April 11, 2013
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The 2013 Notre Dame women's basketball awards banquet has been rescheduled for April 23 inside the Joyce Center Fieldhouse (north dome), head coach Muffet McGraw announced Thursday.
The change was necessary in light of the late notice of a mandatory WNBA Draft orientation session that would have resulted in one of the Fighting Irish senior co-captains, guard Skylar Diggins (South Bend, Ind./Washington), being unable to attend the awards banquet on its previously-scheduled date and time (this Saturday afternoon).
The rescheduled Notre Dame women's basketball awards banquet now will take place April 23, beginning with an autograph session featuring the Fighting Irish players and coaches from 5:30-6:30 p.m. (ET) in the Joyce Center Fieldhouse (doors will open at 5 p.m. ET). Dinner will be served at 7 p.m. (ET), followed by the presentation of numerous team awards, as well as the always-popular senior tribute and season highlight videos.
Tickets will remain on sale for the 2013 Notre Dame women's basketball awards banquet through 5 p.m. (ET) April 17, and can be purchased through the Murnane Family Athletics Ticket Office from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) weekdays by visiting the Gate 9 ticket windows at Purcell Pavilion (no phone or on-line orders will be accepted).
The Fighting Irish, who were ranked No. 2 in the final ESPN/USA Today coaches poll that was released Wednesday, enjoyed one of the finest seasons in program history in 2012-13, rolling to a 35-2 record, including a school-record 30-game winning streak, and the school's third consecutive NCAA Women's Final Four appearance as well as its fifth overall. The 35 victories tied a school record, while Notre Dame's .946 winning percentage set a new program standard.
In addition, the Fighting Irish claimed their second consecutive outright BIG EAST Conference regular season title (and third in school history) with a perfect 16-0 record before defeating host Connecticut in the BIG EAST Championship title game to secure the program's first BIG EAST postseason crown in its 18th and final season in the conference. It marked the first time in 20 years that a team other than Connecticut swept the BIG EAST regular season and tournament titles in the same year, while the Fighting Irish became only the third non-Connecticut squad to go undefeated in BIG EAST play (first since Rutgers in 2005-06).
Notre Dame piled up a 12-2 record against ranked opponents this season, including six wins against top-10 teams. The Fighting Irish also ranked among the top 20 in the nation in eight NCAA statistical categories, including top-six rankings in scoring offense (2nd - school-record 81.2 ppg.), scoring margin (3rd - +21.9 ppg.), free throw percentage (3rd - school-record .798), assists (3rd - 19.5 apg.; school-record 722 total assists), rebounding margin (5th - +10.9 rpg.; school-record 1,621 total rebounds), field goal percentage (6th - .455) and assist/turnover ratio (6th - school-record 1.27). What's more, Notre Dame appeared in the top five of both major national polls for 19 weeks this season, including the final six weeks as the consensus No. 2 team in the nation (after spending an additional six weeks at No. 2 in the AP poll).
On top of that, Notre Dame placed fifth in the final NCAA attendance rankings unveiled Wednesday (school-record 8,979 fans per game), registered a school-record 11 sellouts this season (including nine of its final 10 home games). It marked the fourth consecutive season the Fighting Irish ranked in the top five in the nation in attendance, raising their average to school-record levels each year.
Notre Dame is expected to return four starters and nine monogram recipients from this year's squad, led by a pair of 2012-13 All-Americans in guard Kayla McBride (Erie, Pa./Villa Maria Academy) and forward Natalie Achonwa (Guelph, Ontario/St. Mary's Catholic), along with the reigning USBWA National Freshman of the Year, guard Jewell Loyd (Lincolnwood, Ill./Niles West). The Fighting Irish also will welcome a four-player incoming class that has been ranked as high as third in the nation by several national recruiting services.
For more information on the Notre Dame women's basketball program, sign up to follow the Fighting Irish women's basketball Twitter pages (@ndwbbsid or @ndwbb), like the program on Facebook (facebook.com/ndwbb) or register for the Irish ALERT text-messaging system through the "Fan Center" pulldown menu on the front page at UND.com.