March 22, 2000
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Notre Dame (27-4) is making its third appearance in the Sweet 16 for the third time in four years as the second-seeded Irish play No. 3 seed Texas Tech (27-4) in the second Mideast Region semifinal game. The first game features No. 1 seed Tennessee (30-3) and No. 4 seed Virginia (25-8). Notre Dame's last appearance in a regional semifinal was in 1998, with its first coming in 1997 when the Irish advanced to their first-ever Final Four.
This will be the third meeting between the two team with the series tied at 1-1. The previous two times the two schools have met was in the second round of the NCAA tournament. Both of those games were played in Lubbock, Texas. The Red Raiders beat the Irish in the '96 tournament 86-67, but Notre Dame two years later returned to Lubbock and defeated Texas Tech 74-59.
Notre Dame owns a 10-6 record in NCAA tournament competition. The Irish have made one Final Four appearance (1997) and two other Sweet 16 appearances in both '97 and 1998.
McGraw's team enters tonight's game having won 23 of its last 25 games. After having won a school-record 20 straight games, the Irish dropped their regular-season finale on the road at Connecticut (77-59) and then lost in overtime to Rutgers (81-72) in the semifinals of the BIG EAST tournament.
Notre Dame's 27 wins represents the second-most in school history. The 1996-97 squad set the school mark for victories with 31 when the team finished with a 31-7 mark.
Notre Dame ended the BIG EAST regular season with a 15-1 mark and finished second (its highest in school history). Since becoming a BIG EAST member in 1995-96, Notre Dame has advanced to the semifinal game of the league tournament all five seasons.
This is the seventh consecutive 20-win season for the Irish. Notre Dame reached that mark against Pittsburgh on February 9 in the 22nd game of the season. It marked the second straight year the Irish reached the 20-win plateau in its 22nd game. It was, however, the earliest a Notre Dame team has reached the 20-win mark in the program's history. A year ago, McGraw's team earned its 20th win of the season at Villanova on February 10, 1999.
Notre Dame finished up the 1999-2000 campaign with a perfect 15-0 mark as the Irish won 13 regular season contests and two NCAA tournament games. Coach Muffet McGraw's squad has won a school-record 23 consecutive home games. The 15 wins are a school record and mark the first time the Irish have been undefeated at home during the regular season.
The Irish have been ranked in the top 10 of the AP poll 33 of the last 36 polls, including a school-record 19 consecutive weeks from November 16, 1998 thru November 29, 1999. The Irish have been in the top 10 of the ESPN/USA Today poll for 36 straight weeks.
2000 NCAA WOMEN'S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP - MIDEAST REGIONAL, SEMIFINAL (Memphis, Tenn.)
No. 3 Texas Tech (27-4) vs.
Date: Saturday, March 25, 2000
* - Indicates monograms won
SERIES RECORD VERSUS TEXAS TECH - Notre Dame and Texas Tech meet for the third time in NCAA competition. Both meetings occurred in Lubbock, Texas. The Red Raiders won the first-ever meeting 87-62 on March 17, 1996, but Notre Dame returned to Lubbock two years later and upset Texas Tech 74-59. That season, 1998, Texas Tech was the No. 1 seed of the Midwest Region and ranked fifth nationally.
Series Record vs. Texas Tech
*NCAA Tournament (Second Round)
Series Record vs. Virginia
Series Record vs. Tennessee
*Notre Dame Thanksgiving Tournament
RILEY NAMED FIRST TEAM ASSOCIATED PRESS ALL-AMERICAN - Ruth Riley earned first-team Associated Press All-America honors becoming the first player in the program's history to earn first-team accolades. Riley was a second-team choice in 1999 and the third Irish player to earn a spot on one of the three teams. Katryna Gaither and Beth Morgan were honorable mention selections in both 1996 and 1997.
RILEY NAMED TO GTE/CoSIDA ACADEMIC ALL-AMERICA FIRST TEAM - In addtion to earning AP first-team All-America honors, Ruth Riley was a first-team selection to the GTE/CoSIDA Women's Basketball Academic All-America team. Riley, a Dean's List student all five semesters at Notre Dame, owns a 3.65 overall grade point average and is enrolled in the College of Arts and Letters as a psychology major. She is the first women's basketball player to earn first-team honors and the fourth Academic All-American in the program's history.
