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  2011-2012    Other Seasons    2013-2014  

BEC: Season 2012-2013

BEC Ranking
1. Notre Dame 16-0 (31-1)
2. Connecticut 14-2 (24-4)
3. Syracuse 11-5 (24-7)
4. Louisville 11-5 (24-8)
5. St.Johns 11-5 (18-12)
6. Villanova 9-7 (21-10)
7. De Paul 9-7 (21-11) 
8. S.Florida 9-7 (21-10)
9. Rutgers 7-9 (16-14)
10. Marquette 7-9 (16-15)
11. Georgetown 5-11 (15-16)
12. Seton Hall 5-11 (11-20)
13. Cincinnati 4-12 (12-18)
14. Providence 2-14 (7-23)
15. Pittsburgh 0-16 (9-21)

University of Notre Dame wins the USA BEC 2012-2013 title (Photo: Big East)

BEC Men 2012-2013
Official Web Site

University of Notre Dame 2012-13
Muffet McGraw Muffet McGraw McGraw
Natalie Achonwa
Skylar Diggins
Kayla McBride
Jewell Loyd
Ariel Braker
# Name CM (INCH) Pos Bo NAT
11  Achonwa Natalie 190 (6'3'') F 92 Canada
4  Diggins Skylar 175 (5'9'') G 90 USA
21  McBride Kayla 180 (5'11'') G 92 USA
32  Loyd Jewell 178 (5'10'') G 93 USA
44  Braker Ariel 185 (6'1'') F USA
22  Cable Madison 180 (5'11'') G USA
3  Holloway Whitney 163 (5'4'') G USA
34  Wright Markisha 188 (6'2'') F 93 USA
23  Mabrey Michaela 178 (5'10'') G 94 USA
24  Huffman Hannah 175 (5'9'') G USA
15  Turner Kaila 173 (5'8'') G USA
Head Coach: Muffet McGraw
Coach Assistant: Beth Cunningham
Coach Assistant: Niele Ivey

BIG EAST CHAMPS! Achonwa's Layup Lifts #2 Irish Past #3 UConn, 61-59 - Mar 13, 2013

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Skylar Diggins cut the final strand off the net and twirled it around. Finally, Notre Dame had its first BIG EAST tournament championship.

Six previous times the Irish had played Connecticut in the tournament title game and had fallen in each one, including the previous two. Now in the final BIG EAST title game, the Irish were champions.

"It's special because it's the last one," Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw said. "We leave here champions and go home undefeated. To win it here makes it even better."

Natalie Achonwa's layup with 1.8 seconds left lifted No. 2 Notre Dame to a 61-59 victory over third-ranked UConn on Tuesday night.

Diggins stole an errant pass from Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis with 8 seconds left, and after dribbling through a few defenders, found Achonwa for the uncontested lay-in.

Kelly Faris then heaved a desperation attempt from 65 feet that fell harmlessly off the backboard, setting off a wild celebration for the Irish, who have won 26 straight games.

"I've had a lot of big wins in my years here - wins against UConn to go to national championship games, it definitely is up there," Diggins said. "It means a lot not only to me, means a lot to coach and our program."

The Fighting Irish players, wearing championship hats and T-shirts, set up a dance line to celebrate and did an Irish jig in front of the school band.

"It's great for our program," Diggins said. "I'm excited for the team going into the NCAA tournament. This is our coming of age."

Now with the BIG EAST title, a national championship is the only thing missing from Diggins' impressive resume.

The Irish (31-1) weren't going to be denied in their final chance to win that elusive conference championship. Earlier in the day, Notre Dame announced it would be joining the ACC starting next season - a year earlier than expected.

Kayla McBride (5'11''-G-92), named the tournament's most outstanding player, scored 23 points to lead the Irish. Jewell Loyd (5'10''-G-93) finished with 16 and Diggins had 12.

Stefanie Dolson (6'5''-C-92) had 18 points and 14 rebounds, while Breanna Stewart (6'4''-F-94) had 16 points for UConn (29-4), which had won the last five Big East tournament titles but fell to Notre Dame for the third time this season.

The Huskies trailed 59-53 with 2:55 left before tying it at 59.

"At this point how I played isn't really in my mind," Dolson said. "We fought in the second half to tie it up ... at the end of the day we didn't win."

They had a chance to take the lead but Faris missed a layup. She got her own rebound and after calling a timeout, the Huskies had a chance before Mosqueda-Lewis got caught in the corner and threw the ball away to Diggins, setting up the finish.

The Irish have dominated the series recently with seven victories in the last eight meetings. No team has ever dominated the Huskies like that since UConn won its first national championship in 1995.

The only UConn victory came in the conference title game last season, but the Huskies couldn't pull off a third straight win over Notre Dame in the tournament championship.

The loss ended a run of 19 straight seasons that Connecticut had won either the regular season or postseason conference title.

These two teams could potentially meet for a fourth time in the NCAA tournament. It would be the third straight season that they would meet four times in one year.

"History has shown that what happens during the regular season doesn't mean that's what's going to happen in the postseason," UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. "There's a lot of basketball to be played before a chance of a Connecticut-Notre Dame game. We're going to get together on Saturday and start preparing for round one of the NCAA tournament. That's as far as we're looking towards right now."

The teams met eight days earlier and the Irish came away with a triple-overtime victory that clinched them their second straight conference regular-season title.

