March 29, 2011
NOTRE DAME, Ind. -
Less than 24 hours after leading Notre Dame to the third NCAA Women's Final Four appearance in school history, sophomore guard Skylar Diggins (South Bend, Ind./Washington) collected another major honor, earning recognition as a third-team All-America selection by the Associated Press, it was announced Tuesday.
Diggins, who copped honorable mention All-America status from the AP and Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) as a freshman in 2009-10, is the fourth Fighting Irish women's basketball player to be named to one of the AP's three five-player squads, which are selected annually by the 39-member national media panel that votes weekly in the AP Top 25 poll. This year's balloting was conducted before the start of the NCAA Championship.
Jacqueline Batteast (2005 third team) was the last Notre Dame player to earn a place on one of the three AP All-America teams, following in the footsteps of Ruth Riley (1999 third team; 2000 and 2001 first team) and Niele Ivey (2001 third team). Riley is the only other Notre Dame sophomore to make an AP All-America squad.
A WBCA/State Farm All-America Team finalist, as well as a prime candidate for the WBCA/State Farm Wade Trophy, John R. Wooden Award and Naismith Trophy, Diggins was named the Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA Dayton Regional on Monday night after scoring a season-high 24 points in Notre Dame's 73-59 win over fourth-ranked (and top-seeded) Tennessee in the regional championship game in Dayton, Ohio. In addition to adding four assists and four steals, Diggins went over the 1,000-point mark for her career (now 25th all-time with 1,018 points), becoming just the second Fighting Irish women's basketball player to reach that milestone before the end of her sophomore season. Beth Morgan was the first to do so, finishing with exactly 1,000 points after two years at Notre Dame.
Diggins currently ranks second on the team in scoring (14.4 ppg.), while leading the team in assists (4.8 apg.) and placing third in steals (1.9 spg.). She also has scored in double figures 30 times, including eight 20-point outings, and has dished out at least five assists in 21 games, paced by a career-high 12 assists (most by a Notre Dame player in more than 11 years) in a 78-53 NCAA Sweet 16 victory over No. 21/20 Oklahoma last Saturday in Dayton.
No. 9/7 Notre Dame (30-7) will take the floor at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis in the NCAA Women's Final Four for the third time on Sunday at either 7 or 9:30 p.m. (ET) in the national semifinals against the winner of the Philadelphia Regional (either Connecticut or Duke). All three Final Four games will be televised live to a national cable audience on ESPNHD and via the Internet at ESPN3.com, with the live radio broadcast available nationally via Westwood One Radio, as well as throughout the Michiana area on Pulse FM (96.9/92.1) and on the official Notre Dame athletics web site, www.UND.com, with veteran broadcaster Bob Nagle on the call.
For more information on the Notre Dame women's basketball program, sign up to follow the Fighting Irish women's basketball Twitter pages (www.twitter.com/ndwbbsid or www.twitter.com/notredamewbb) or register for the Irish ALERT text-messaging system through the sidebar on the women's basketball page at UND.com.
-- ND --