Women's Basketball

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Irish need Diggins and Devereaux
Devereaux Peters (AP)
 
Devereaux Peters (AP)

March 17, 2011

NOTRE DAME, Ind. (AP) - There are two musts for Notre Dame's women's basketball team to make a deep run in the NCAA tournament: sophomore guard Skylar Diggins must direct the offense and center Devereaux Peters has to stay in the game.

The second-seeded Irish (26-7) meet Utah (18-16) on Saturday night in Salt Lake City.

Diggins was the first freshman in 17 years to lead the Irish in scoring (13.8 per game) a season ago.

She and senior Becca Bruszewski were the only two returning starters from last year's 29-6 team that made the school's 15th straight NCAA tournament appearance.

Diggins, who pushes and prods her teammates to get better, sees more work ahead in the postseason.

"The next week of practice will be strictly business," Diggins said. "The only thing we are thinking about right now is Utah. The caliber of teams we have faced in the Big East has prepared us for this."

The Irish finished in a second-place tie with DePaul behind Connecticut in the conference and were ranked ninth in the final AP poll. Diggins can irritate her teammates with her relentless coaxing, but it's made the Irish a national contender.

"I don't think I've ever seen a player that has the drive that (Diggins) has," said coach Muffet McGraw, who has taken the Irish to 16 straight NCAA tournaments. "She really runs this team. This team reacts well. They really love a challenge. They can flash (anger) occasionally, but they forget it the minute they leave the court."

Notre Dame's losses to Kentucky and UCLA early in the season just happened to include foul trouble for Peters (five points in 31 minutes total for both games).

 

 

When she played 34 minutes and scored 17 points against UConn in January, Notre Dame almost beat the top-ranked Huskies at home before falling 79-76 after leading much of the game.

A month later, she went scoreless, piled up fouls and her team was blown out by the Huskies, 78-57.

The 6-foot-2 Peters averaged 11.6 points and a team-high 7.2 rebounds. Natalie Novosel led the Irish in scoring at 14.6 and Diggins was right behind at 14.2, along with a team-best 4.6 assists.

Notre Dame doesn't need much motivation, not after last year. The Irish won two games at home before losing to Oklahoma in the regional semifinals, 77-72 in overtime.

"I'm going to be ready to play every game, especially this first one," Bruszewski said. "I think about last year and seeing our seniors so upset and I don't want to feel that way."

Event Calendar

Delta

November 3
7:00 PM
Roberts Wesleyan
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)
November 11
7:00 PM
Central Michigan Notre Dame
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ACC Network Extra
November 14
7:00 PM
WNIT Quarterfinals
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ACC Network Extra
November 17
7:00 PM
WNIT Semifinals
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ACC Network Extra
November 20
3:00 PM
WNIT Final
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

CBS Sports Network
November 22
8:00 PM
UL-Lafayette
Houston, Texas (Campbell Center)
November 26
1:00 PM
TCU
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ACC Network Extra
November 30
9:00 PM
Iowa
Iowa City, Iowa (Carver-Hawkeye Arena)

BTN
December 4
1:00 PM
Valparaiso
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ACC Network Extra
December 7
7:00 PM
UConn
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ESPN2
December 10
8:00 PM
DePaul
Chicago, Ill. (McGrath-Phillips Arena)
December 18
2:00 PM
Toledo
Toledo, Ohio (Savage Arena)
December 20
7:00 PM
Michigan State
East Lansing, Mich. (Breslin Center)

BTN
December 27
6:30 PM
Chattanooga
Chattanooga, Tenn. (McKenzie Arena)
December 29
7:00 PM
North Carolina State
Raleigh, N.C. (Reynolds Coliseum)

ACC Network Extra
January 2
7:00 PM
Georgia Tech
Atlanta, Ga. (McCamish Pavilion)
January 5
7:00 PM
Wake Forest
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ACC Network Extra
January 8
3:00 PM
Miami
Coral Gables, Fla. (BankUnited Center)

ESPN Flex
January 12
7:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Notre Dame, Ind.

ACC Network Extra
January 16
7:00 PM
Tennessee
Knoxville, Tenn. (Thompson-Boling Arena)

ESPN2
January 19
7:00 PM
Boston College
Chestnut Hill, Mass. (Conte Forum)
January 22
12:00 PM
North Carolina
Chapel Hill, N.C. (Carmichael Arena)

ESPNU
January 26
7:00 PM
Duke
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ACC Network Extra
January 29
12:00 PM
Virginia
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ESPNU
February 2
7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, Va. (Cassell Coliseum)
February 6
7:00 PM
Louisville
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ESPN2
February 12
1:00 PM
Georgia Tech
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ACC Network Extra
February 16
7:00 PM
Clemson
Clemson, S.C. (Littlejohn Coliseum)
February 19
5:00 PM
Syracuse
Syracuse, N.Y. (Carrier Dome)

ESPN2
February 23
7:00 PM
Boston College
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ACC Network Extra
February 26
1:00 PM
Florida State
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ESPN2
March 17
TBA
NCAA First/Second Rounds
TBD
March 24
TBA
NCAA Regionals
TBD
March 31
TBA
NCAA Semifinals
Dallas, Texas (American Airlines Center)
April 2
TBA
NCAA Final
Dallas, Texas (American Airlines Center)

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