This one - while it didn't go three overtimes - was thrilling nonetheless; a fitting finale for a conference that has been arguably the best in women's basketball over the past decade. This was the last game under its current configuration as the basketball schools will break away from the football schools next season. That new basketball conference will keep the BIG EAST name.

"It was a great partnership that produced some memorable moments in a lot of sports. We are very sorry to see the BIG EAST that we knew and grew up in not exist anymore," Notre Dame vice president/director of athletics Jack Swarbrick said before the game.

Notre Dame appeared to put this one away early.

McBride keyed Notre Dame on a 20-4 run for a 20-8 lead. She had nine points during the burst, barely moving the net on some of her jumpers. The Huskies tried to rally in front of a friendly crowd of 9,000 who were clearly backing UConn despite the team wearing its blue road uniforms.

UConn pulled to 24-22 on a putback by Dolson with 4:52 left in the half. Then it was Loyd's time to shine. The conference's freshman of the year scored seven points during an 11-0 run as the Irish opened up a 35-22 advantage. They led 35-26 at the half.

Notre Dame expanded its lead to 39-28 before UConn finally got going. Stewart scored the final four points of an 11-0 run to tie it midway through the second half. The teams traded baskets over the next 6 minutes with neither able to build any sort of lead.

Diggins, the two-time reigning BIG EAST Player of the Year, finally gave Notre Dame a four-point lead with a floater in the lane with 5:22 left to set up the frantic finish.

Auriemma had inserted Stewart into the lineup for the first time since the middle of December. Stewart had averaged just 7.5 points against the Irish this season in the two previous meetings, making just six of her 24 shots.

She had played very well in the first two games of the BIG EAST tournament, and continued it against the Irish.

UConn didn't hit a 3-pointer for the first time since the 2002 NCAA championship game.

Courtesy of Notre Dame

Big East Tournament Final: Notre Dame - Connecticut 61-59
Big East Tournament Semifinals:
Notre Dame - Louisville 83-59
Connecticut - Syracuse 64-51

All-Big East 1st Team 2012-2013
Skylar Diggins
Stefanie Dolson
Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis
Brittany Hrynko
Sugar Rodgers

Player of the Year: Skylar Diggins (5'9''-G-90) of Notre Dame
All-Tournament MVP: Kayla McBride (5'11''-G-92) of Notre Dame
Defensive Player of the Year: Kelly Faris (5'11''-G-91) of Connecticut
Freshman of the Year: Jewell Loyd (5'10''-G-93) of Notre Dame
Most Improved Player of the Year: Kelly Faris (5'11''-G-91) of Connecticut
Most Improved Player of the Year: Brittany Hrynko (5'8''-G) of De Paul
Sixth Man of the Year: Carmen Tyson-Thomas (5'9''-G-91) of Syracuse
Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Anna Martin (5'9''-G) of De Paul
Coach of the Year: Muffet McGraw of Notre Dame

1st Team
C: Stefanie Dolson (6'5''-92) of Connecticut
F: Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis (6'0''-93) of Connecticut
G: Brittany Hrynko (5'8'') of De Paul
G: Sugar Rodgers (5'11'') of Georgetown
G: Shoni Schimmel (5'9''-92) of Louisville
F: Natalie Achonwa (6'3''-92) of Notre Dame
G: Skylar Diggins (5'9''-90) of Notre Dame
G: Kayla McBride (5'11''-92) of Notre Dame
G: Nadirah McKenith (5'7'') of St.John's
G: Shenneika Smith (6'1'') of St.John's
G: Andrea Smith (5'8''-90) of S.Florida
C: Kayla Alexander (6'4''-91) of Syracuse

2nd Team
G: Dayeesha Hollins (5'6''-91) of Cincinnati
G: Kelly Faris (5'11''-91) of Connecticut
F: Katherine Harry (6'3'') of De Paul
G: Anna Martin (5'9'') of De Paul
G: Antonita Slaughter (6'1'') of Louisville
F: Katherine Plouffe (6'3''-92) of Marquette
G: Symone Roberts (5'7''-91) of Providence
G: Brittany Morris (5'6'') of Seton Hall
G: Andrell Smith (5'8''-90) of S.Florida
F: Laura Sweeney (6'2''-89) of Villanova

Honorable Mention
Bria Hartley (5'7''-G-92) of Connecticut
Breanna Stewart (6'4''-F-94) of Connecticut
Jewell Loyd (5'10''-G-93) of Notre Dame
Brianna Kiesel (5'6''-G-93) of Pittsburgh
Erica Wheeler (5'7''-G-91) of Rutgers

All-Tournament Team
Skylar Diggins (5'9''-G-90) of Notre Dame
Jewell Loyd (5'10''-G-93) of Notre Dame
Stefanie Dolson (6'5''-C-92) of Connecticut
Breanna Stewart (6'4''-F-94) of Connecticut
Kayla Alexander (6'4''-C-91) of Syracuse

All-Freshman Team
Moriah Jefferson (5'7''-G-94) of Connecticut
Breanna Stewart (6'4''-F-94) of Connecticut
Chanise Jenkins (5'5''-G) of De Paul
Brooklyn Pumroy (5'7''-G-93) of Marquette
Jewell Loyd (5'10''-G-93) of Notre Dame
Aliyyah Handford (5'9''-G) of St.John's
Kahleah Copper (6'1''-G) of Rutgers
Brianna Butler (5'11''-G) of Syracuse
Brittney Sykes (5'9''-G-94) of Syracuse
Alisia Jenkins (6'1''-F) of S.Florida

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