RILEY ONE OF 48 FINALISTS FOR KODAK ALL-AMERICA HONORS - For the second consecutive year, Ruth Riley is a finalist for KODAK All-America honors. Riley, one of seven representatives from District 1, is vying for a spot on the 10-member squad which will be announced on March 30 in Philadelphia. The seven representatives including Riley are: Svetlana Abrosimova (Connecticut), Shea Ralph (Connecticut), Cal Bouchard (Boston College), Shawnetta Stewart (Rutgers), Diana Caramanico (Pennsylvania) and Jess Zinobile (St. Francis, Pa.)
McGRAW NAMED NAISMITH COACH OF THE YEAR - For the second consecutive year Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw is a finalist for the Naismith Women's College Basketball Coach of the Year Award presented by the Atlanta Tip-off Club. McGraw is among 15 finalists for the honor which also include: Geno Auriemma (Connecticut), Joe Ciampi (Auburn), Bill Fennelly (Iowa State), Mark French (UC Santa Barbara), Gail Goestenkors (Duke), Sue Gunter (Louisiana State), Andy Landers (Georgia), Rene Portland (Penn State), Marsh Sharp (Texas Tech), C. Vivian Stringer (Rutgers), Pat Summitt (Tennessee) and Kay Yow (North Carolina State).
NOTRE DAME EARNS SEVENTH STRAIGHT 20-WIN SEASON - Notre Dame's 27 wins in 1999-2000 mark the seventh consecutive 20-win season. The 27 victories are the second most in school history. The Irish won a school-record 31 games during the 1996-97 campaign which culminated in the school's first-ever Final Four appearance. McGraw's squad has reached that mark in 11 of the 13 seasons she has been with the program. Notre Dame's 20 wins in the 22nd game of the season equals the fastest the Irish squad has reached that mark, but the earliest in terms of date. Notre Dame has won 20 or more games in 15 of its 23 seasons.
RILEY, RATAY CLAIM TWO OF BIG EAST'S TOP HONORS - Ruth Riley and Alicia Ratay earned two of the BIG EAST's top honors as Riley was named the league's Defensive Player of the Year for the second consecutive season, while Ratay was named the Rookie of the Year. Riley also was the only unanimous first-team all-BIG EAST selection for the second consecutive year, while Ratay was the only unanimous choice on the all-rookie team. In addition, Niele Ivey copped second-team all-conference honors.
Riley also was named to the all-tournament team 19.0 points and 10.5 rebounds.
NCAA TOURNAMENT REVIEW
First Round - Notre Dame 87, San Diego 61: Playing at home on Saint Patrick's Day and wearing green uniforms, the Irish, the No. 2 seed in the Mideast Region defeated No. 15 seed San Diego 87-61as four Notre Dame players scored in double figures. The Irish shot a season-high 63.6 percent from the field connecting on 28 of their 44 attempts. Ruth Riley and Niele Ivey scored 14 points each in the contest, while Kelley Siemon came off the bench to score 13 as she hit all five of her field goal attempts. Riley was seven-of-eight from the field and led all rebounders with six. Danielle Green was the fourth Irish player in double figures as she scored 12. Notre Dame, which never trailed in the contest and led by 11 at halftime, broke open the game in the first 10 minutes of the second half as they outscored San Diego 22-11. The Irish, who advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament for the fifth consecutive year, outrebounded the Toreros 32-19.
