Dec. 19, 2011
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Notre Dame senior guard/tri-captain Natalie Novosel (Lexington, Ky./Lexington Catholic) has been selected as the BIG EAST Conference Player of the Week, it was announced Monday afternoon by the conference office. It's the first time in Novosel's career she has been chosen for the honor, although she was twice named the BIG EAST Freshman of the Week back in 2008-09.
In addition, this marks the 71st time a Fighting Irish women's basketball player has earned a BIG EAST weekly award (41 Players of the Week, 30 Freshmen of the Week), the second-most selections in conference history despite the fact Notre Dame joined the BIG EAST in 1995-96, a full 14 seasons after the league began sponsoring women's basketball (1982-83). Junior guard Skylar Diggins (South Bend, Ind./Washington) was named BIG EAST Player of the Week back on Nov. 21, collecting the second citation of her career, and the first by a Fighting Irish player this year.
A preseason all-BIG EAST selection, as well as a candidate for the State Farm Wade Trophy, John R. Wooden Award and Naismith Trophy (each of which go to the nation's top women's college basketball player), Novosel led Notre Dame to a 92-83 victory over No. 8/7 Kentucky in their only action of the week this past Sunday afternoon at Purcell Pavilion. The Lexington native helped defeat her hometown school by scoring a game-high 23 points (on 7-of-13 shooting and a perfect 8-of-8 showing at the free throw line) and adding seven rebounds, as the Fighting Irish picked up their third win over a Top 25 opponent (all ranked 12th or higher) this season.
Novosel ranks sixth in the BIG EAST in scoring at a team-high 16.8 points per game and stands ninth in the conference with a .781 free throw percentage. She has scored in double figures in all 11 games this season (extending her current streak of double-digit games to 18 in a row, dating back to last year), including three 20-point games.
Ranked No. 3 in the latest AP poll also released on Monday, Notre Dame (10-1) returns to the hardwood at 7 p.m. (ET) Tuesday when it welcomes future BIG EAST member UCF to Purcell Pavilion. Tickets for that game are still available by contacting the Murnane Family Athletics Ticket Office (574-631-7356; UND.com/tickets) or visiting the ticket windows at Gate 9 of Purcell Pavilion on game night.
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 @notredamewbb) or register for the Irish ALERT text-messaging system through the "Fan Center" pulldown menu on the front page at UND.com.