Dec. 8, 2008
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - For the second consecutive week, Notre Dame freshman forward Kellie Watson (Ionia, Mich./Ionia) has been selected as the BIG EAST Conference Freshman of the Week, it was announced Monday by the conference office. Watson is the first Irish rookie to earn the award in back-to-back weeks since Katy Flecky took the honor on Feb. 18 & 25, 2002. Watson also becomes just the fifth player in program history to be chosen as BIG EAST Freshman of the Week more than once in a single season -- the others are Flecky, Jacqueline Batteast (seven times in 2001-02), Alicia Ratay (six times in 1999-2000) and Ruth Riley (three times in 1997-98).
Last week, Watson averaged 9.0 points and 4.5 rebounds per game with a .714 field goal percentage (5-of-7) and an .800 three-point percentage (4-of-5) as Notre Dame improved to 7-0 for the first time in four seasons with double-digit victories last week at Eastern Michigan and at home over No. 17/20 Purdue.
The highlight of Watson's week came on Sunday against Notre Dame's in-state rival Purdue, when she came off the bench to score 13 points (4-6 FG, 3-4 3FG) and snag six rebounds in a 62-51 Irish win. All three of Watson's triples came in the final 4:17 of the first half, as she almost single-handedly flipped what had been a nine-point deficit into a one-point halftime lead. What's more, her last trey with 38 seconds remaining in the first half put the Irish ahead for good.
After rising to No. 8 in Monday's Associated Press poll (and standing eighth in last week's ESPN/USA Today poll, with the new survey to be released Tuesday), Notre Dame returns to action Wednesday at 7 p.m. (ET) when it ventures to Ann Arbor, Mich., for a non-conference matchup with Michigan at Crisler Arena. The game will be televised live on the Big Ten Network, and also can be heard on the radio all across northern Indiana and southwest Michigan on Pulse FM (96.9/92.1), as well as worldwide on the Internet at the official Notre Dame athletics web site (www.UND.com), with veteran broadcaster Bob Nagle on the call.
Following a trip to Valparaiso Saturday (1:35 p.m. CT/ESPN Full Court), the Irish will break for final exams before getting back on the Joyce Center hardwood Dec. 20 at 2 p.m. (ET) against Loyola-Chicago. Tickets for that matchup, and all remaining Notre Dame women's basketball home games, are available for purchase by contacting the Notre Dame Athletics Ticket Office (574-631-7356; Gate 1 at the Joyce Center from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays), visiting the tickets page of the official Irish athletics web site (www.UND.com/tickets) or stopping by the Joyce Center Gate 10 ticket windows on game day.