Second Round - Notre Dame 95, George Washington 60: Niele Ivey scored a season-high 23 points to lead all five Notre Dame starters in double figures as the Irish posted a 95-60 win over the Colonials to advance to the NCAA tournament Sweet 16 for the third time in four years. The 95 points and 35-point margin of victory were the most by an Irish team in the NCAA tournament. Danielle Green was the spark for Notre Dame in the first half scoring all 16 of her points in the first 20 minutes of the contest as the Irish built a 43-25 halftime lead. Julie Henderson recorded her second double-double of the season as she scored 14 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Ruth Riley, on the bench for most of the first 20 minutes, finished with 14 points and nine rebounds. Alicia Ratay, held without a field goal against San Diego, hit three three-pointers in the contest and finished with 11 points. Kelley Siemon tied her career-high with 14 rebounds in the game. Notre Dame shot 51.9 percent from the field and limited George Washington to just 28.3 percent for the game and 26.7 percent in the first half after missing 16 consecutive shots. After trailing 8-5 less than four minutes into the contest, Notre Dame went on a 21-4 run as the Irish built a 26-12 lead with six minutes to play before intermission.
BIG EAST TOURNAMENT REVIEW
Quarterfinal - Notre Dame 67, Miami 52: Ruth Riley recorded her sixth double-double of the season as she scored 18 points and tied her season-high with 14 rebounds as the Irish earned a spot in the BIG EAST tournament semifinals for the fifth consecutive year with its victory over the Hurricanes. It was Notre Dame's fourth consecutive win over Miami as Riley led all scorers and rebounders in the contest. Niele Ivey and Danielle Green also scored in double figures with 13 and 12 points, respectively. In addition, Green also grabbed seven rebounds in the game. Notre Dame held Miami to just 34.4 percent shooting from the field and owned its largest rebounding advantage of the season (46-26).
Semifinal - Rutgers 81, Notre Dame 72 (ot): The final outcome was decided in overtime for the second time this season, but this time it was the Scarlet Knights who prevailed. The Irish, who defeated the Scarlet Knights 78-74 on the road in overtime on February 19, owned a nine-point lead (58-49) with 4:06 remaining in the contest. Rutgers then went on a 12-0 run to take a 61-58 lead with 42 seconds remaining in the game on Shawnetta Stewart's three-point play. Notre Dame ended its nearly four-minute scoring drought with Alicia Ratay's two free throws that pulled the Irish to within one (61-60). Stewart added another free throw before Danielle Green nailed two foul shots with 10 seconds remaining in the contest. The Scarlet Knights outscored Notre Dame 81-62 in overtime. Ruth Riley scored 20 points as all five Irish players, for the first time this season, scored in double figures. Ratay finished with 15 points, while Julie Henderson and Niele Ivey added 12 points each and Danielle Green 10. Notre Dame was outrebounded 39-27 in the contest, the largest differential of the season. The Irish shot 63.6 percent from the field in the second half, but just 28.6 in the overtime session.
NOTRE DAME MAKES ANOTHER RUN INTO MARCH MADNESS - Under Muffet McGraw, the Irish have had a habit of finishing the season strong. Since McGraw's first season in 1987-88, Notre Dame has compiled a 43-23 (.652) mark in March. In addition, in each of McGraw's 13 seasons, Notre Dame has ended the season on a roll. Below is a look at Notre Dame's March record in the McGraw era as well as the way the Irish ended the season.
TOUGH TO SCORE ON - Notre Dame's defense currently is yielding just 61.7 points per game to its opponents in 31 games overall, and in its 16 BIG EAST wins this season gave up just 59.3 ppg. In its last 23 games, only four opponents on five occasions (Pittsburgh on Feb. 9, Rutgers on Feb. 19 and March 6, Miami on Feb. 22 and Connecticut on Feb. 26) have scored more than 63 points. The Irish held St. John's in their first meeting back on January 26 to 49 points, the fewest yielded by an opponent this season.
BIG CROWDS - Notre Dame is averaged averaged 3,392 fans this season in its 15 home games (the highest single-season average in school history). The 7,530 who attended the win over St. John's on Feb. 12 was the second largest in school history. The largest crowd to see a women's basketball game at the Joyce Center is 8,134 (vs. Tennessee on January 12, 1992). The 5,521 fans in attendance at the George Washington game on Sunday night was the sixth-largest in school history.
