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Virginia Tech’s Panousis earns Rookie of the Week honors
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Notre Dame sophomore guard Jewell Loyd has been named the Atlantic Coast Conference Women’s Basketball Player of the Week, while Virginia Tech freshman guard Vanessa Panousis has been tabbed the ACC Rookie of the Week, as announced Monday afternoon by the conference office and voted on by the Blue Ribbon Panel.
Loyd, who was also named ESPNW’s National Player of the Week, averaged 25.7 points and 7.7 rebounds per game with a .509 field goal percentage (.444 from 3-point range) as Notre Dame won three ACC games to clinch the ACC regular-season title and secure the No. 1 seed in the upcoming ACC Women’s Basketball Tournament.
Loyd scored at least 20 points in all three outings and posted her third double-double of the season on Thursday at Wake Forest with game highs of 29 points and 10 rebounds, which included a career-best 10-of-12 effort form the free throw line. Loyd began the week with 27 points and nine rebounds against Georgia Tech and capped the week with a 21-point afternoon against No. 7 Duke to help Notre Dame earn its seventh win over a ranked opponent in as many tries this season.
Panousis averaged 22.5 points per game, while leading the Hokies to back-to-back victories, including a road win at No. 11/8 North Carolina on Sunday. She tallied 21 points in a 69-62 victory over Pittsburgh and followed that up with 24 points as the Hokies upset the Tar Heels, 50-47. Panousis was clutch for the Hokies in two close games, going 10-of-10 from the line (6-of-6 vs. Pitt and 4-of-4 vs. UNC) in the final two minutes of each game to help Virginia Tech clinch the wins. In addition, Panousis set the new Virginia Tech freshman record for assists in a single season, tallying her 110th this week, breaking the previous record of 106 set in 2002-03.
ACC women’s basketball play continues Thursday, with seven games on the docket.