March 31, 2010
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - University of Notre Dame senior guard/tri-captain Ashley Barlow (Indianapolis, Ind./Pike) will prove that you can go home again, as she returns to her hometown of Indianapolis this week to participate in the three-point competition at the 22nd annual State Farm College Slam Dunk and Three-Point Championships.
The event, which is being produced by Intersport, a Chicago-based media group, will begin at 7 p.m. (ET) Thursday at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, located adjacent to Lucas Oil Stadium, the site of this year's NCAA Men's Final Four. The competition will be televised by ESPN on a tape-delayed basis at 9 p.m. (ET) Thursday, with additional broadcasts slated throughout the upcoming weekend on the ESPN family of networks.
Tickets for the live event (which also includes admission to the NCAA's Bracket Town fan area located within the Indiana Convention Center) are $25 for adults and $15 for children (ages 3-11), and may be purchased through Meijer grocery stores and at the Convention Center box office. Doors to the Convention Center will open at 5 p.m. (ET) Thursday, with the full competition (three-point and slam dunk) scheduled from approximately 7-9:30 p.m. (ET).
Barlow will be the seventh Notre Dame basketball player, as well as the fourth Fighting Irish woman selected for this event, and the first since Megan Duffy and Chris Quinn both took part in the 2006 competition, ironically also in Indianapolis at historic Hinkle Fieldhouse. Quinn posted the best-ever finish by a Notre Dame sharpshooter that year, finishing second to Marquette's Steve Novak, while Duffy matched the best performance by a Fighting Irish woman in the event, reaching the semifinal round to duplicate the effort by Sheila McMillen in 1999. Current assistant men's basketball coach Martin Ingelsby (2001), David Graves (2002) and Alicia Ratay (2003) also have represented Notre Dame in the three-point shootout, although none advanced beyond the semifinal round.
This year's three-point competition will feature eight of the top college senior sharpshooters in the country. The other players joining Barlow in the 2010 event are: Taylor Lilley (Oregon), Merideth Marsh (Vanderbilt), Maggie McCloskey (Loyola-Chicago), Kelly McManmon (St. John's), Brigid Mulroy (Detroit Mercy), Bianca Smith (Colorado) and Yvonne Turner (Nebraska). The winners from the men's and women's three-point shootouts then will face off in a "Battle of the Champions" challenge match to determine an overall three-point champion.
Barlow recently completed a stellar career that saw her emerge as one of the most versatile players in Notre Dame women's basketball history. She is the only Fighting Irish basketball player (male or female) to amass 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, 250 assists and 250 steals in her career under the Golden Dome, and she is one of only three Notre Dame women's players to register at least 60 steals in four consecutive seasons, joining Coquese Washington (1989-93) and current Fighting Irish assistant coach Niele Ivey (1997-2001) in that exclusive company.
The 5-foot-9 Barlow will graduate with a place among the top 10 on no fewer than 12 of Notre Dame's career statistical charts, including scoring (9th - 1,492 points), three-pointers made (6th - 139), three-point attempts (6th - 403), steals (tied/3rd - 281), steals per game (4th - 2.16 spg.), free throws made (6th - 359), free throws attempted (tied/6th - 444), free throw percentage (5th - .809), games played (tied/5th - 130), minutes played (7th - 3,664), double-figure scoring games (tied/8th - 78) and minutes per game (tied/9th - 28.2). In addition, her career-high 80 steals this year are tied for the ninth-most in a single season in program history, while she made at least one three-pointer in the final 16 games of her career, good for the fourth-longest single-season run in school annals.
A three-time all-BIG EAST Conference selection (and two-time second-team all-league choice), as well as a 2010 Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA)/State Farm All-Region I honoree, Barlow led Notre Dame with a career-high 53 three-pointers this season, and ranked second on the team (seventh in the BIG EAST) with a .363 field goal percentage, just slightly below her career-high .364 three-point percentage from a year ago. She also proved to be a clutch performer numerous times throughout her career, most recently hitting the game-winning three-pointer with 34.2 seconds left in a 74-73 win at Syracuse on Jan. 30, 2010, then sinking the clinching trey with 3:10 to go in a 75-63 win at Rutgers on ESPN2's "Big Monday" national broadcast two days later.
A dedicated student-athlete enrolled in Notre Dame's Mendoza College of Business, Barlow currently is completing work on her bachelor's degree in marketing-entrepreneurship and sociology. She comes from a family with a rich athletic pedigree -- her cousin, Ken, was a standout forward for Digger Phelps' Notre Dame men's basketball squads from 1982-86, serving as team captain his final two seasons while helping the Fighting Irish to two NCAA tournament berths (1985, 1986) and a runner-up finish at the 1984 National Invitation Tournament before being drafted in the first round of the 1986 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Lakers. In addition, her brother, David, was an all-conference point guard at IUPUI from 2003-07, while her cousin, Kelsey, recently completed his freshman season on the men's basketball team at Purdue.