WEARIN' OF THE GREEN - Notre Dame donned its green uniforms for both its two games last weekend against San Diego and George Washington. It marked the first time the Irish home crowd had seen them in their green uniforms, but it wasn't the first time they had worn them during the season. Coach Muffet McGraw and the Irish first wore them at the Wachovia Women's Basketball Invitational in Richmond, Va. on December 4 & 5. Notre Dame won that tournament with victories over North Carolina and Liberty. The Irish wore them again in their next outing at Purdue on December 8. Heading into its Saint Patrick's Day first-round game against San Diego, Notre Dame was 2-1 when wearing their greens. With the two wins over the weekend, the Irish are now 4-1 in green.
RILEY HAS HIGH SCHOOL NUMBER RETIRED - Notre Dame junior Ruth Riley had her high school number ?25? retired at North Miami High School (Indiana) on Thurs., Jan. 6. The Macy, Ind., native was a standout in three sports - basketball, volleyball and track. She is the first such athlete from her high school to have her number retired.
FOLLOW RUTH ON THE WEB - A website highlighting the season accomplishments of Irish junior center Ruth Riley has been created on the official Notre Dame athletic department website (www.und.com). Information (season and career statistics and audio updates) can be found at www.und.com/ruthriley.
IRISH ACHIEVE FIRST-EVER UNDEFEATED SEASON AT HOME - Notre Dame's win over Miami on February 22 marked a school-record 13th for the Irish at home in 1999-2000 as the Irish achieved their first-ever undefeated seaason at home. With Sunday's win against George Washington, Notre Dame finished the season undefeated at home (15-0).
IRISH TOUGH AT HOME AGAINST BIG EAST FOES - Notre Dame has compiled a 42-3 (.933) record against BIG EAST opponents at the Joyce Center since joining the league in 1995-96. All three of those losses have been to Connecticut. Notre Dame was a perfect 9-0 at the Joyce Center in league action during the 1996-97 campaign.
23 AND COUNTING - Notre Dame won its 16th consecutive home game (a school record) with its 71-56 victory over Syracuse on January 15. The current win streak stands at 23 with the 95-60 victory over George Washington on Sunday night. The former mark of 15 was set on two previous occasions before the current win streak. The 22-game Joyce Center streak began on December 10, 1998 when the Irish defeated Villanova 63-62. That win followed a 106-81 setback to Connecticut on December 8, 1998 which snapped a 15-game win streak.
SNAPPED AT 20 - Notre Dame's loss at Connecticut on February 20 snapped a school-record 20-game win streak for the Irish. The Irish established the new school mark (previously 15) on February 19 with its 81-74 victory over Pittsburgh.
HELPING PUT THE BIG IN THE BIG EAST - During its four-plus seasons as a member of the BIG EAST Conference, Notre Dame has proven to be one of the league's most dominant teams. The Irish have a 74-14 record (84.1 percent) in regular season games and a 9-5 mark (64.3 percent) in BIG EAST tournament action for an overall record of 83-19 (81.4 percent) against league opponents. Of Notre Dame's 19 league losses, 11 have come against Connecticut. The Irish have lost to four other teams in the BIG EAST - Rutgers (three times), Boston College (twice), Villanova and Miami. All of the losses to those teams have come on the road.
IVEY NEARS 1,000 - Guard Niele Ivey is just 11 points away from becoming the 17th player in Notre Dame women's basketball history to reach the 1,000-point plateau. Ivey enter the Texas Tech game with 989 career points for a 10.4 career scoring average in 95 games. She would become the third Irish player this season to score 1,000 points.
A BIG ASSIST - For the second straight year, Niele Ivey has dished off 100-plus assists and has 476 in her career which places her fifth on the all-time Irish career assist list. Ivey reached the 400-assist mark against Pittsburgh on January 18 and is just the fifth Notre Dame player with 400-plus assists. Ivey has 190 assists this season, topping the 181 she had last year for her season high. She ranks 13th nationally with a 6.1 assist-per-game average and has dished off eight or more assists in eight games. Ivey also has dished off 10 or more assists in four games this season.
HENDERSON NOTCHES SECOND CAREER DOUBLE-DOUBLE - Julie Henderson recorded her second career double double (and second of the season) against George Washington when she tied her career-high with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Earlier in the season, she had 13 points and a personal best 11 rebounds at Miami on January 22.
