No matter the opponent, no matter the situation, University of Notre Dame women’s basketball junior guard Jewell Loyd just keeps on producing.
Following stellar efforts against two top-10 opponents last week, Loyd was chosen as the Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Week, earning that honor today following a vote of the conference’s Blue Ribbon Panel, which is comprised of the ACC’s 15 head coaches, local and national media members and the women’s basketball media relations directors for each school.
It’s the second time in Loyd’s career she has been selected as the ACC Player of the Week, having also garnered the award on Feb. 24, 2014. She is the first Notre Dame player to earn that honor this year, while rookie forward Brianna Turner collected the first two ACC Freshman of the Week citations on Nov. 17 and 24.
A prime candidate for numerous national player of the year honors, including the Wade Trophy, Wooden Award and Naismith Trophy, Loyd averaged 29.0 points, 4.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 3.0 steals per game last week as Notre Dame posted a wire-to-wire 92-72 victory over No. 15/10 Maryland on Dec. 3 at the ACC/Big Ten Challenge in Fort Wayne, Indiana, before falling to third-ranked Connecticut, 76-58 three days later in the Jimmy V Women’s Classic at Purcell Pavilion.
Loyd started her week by filling the box score with game highs of 27 points, eight rebounds and a career high-tying six assists against Maryland. She then fueled an early Fighting Irish surge against Connecticut, scoring 15 points in the opening 10 minutes as Notre Dame took a 10-point lead before the Huskies rallied for the win. Loyd wound up tying her career highs with 31 points and four steals against Connecticut, becoming the fifth Fighting Irish player in program history with four career 30-point games, and the first to chalk up 25 points in consecutive games since Feb. 23 and 27, 2014, when Kayla McBride did so against Duke and North Carolina.
“I thought Jewell was the best player on the floor in both games last week,” Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw said. “She is doing everything we’re asking of her, really rising to the occasion against some elite competition and showing why she’s right up there at the top of the list in the national player of the year discussion.”
The No. 5 Notre Dame women’s basketball team will face its third consecutive ranked opponent at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT Wednesday, when it travels to Chicago to take on No. 25 DePaul at McGrath-Phillips Arena. The game will be televised live to a national cable audience on Fox Sports 2, with radio coverage available in the South Bend area on Pulse FM (96.9/92.1) and worldwide on the official Fighting Irish athletics multimedia platform, WatchND.