Irish’s Turner named All-American
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — On the eve of her team’s debut in the 2016 NCAA Championship, University of Notre Dame women’s basketball sophomore forward Brianna Turner (Pearland, Texas/Manvel) picked up another major national honor as she earned a spot on the five-player Sports Illustrated All-America Team that was unveiled in this week’s issue of the national magazine.
Turner, who is a prime candidate for every major national player-of-the-year award, was named the Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year by the league’s 15 head coaches on March 7, in addition to collecting All-ACC First Team and ACC All-Defensive Team accolades for the second consecutive season.
Despite missing six games with a shoulder injury early in the season, Turner has been one of the ACC’s most consistent players all year long, starting the other 26 games she has suited up for and leading the conference in field-goal percentage (.596 — also sixth in nation as of Thursday) and blocked shots (3.2 bpg. – 11th in nation), while ranking 10th in rebounding (7.3 rpg.) and 11th in scoring (14.3 ppg.) with three double-doubles.
Turner was equally strong during conference games, leading the ACC in field-goal percentage (.658) and blocks (2.9 bpg.), while ranking eighth in scoring (15.4 ppg.) and 12th in rebounding (7.3 rpg.).
After blocking 89 blocks as a rookie last year, Turner has recorded 82 blocked shots this season, already standing sixth on Notre Dame’s single-season blocks list. In fact, she joins Ruth Riley as the only Fighting Irish players ever to post multiple 80-block seasons — Riley did so during her final three years under the Golden Dome from 1998-99 through 2000-01.
Turner was named to the All-ACC Tournament First Team for the second year in a row on March 6 after nearly averaging a double-double with 15.0 points, 9.0 rebounds and 3.3 blocks per game in three Fighting Irish victories. She tallied a double-double (18 points, 11 rebounds, four blocks) in the championship game win over No. 17 Syracuse after narrowly missing a double-double (17 points, nine rebounds) in a semifinal victory over No. 21 Miami one day earlier.
Ranked No. 2 in the final Associated Press poll and No. 3 in the current WBCA/USA Today poll, Notre Dame earned the No. 1 seed in the Lexington Region for the 2016 NCAA Championship, and opened up tournament play with a 95-61 win over North Carolina A&T.
The Fighting Irish faced Indiana in the second round Monday night.