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Fighting Irish rookie follows ACC honor by becoming first Notre Dame freshman to earn weekly national award.
Second consecutive week an ACC rookie is honored nationally.
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — As it turns out, the awards keep coming for University of Notre Dame women’s basketball freshman forward Brianna Turner (Pearland, Texas/Manvel) nearly a week after the Christmas holiday.
One day after earning her third Atlantic Coast Conference Freshman of the Week citation, Turner collected an even bigger honor, being selected as the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) National Freshman of the Week earlier today. Thanks to her conference honors, Turner automatically was placed under consideration for the USBWA national weekly award, which was chosen by Mel Greenberg, the USBWA coordinator for women’s basketball, from among a list of NCAA Division I conference freshmen of the week selections.
Turner is the first Notre Dame women’s basketball player to be named USBWA National Freshman of the Week, although two Fighting Irish players have earned the organization’s year-end National Freshman of the Year award—Jacqueline Batteast (2002) and Jewell Loyd (2013).
Loyd collected her own national weekly honor earlier this season, having been selected as the espnW National Player of the Week on Dec. 15.
Turner earned this week’s national and conference freshman of the week awards after posting her first career double-double with 14 points and a career-high 16 rebounds, and matched a career-best five blocked shots in Notre Dame’s near wire-to-wire 82-67 victory at UCLA on Sunday afternoon. Despite facing a UCLA roster with five players standing taller than 6-foot-3, Turner more than held her own, collecting more offensive rebounds (nine) than any other player’s total rebound count during the game. Turner’s nine offensive rebounds also matched her previous career high for total rebounds (nine vs. UMass Lowell on Nov. 14), while her five blocks tied her personal best set in her last outing on Dec. 21 against Saint Joseph’s (Pa.).
Turner currently leads the nation with a .667 field-goal percentage. She also ranks sixth in the ACC in blocked shots (2.1 bpg.), is tied for 14th in the conference in scoring (14.0 ppg.) and stands 18th in rebounding (6.3 rpg.).