IRONWOMAN - Senior forward Julie Henderson has appeared in more games than any other player on the 1999-2000 Irish roster this season. The Texas Tech game will be the 130th for the 6-3 senior from Ann Arbor, Mich. The record of 131 career games played is held by former Irish star Sheila McMillen who played for Notre Dame from 1995-99.
RILEY STREAK SNAPPED - Ruth Riley's streak of 79 consecutive games started was snapped as she missed her first start in nearly two-plus seasons. The junior has started all but seven of the 93 games she has played in during her career. Her first career start came in the seventh game of her freshman season at Wisconsin in Madison, Wis., on December 8, 1997.
RATAY ADDS ANOTHER 20-POINT PERFORMANCE - Alicia Ratay has six (tying her with Ruth Riley) 20-point performances this season . Her most recent 20-point outing came against Rutgers on February 19 as she scored 26 points against the Scarlet Knights, which included a career-high seven three-point field goals. Ratay's five other 20-plus efforts were against North Carolina (32 points), Florida International (27) and Georgetown (23), Pittsburgh (20) and St. John's (28).
RATAY NOTCHES SECOND DOUBLE-DOUBLE - Alicia Ratay notched her second double-double of the season in the overtime win at Rutgers on February 19 as she scored 26 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. It was her second double-double in three games, her first came against Pittsburgh (on Feb. 9) just three games ago when she scored 28 and had a career-high 12 boards.
SIEMON PROVIDES A SPARK OFF THE BENCH - Kelley Siemon has been a spark for the Irish off the bench this season. She is averaging 6.7 points and 5.1 rebounds this season. Siemon recorded her first double-double of the season (and second of her career) against Boston College on February 5 when she scored 11 points and grabbed a career-high 14 rebounds. That game was preceded by a personal-best 23 points versus Providence which marked the second 20-point performance in her two-plus seasons at Notre Dame. Against the Friars, Siemon hit 10-of-12 shots from the field and nailed three-of-six attempts from the charity stripe. She also grabbed seven rebounds in the contest and dished off three assists in 28 minutes of action. Her only other 20-point outing came during her freshman year at UCLA when she scored 20 points against the Bruins in a double overtime victory on November 30, 1997. Siemon reached double figures for the sixth time this season against San Dieg on on Friday night when she scored 13 points on a perfect five-for-five shooting from the field. She tied her career rebounding-high against George Washington leading all rebounders with 14 against the Colonials.
GREEN HITS 1,000-POINT MARK - Danielle Green became the 16th player in Notre Dame women's basketball history to reach the 1,000-point mark against Pittsburgh on February 9. The senior guard has 1,091 career points and owns a 9.5 career scoring average. Green is the second player this season to reach the milestone, earlier in the season, junior Ruth Riley became Notre Dame's 15th 1,000-point scorer earlier this season.
RILEY IN DOUBLE FIGURES - Ruth Riley has failed to score in double figures in just four games this season - Toledo (0 points), West Virginia (9 points), Providence (8 points) and Connecticut (4 points). After being held scoreless for the first time in her career (64 games) in the season opener against Toledo, Riley came back to score in double figures in 10 consecutive games. She has scored, along with freshman Alicia Ratay, 20-plus points six times. Riley netted her season-high against Miami on Feb. 22 as she scored 36 points. She leads the team in scoring as she is averaging 16.1 ppg. Riley has scored in double figures in 73 of 94 career games.
RILEY'S DOUBLE-DOUBLES - Ruth Riley, who led Notre Dame and the BIG EAST Conference with 12 double-doubles last season, registered her sixth double-double of the season against Miami (18 points and 14 rebounds) in the quarterfinals of the BIG EAST tournament, which marked her third double in five games. Against Miami on Feb. 22, she scored 36 points to go along with 12 rebounds. In the overtime win at Rutgers on Feb. 19, she had 26 points and tied her season-high with 14 rebounds. Riley's other double-doubles this season have come against Georgetown (18 points, 13 rebounds), Seton Hall (17 points, 13 rebounds) and Pittsburgh (12 points, 14 rebounds). She has 27 career double-doubles and has grabbed 10 or more rebounds 28 times in her career.
