Trio wins all-region honorsPublished 7:06pm Monday, March 19, 2012
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — For the third consecutive year and the third time in school history, three Notre Dame women’s basketball players have earned all-region status in the same season and now are in position to contend for places on the 2012 State Farm Coaches’ All-America Team, it was announced Thursday afternoon by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA).
The Fighting Irish are one of only three programs in the country (along with Baylor and St. John’s) to field three all-region honorees this season, and Notre Dame is the only school in the land to have three all-region selections each of the last three years.
Junior guard Skylar Diggins (South Bend/Washington) earned her third all-region citation in as many seasons, while senior guard/tri-captain Natalie Novosel (Lexington, Ky./Lexington Catholic) and fifth-year senior forward/tri-captain Devereaux Peters (Chicago/Fenwick) both garnered all-region honors for the second time in their respective careers.
The trio is among the 52 all-region selections, and three of the 12 honorees from the WBCA’s Region I, which includes players from schools in the Big East, Atlantic 10, America East and Northeast conferences, as well as the Ivy Group and Patriot League. All told, 12 Fighting Irish players have collected all-region laurels a total of 23 times in the program’s 35-year history.
Diggins’ selection is particularly noteworthy, as she becomes just the third Notre Dame player to collect three all-region citations in her career, joining Ruth Riley (1999-2001) and Jacqueline Batteast (2002, 2004-05) in that elite sorority.
All three of those players also made the 10-member State Farm Coaches All-America Team at some point during their careers, with Riley making the 2001 squad, Batteast doing likewise in 2005 and Diggins the most recent Fighting Irish All-America choice in 2011.
Thursday’s announcement is the latest in a recent spate of awards for all three Fighting Irish players, each of whom was tabbed for first-team all-Big East Conference honors earlier this month. Diggins, who also was named the Big East Player of the Year and is a finalist for both the Naismith Trophy and Wooden Award, was a unanimous choice (her third consecutive all-league award and second unanimous honor), while Novosel and Peters were first-team all-Big East selections for the second year in a row.