Dec. 23, 2012
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - For the fifth time in her All-America career, Notre Dame senior guard/co-captain Skylar Diggins (South Bend, Ind./Washington) has been selected as the BIG EAST Conference Player of the Week, it was announced Sunday afternoon by the conference office. Diggins is the first Fighting Irish women's basketball player to earn the award this season, with her five career honors tying for the second-most by a Notre Dame player in program history, topped only by Ruth Riley's eight citations from 1997-2001.
In addition, this marks the 79th time a Fighting Irish women's basketball player has earned a BIG EAST weekly award (45 Players of the Week, 34 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).
Diggins, who also earned a spot on the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll on Dec. 3, was named the Most Valuable Player of the World Vision Classic on Dec. 21 after leading Notre Dame to the tournament title. The All-America point guard averaged 20.3 points, 4.3 assists and 2.7 steals per game with a .511 field goal percentage, .375 three-point percentage, .857 free throw percentage and 1.4 assist/turnover ratio in wins over No. 22 Texas A&M (83-74), Kansas State (87-57) and Alabama A&M (100-39).
Diggins scored over 20 points twice in the tournament, notching a game-high 22 points (on 8-of-12 shooting) in the semifinal win over Kansas State, then tallying a team-high 24 points in the title contest against Texas A&M (a rematch of the 2011 NCAA national championship game). Diggins also chalked up a game-high eight assists (with just one turnover) in the semifinal win over K-State, and added a game-high five steals and four assists against Texas A&M, plus a game-clinching three-pointer with 4:02 left to cap a 7-1 run that locked up the championship. Diggins opened the tournament with 15 points (on 5-6 FG) in just 19 minutes against Alabama A&M, as Notre Dame scored 100 points in back-to-back games for the first time in school history.
Diggins' tournament MVP honor was the fourth of her career, and second in the regular season following the 2009 Paradise Jam (she also has been Most Outstanding Player of the last two NCAA regionals won by Notre Dame). What's more, Diggins' 24 points against Texas A&M moved her into fourth place on the Fighting Irish all-time scoring list (1,877 career points) and marked her 96th career double-figure scoring game (good for fifth in school history).
For the season, Diggins ranks 11th in the BIG EAST in scoring (15.1 ppg.), while leading the conference in assists (5.4 apg) and also placing in the top 10 in the conference in free throw percentage (2nd - .870), steals (3rd - 3.1 spg.) and assist/turnover ratio (8th - 1.54).
No. 5 Notre Dame (9-1) is in the midst of an eight-day hiatus for the Christmas holiday, but will return to the hardwood at 2 p.m. (ET) Saturday when it tangles with No. 13/12 Purdue at Purcell Pavilion. Tickets are on sale for all Fighting Irish home games, starting at $8 for adults and $5 for youths (21 and younger)/seniors (55 and older), with slightly higher prices for adult tickets ($12) for the March 4 Connecticut game. For details or to make a purchase, call (574) 631-7356, visit the Murnane Family Athletics Ticket Office at Gate 9 of Purcell Pavilion during normal business hours (8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. ET Monday-Friday), or go on-line 24 hours a day to the official Fighting Irish athletics ticketing web site, UND.com/tickets.
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.