Sept. 12, 2000
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - An ESPN nationally-televised home game against defending NCAA and BIG EAST champion Connecticut and nine games against teams from the 2000 NCAA women's basketball championship highlight the 2000-01 schedule of the Notre Dame women's basketball team. The 27-game slate features 13 homes games and appearances in two national tournaments. All-American senior center Ruth Riley (16.2 ppg. and 7.3 rpg. last year), senior point guard and All-America candidate Niele Ivey (11.2 ppg. and 6.0 apg.) and sophomore All-America candidate shooting guard and 2000 BIG EAST rookie-of-the-year Alicia Ratay (14.0 ppg.) -- among the top players in the country at their respective positions -- lead the Irish against their perennially rigorous schedule.
"We have another tough schedule and are really excited about the great teams that will be coming to the Joyce Center this year," said 14th-year Irish head coach Muffet McGraw, who led Notre Dame to a 27-5 record and the NCAA Mideast regionals in 1999-2000. "Our fans really appreciate great basketball, and we'll be able to show them that once again. We will be playing in two great tournaments with strong fields and are looking forward to playing on ESPN and ESPN2."
In addition to the Jan. 15, contest against Connecticut, the Irish will welcome 2000 Final Four participant Rutgers, 1999 NCAA champion Purdue and Pacific-10 power Arizona to the Joyce Center. Notre Dame will travel to Wisconsin on Nov. 22 and 24, for the Coaches Vs. Cancer Challenge, facing the host Badgers in the opening round and NCAA tournament teams Georgia or Oklahoma in the championship or consolation game (the championship will be shown on ESPN2). The Irish will play on ESPN2 when they travel to Orlando to take on North Carolina at Honda Elite Classic.
The 16-game BIG EAST schedule features two games against conference newcomer Virginia Tech. Villanova travels to Notre Dame on Dec. 6, for the conference opener for the Irish, while Providence, Pittsburgh, Miami and Georgetown also visit the Irish. The conference road schedule takes the Irish to Virginia Tech, St. John's, Seton Hall, West Virginia, Boston College, Syracuse, Rutgers and Pittsburgh.
First-ever meetings with Fordham and Rice, the first game against USC in 15 years and a trip to Marquette round out the non-conference schedule. The BIG EAST Championship will be held March 3-6, in Storrs, Conn., for the second consecutive season.
* indicates BIG EAST Conference game.