FRESHMAN FOLLIES - Freshman guard Alicia Ratay is second on the team in scoring (14.4) and second in rebounding (5.0). Ratay, the BIG EAST Rookie of the Year and a six-time BIG EAST rookie-of-the-week honoree, has topped the 20-point mark six times this season, including a 32-point performance against North Carolina which marked just the second 30-point performance by an Irish rookie in the 22-year history of the program. Ratay has led the Irish in scoring 10 times this season and has tied for game-high scoring on two other occasions. She also has reached double figures in 20 contests this season. The Irish rookie was 0-1 from the field against San Diego which marked the first game this season she did not make a field goal. The one attempt also was a season low.
IRISH CAPTURE WACHOVIA WOMEN'S INVITATIONAL - Notre Dame captured the Wachovia Women's Invitational Tournament in Richmond, Va., as the Irish beat North Carolina and Liberty in the seventh annual event. The tournament is recognized as one of the most prestigious in-season events.
Junior center Ruth Riley was named MVP of the tournament in addition to being selected along with freshman Alicia Ratay to the all-tournament team. Riley scored 32 points (the third 30-point performance of her career) against Liberty in the championship game as she connected on 12-of-14 shots from the field and was a perfect eight-for-eight from the free throw line. In addition, she had seven rebounds and two blocked shots in 29 minutes of action. Against North Carolina, she registered 12 points, seven rebounds and four blocked shots in 28 minutes. For the tournament she averaged 22.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.0 blocked shots. Riley also was 17-of-22 (.773) from the field and a perfect 10-for-10 from the charity stripe.
Ratay had the first 30-point performance of her career, and second-ever by a Notre Dame freshman, when she tossed in 32 points on a 12-for-15 shooting performance against North Carolina. The Irish rookie also hit six-of-eight from three-point range. In the championship tilt, she was the only other Notre Dame player in double figures as she netted 17 points, grabbed four rebounds and dished off five assists playing a season-high 36 minutes. For the tournament, she averaged 24.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.5 steals. Ratay shot 18-of-25 (.720) percent from the field and was seven-for-11 (.636) from three-point range.
NOTRE DAME VS. NO. 1 - In its 23-year history, Notre Dame has faced the number-one ranked team nine times. The Irish are 0-9 all-time against No. 1. Notre Dame has played Connecticut four times when the Huskies have been ranked number one.
POLL WATCHING - Notre Dame is fifth in the Associated Press poll and sixth in the ESPN/USA Today ranking. McGraw's squad has been ranked in the top 10 of the AP poll 33 of the last 36 weeks over the past two seasons. The Irish slipped out of the top 10 (after a school-record 19 consecutive weeks there) on November 29, 1999, prior to that, Notre Dame had held a spot in the top 10 of every poll dating back to November 16, 1998. Coach Muffet McGraw's squad has now been ranked 36 consecutive weeks in the top 10 of the ESPN/USA Today ranking. Notre Dame has earned a top 25 ranking for a school-record 38 consecutive weeks, breaking the old mark of 24 weeks set from February 5, 1996 thru March 10, 1997.
HEAD COACH MUFFET McGRAW - Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw is in her 13th season with the Irish and 17th as a collegiate coach. She has guided Notre Dame to four straight NCAA tournament appearances and six overall. McGraw led the Irish to the 1997 Final Four as her team claimed the East Regional championship. In 1998, McGraw's squad finished with a 22-10 mark and advanced to the Sweet 16. In 12-plus seasons at Notre Dame, she has a record of 288-114 (.716), and in 17-plus campaigns overall, her teams have registered a 376-155 (.708) ledger. Prior to coming to Notre Dame, she spent five seasons at Lehigh where she compiled an 88-41 record for a .683 winning percentage. Last season, McGraw, after guiding the Irish to their sixth consecutive 20-win season, was named as a finalist for the Naismith Women's Basketball and Associated Press coach-of-the-year awards.
PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER MAGAZINE TO FOLLOW IRISH ALL SEASON - Annette John-Hall, a feature writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer will be following head coach Muffet McGraw, a native of Pottsville, Pa., and the Irish all season long and feature them in the magazine section of that publication. She will file stories throughout the season on McGraw and her squad. Hall has written five installments, the most recent was published on Thurs., March 16.
IRISH GET 200TH WIN AT JOYCE CENTER - Notre Dame earned its 200th win at the Joyce Center against Valparaiso on December 29. Since its inaugural season in 1977-78, the Irish own a 211-65 mark for a .764 winning percentage. Notre Dame set a new school record with its 16th consecutive home victory at the Joyce Center against Syracuse on January 15. The last time the Irish lost at home was on December 8, 1998.
HOME SWEET HOME - Since its inaugural season in 1977-78, Notre Dame has played all of its games at the Joyce Center. The Irish own a 211-65 mark for a .764 winning percentage since that first season. The Irish were 15-0 at home and have won 23 straight home games dating back to the 1998-99 campaign. The 15 victories are a school record for home wins and the first time a Notre Dame teams has been undefeated at home during the regular season. During the last four-plus seasons, Coach Muffet McGraw's squad is 61-4 (.938) at the Joyce Center.
LINEUP SHAKEUP - In the 31 games played this season, Notre Dame has used eight different starting lineups. Below is a listing of the starting lineups and ND's record with that starting five. The lineup of Julie Henderson, Ruth Riley, Danielle Green, Alicia Ratay and Niele Ivey has been what Coach Muffet McGraw has used 17 of the last 18 games. That lineup suffered its first loss of the season 77-59 on Feb. 26 at Connecticut.
COLD SHOOTING - Connecticut connected on 51.7 percent of its shots from the field in Notre Dame's last regular-season contest which marked the first and only time this year an opponent had shot better than 50-percent from the field. The Irish have limited its 30 foes to just 35.3 percent from the field. Six of those teams on seveb different occasions have shot under 30 percent - Butler (.265), West Virginia (.265), St. John's (.239 and .231), Georgetown (.269), Villanova (.293) and George Washington (.283). In 26 games, Notre Dame's opponents have shot under 40 percent.
RILEY REACHES 1,000 POINTS - Junior center Ruth Riley became the 15th player in Notre Dame women's basketball history to reach the 1,000-point plateau this season. Riley reached the mark in the first half of Notre Dame's win over Florida International on December 19. The 6-5 Macy, Ind., native has 1,381 career points in 94 career games for a 14.7 career scoring average. Currently, Riley is seventh on the Irish career scoring list. She needs just 59 points to move into sixth on the all-time scoring list ahead of Sheila McMillen who played for the Irish from 1995-99 and finished her career with 1,439 career points.
RILEY GRABS 700TH REBOUND - Ruth Riley has 719 rebounds and is one of just eight players to reach the 700-rebound plateau, a group that includes current administrative assistant Letitia Bowen's school-record's 999 rebounds from 1991-95. Riley reached another milestone against Syracuse on January 15 when she grabbed her 600th career rebound. At the time, she was one of 10 players in Notre Dame history to achieve that mark. Riley is one of just seven Irish players to score 1,000 points and grab 700 rebounds.
A PERFECT 10 - Ruth Riley, who has made 129 of her 160 free throw attempts this season (.806), was a perfect 10-for-10 from the charity stripe against Georgetown. It marked a personal best for the Irish junior who earlier this season hit eight-of-eight from the line against Liberty en route to a 32-point performance. Riley's free throw shooting percentage has improved dramatically from a year ago as she made just 69.0 percent of her attempts. She was 18-of-23 from the line against Miami on Feb. 22. The 18 free throws made and 23 attempted were both Notre Dame and BIG EAST single-game records.
GREEN GAINS STARTING ROLE - Senior guard Danielle Green, who had come off the bench earlier in the season, has started the last 19 games for the Irish and has been in the starting lineup in 20 of the 28 games she has played. She is the team's third leading scorer averaging 11.5 ppg., and has scored in double figures in 18 of the last 24 games she has played. Green has scored in double figures in 19 games overall this season.
