sixth Notre Dame women's basketball player to garner multiple first-team all-BIG EAST citations, joining Katryna Gaither (1996-97), Beth Morgan (1996-97), Riley (1999-2001), Jacqueline Batteast (2004-05) and Megan Duffy (2005-06). Allen was a two-time BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll selection this season, and was named to that squad six times in her career (all in the past two years). What's more, she made the midseason candidate lists for both the John R. Wooden Award and the Naismith Trophy, and also appeared on the preseason watch list for the State Farm/Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Wade Trophy.
Allen has started all 30 games for the Irish this season, ranking 13th in the BIG EAST in scoring (14.4 ppg), eighth in free throw percentage (.800) and ninth in steals (1.93 spg), while scoring in double figures 26 times (including 17 of the final 18 regular-season games) and posting three 20-point outings. She also has moved into eighth place on Notre Dame's career scoring list (1,484 points) and is the first women's basketball player in school history to record 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, 200 assists and 200 steals in her career.
Barlow has played in all 30 games this season, starting 28 times and ranking second on the team in scoring (30th in the BIG EAST) at 11.7 points per game. She's also among the conference leaders in free throw percentage (5th - .812) and steals (8th - team-high 1.97 spg). A BIG EAST All-Freshman Team pick last year, Barlow has scored in double figures 17 times this season, including three 20-point games and a career-high 23 points against No. rv/25 DePaul on Jan. 22. She has added a pair of double-doubles this season on Nov. 20 at Central Michigan (12 points, career-high 11 rebounds) and in the regular-season finale on March 3 at St. John's (18 points, career-high 11 rebounds), and she was named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll twice this year.
Schrader has made a successful return after missing all of last season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in her right knee. The 6-0 guard has played in all 30 games, starting 29 times, and ranking third on the team in scoring (10.6 ppg). She also ranks 20th in the BIG EAST in rebounding (team-high 6.0 rpg) and has scored in double figures 19 times while collecting double-doubles at Bowling Green (17 points, 12 rebounds) and vs. South Florida (17 points, 13 rebounds).
Mallory has been a significant contributor off the bench for Notre Dame this season, playing in 29 games while averaging 6.7 points and 2.0 rebounds per game. She also leads the team with 33 three-point field goals and during conference play, she ranked 15th in the BIG EAST with a .382 field goal percentage. Mallory posted six double-digit scoring games this season, including a career-high 15 points on Jan. 19 in a 104-86 win at Georgetown.
Peters was in the midst of a stellar rookie season before it ended abruptly on Feb. 10 when she suffered a torn ACL in her left knee during a game vs. Pittsburgh. The 6-2 forward saw action in 23 games this season (starting twice), averaging 9.0 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. She also is still the BIG EAST leader in blocked shots (1.96 bpg) and ranks eighth in field goal percentage (.522), and scored in double figures 14 times this year with a double-double against top-ranked Connecticut on Jan. 27. Despite the shortened season, Peters ranks third in school history for total blocks (45) and blocks per game (1.96) by a freshman.
The No. 9/15 Irish (23-7, 11-5) earned a first-round bye for this year's BIG EAST Championship and will tip off the conference tournament on Sunday at noon (ET) with a quarterfinal matchup against either Pittsburgh or Villanova at Hartford's XL Center. The game will be televised live to a national cable audience by ESPNU, with single-session tickets and full tournament ticket packages still available via Ticketmaster (860-525-5400) and the arena box office.