For the seventh time in her All-America career, Notre Dame senior guard/co-captain Skylar Diggins has been selected as the final BIG EAST Conference Player of the Week for the 2012-13 season.
It's the third time this season (and second in three weeks) Diggins has earned the award, with her seven career honors standing as the second-most by a Notre Dame player in program history, topped only by Ruth Riley’s eight citations from 1997-2001.
Diggins closed out the regular season in grand style last week, averaging 27.0 points, 6.3 rebounds, 5.7 assists and 4.0 steals per game in three Fighting Irish victories as Notre Dame won its second consecutive outright BIG EAST regular season title and registered the school’s first undefeated conference season since 1989-90 (and second in program history).
Diggins opened the three-game run on Feb. 26 in a 79-68 Senior Night win over No. 22/20 Syracuse at Purcell Pavilion, dropping in 24 points while adding game highs of eight assists and six steals (the latter matching her season best). Diggins scored 21 of her 24 points in the first half to help the Fighting Irish rally from an early 15-point deficit and match the program’s largest comeback win in its BIG EAST era (1995-96 to present).
Last Saturday in a 92-57 win at Providence, Diggins enjoyed a torrid shooting day, scoring 28 points on 8-of-15 field goals (including a season-high 4-of-7 from three-point range), while adding a game-best six assists.
In the final home game of her career on Monday night, Diggins played all 55 minutes (a school record) in Notre Dame’s epic 96-87 triple-overtime victory over No. 3 Connecticut that clinched the outright conference title for the Fighting Irish. She logged her third double-double of the season (ninth of her career) with a game-high 29 points and team-best 11 rebounds, and was Notre Dame’s unquestioned leader down the stretch, starting with her game-tying free throw with 27.2 seconds left in regulation that forced overtime. She then had four points and two critical steals in the third overtime period, highlighting a 10-0 Fighting Irish run that finally settled matters in the longest game in Notre Dame women’s basketball history.
Diggins’ last two outings also made her the first Fighting Irish player in more than six years to score at least 25 points in consecutive games, a feat last achieved by Charel Allen from Feb. 11-17, 2007, in wins over DePaul (25 points), at Villanova (25 points) and at Providence (26 points).
Riding a school record-tying 23-game winning streak, No. 2 Notre Dame (28-1, 16-0 BIG EAST) is the top seed for the 2013 BIG EAST Championship and has earned a double-bye into the quarterfinal round, where it will play its first game at 2 p.m. (ET) Sunday at the XL Center in Hartford, Conn., against the winner of the second-round game between eighth-seeded South Florida and No. 9 seed Rutgers.
Notre Dame’s quarterfinal contest will be televised live to a national cable audience by ESPNU.