DOUBLE DIPPER - Guard Niele Ivey had her fourth double-double of the season in Notre Dame's win over Seton Hall on January 11 as she scored 14 points and dished off 10 assists. It was the eighth double-double of her career and the eighth time she has dished off 10 or more assists in a game. Her other double-doubles this season have come against North Carolina (17 points, 13 assists), Michigan State (14 points, 11 assists) and Marquette (19 points, 12 assists).
RILEY NOTCHES FOURTH 30-POINT PERFORMANCE - Ruth Riley's 36-point performance against Miami marked the fourth 30-point performance of her career and second of the season. Her first 30-point effort this year was against Liberty in the championship game of the Wachovia Women's Invitational on Dec. 5 as she scored 32 points. Riley had two 30-plus efforts last season, both against Providence College, as she scored 36 and a school-record 41.
A ROOKIE RARITY - Alicia Ratay's 32-point performance against North Carolina was the first 30-point outing of her brief career and marked just the second time an Irish freshman has scored better than 30 points in a game. The only other Notre Dame rookie to record a 30-point performance was Michelle Marciniak as she scored 33 versus Georgia in a 90-86 loss on December 8, 1991.
NON-CONFERENCE LOSSES A RARITY - Notre Dame's loss to Purdue marked just the second loss the Irish had suffered to a non-conference opponent during the regular season in two seasons. The Irish were a perfect 8-0 against non-conference foes during the 1998-99 regular season. When Notre Dame lost to Illinois on November 27, it marked the first regular season loss to a non-conference opponent in 12 games. Heading into its matchup with the Illini, Notre Dame's last non-conference regular-season loss was to Wisconsin (89-77) on December 8, 1997.
RATAY NETS 18 IN DEBUT - Freshman guard Alicia Ratay, a first-team Parade High School All-American, scored 18 points in her collegiate debut. It was the most by an Irish rookie in her first college game since Michelle Marciniak scored 16 points in an 86-70 loss to Penn State on November 22, 1991. Ratay's five field goals were all from three-point range as she hit five-of-eight field goals from beyond the arc.
RILEY HELPS USA WOMEN'S BASKETBALL CAPTURE SILVER MEDAL - Ruth Riley was one of 12 players selected to the 1999 World University Games Team. She and 1999 graduate Sheila McMillen (now an assistant coach at Western Michigan) were among the 44 players invited to Colorado Springs, Colo., for the five-day tryout. The team, coached by Penn State's Rene Portland, took home the silver medal after posting a 4-2 mark in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, site of the basketball competition. Riley appeared in all nine games with the USA and started five of those contests and was the team's third-leading scorer and second-leading rebounder as she averaged 9.3 points and 5.2 rebounds, with a .630 field-goal percentage. At a tournament in Madrid Spain prior to the start of the World University Games, the USA Women's Basketball squad posted a 3-0 mark and captured first-place. During those three games, she averaged 7.3 points and 5.3 rebounds. This was Riley's second stint with the USA Women's basketball program. In the summer of 1998, she was a member of the USA Women's Basketball Select Team.
SIEMON TOURS WITH BIG EAST TEAM - Junior Kelley Siemon averaged 6.6 points and 4.6 rebounds in helping the BIG EAST/Nike Women's Basketball All-Stars to a 4-1 record in a '99 summer tour of Belgium and Germany. Siemon scored 14 points in the win over Aalst (Division) and had seven points and eight rebounds in a win over the Belgian Junior National Team. The team was coached by Boston College's Cathy Inglese.
IRISH SIGN TWO - Notre Dame signed two players listed among the top 40 prep players in the country during the early signing period. Jeneka Joyce, a 5-9 shooting guard from Topeka, Kan., and Le'Tania Severe, a 5-9 point guard from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., were rated 26th and 40th, respectively, by Blue Star Basketball.
NOTRE DAME POLL WATCHING
*all-time regular-season high
1999-2000 BIG EAST STANDINGS
1999-2000 BIG EAST AWARDS