The Notre Dame Fighting Irish women’s basketball team ranked 7th in the NCAA Division 1 standings posted February 28th.
They will be entering the Big East Championship tournament play with an overall record of 24-6 and a conference record of 13-3. The Big East Quarterfinals begin on March 6 where the Fighting Irish will take on Louisville, Providence, or Villanova.
The 2010-2011 season for Notre Dame has proved quite triumphant. They will be going into the Big East Championship as the 3rd seed, after a tie for second place in the Big East Conference. This is the ninth top-three seed in 16 appearances for Notre Dame.
They finished tied for second in regular season play following a loss to DePaul. There have been nine wins this season by a margin of 35 or more, breaking the school record of four. It can be noted that none of the games were ever close unless they resulted in a loss for Notre Dame.
The Fighting Irish won by at least 10 points, but most of the time it was double that. They also became the 32nd NCAA Division 1 program to record 700 wins with the win over Loyola Marymount. Head Coach Muffet McGraw leads Notre Dame, but the court belongs to senior Devereaux Peters, junior Natalie Novosel, and sophomore Skylar Diggins.
Head Coach Muffet McGraw, who has been with Notre Dame since 1987, leads the Fighting Irish. A tenured coach, McGraw has a record to be envious of. She led her team to win the 2001 NCAA Championship and is only one of eight active Division 1 coaches to guide her team to a national title.
In addition to this, she has had two trips to the Final Four, eight Sweet Sixteen appearances, 16 of the past 17 seasons with 20 or more wins, 15 consecutive NCAA Tournament berths, 12 top four finishes in the Big East Conference, and the list goes on.
Peters, Novosel, and Diggins were all recognized as being part of the All-Big East First Team selections. Senior forward Devereaux Peters is having a great season to end her college career on. She has improved her points per game from last season by 50%, increasing from 6.7 points to 11.5.
Her hard work has paid off as she became a conference leader in field goal percentage, double-doubles, blocks, rebounding, and scoring. Junior guard Natalie Novosel has also improved immensely from last season, increasing her points per game by 50% as well, going from 5 to 15. She was a three-time Big East Weekly Honor Roll selection, Most Valuable Player at the WBCA Classic, and leads the team in scoring.
Sophomore Skyler Diggins has started 29 of 30 games, led the team in assists, ranked second in scoring, and third in steals. She has also exceeded the 900-point mark for her career in the game against DePaul.
Located in Indiana, Notre Dame has been identified not only as a top athletic program, but academically as well. It has been identified as one of the top 10 collegiate workplaces in the country, rated among the nations top 25 institutions of higher learning, and seventh in a listing of “dream schools” in survey done by the Princeton Review.