April 10, 2018
NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- The University of Notre Dame women's basketball team celebrated its championship season on Tuesday evening with its end of year awards ceremony. Over a 1,000 fans came out to Purcell Pavilion to join in on the festivities.
The voice of Fighting Irish, Bob Nagle, MC'd the event and introduced the Associated Press Coach of the Year, Muffet McGraw. The Karen & Kevin Keyes head coach than presented all the team award winners.
In what could have been an ACC Rookie of the Year campaign, but after six games a season-ending injury sidelined Mikayla Vaughn. However, that didn't stop the freshman from contributing every which way for the Irish and always being the loudest in the gym. Coach McGraw announced Vaughn as the Most Spirited.
A team record 19 charges and a career high scoring average of 5.2 points per game, Kristina Nelson was 1-of-2 Co-Most Improved players. Nelson, who entered the year with three double-digit scoring games in her career, produced five in her final season.
The other most improved went to the Princeton, Indiana, native who provided everything but a sophomore slump. Jackie Young doubled her scoring average, finishing with 14.5 points per game. The sophomore tripled her assists number with 139 and doubled her steal total with 52.
Defensive Player of the Year was also shared among two Irish in Young and Marina Mabrey. Young ranked ninth in ACC play only with her 1.9 steals per game and reeled in 6.6 rebounds per game overall.
Mabrey led the team in steals with a season total of 79 and ranked second in the ACC in conference play only with 2.6 steals per game.
Next, Nicole Benz emphasized the student aspect of student-athlete, taking home the Knute Rockne Student-Athlete Award. Benz is a freshman majoring in engineering.
Last but not least, the Monogram Club MVP was none other than Arike Ogunbowale. The junior was a consensus All-American, a First Team All-ACC honoree and an Ann Meyers Drysdale Award finalist to name just a few.
Ogunbowale finished with the most points and highest scoring average for a single season in school history and set a new school record with 25 games with 20+ points. Ogunbowale also tallied the fifth most points in NCAA Tournament history with 145 total points (24.2 ppg).
Monogram Club MVP
Co-Most Improved Players
Co-Defensive Players of the Year
Knute Rockne Student-Athlete of the Year
Woody Miller Award (voted upon by media)
-- ND --