|Baylor at Notre Dame
Dec. 5, 2012 | 6 p.m. CT
Notre Dame, Ind. | Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center (9,149)
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Baylor Hits Road Again, Takes on No. 5 Notre Dame...
The defending national champion and third-ranked Baylor Lady Bears will hit the road for the third time this season as BU takes on fifth-ranked Notre Dame on Wednesday, Dec. 5, at 6 p.m. (CT) at the Fighting Irish's Joyce Center.
The contest, which features a matchup between two teams that played in the 2012 NCAA Championship game, will be nationally televised by ESPN2 with the Women's Final Four crew of Dave O'Brien (play-by-play), Doris Burke (analyst) and Rebecca Lobo (sideline) calling the action.
Baylor, led by 2012 National Coach of the Year Kim Mulkey, is 6-1 on the season after posting an 89-49 victory at Rice.
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish enter Wednesday's game at 5-0 after a 72-63 win at Central Michigan. The Irish are led by 5-11 junior guard Kayla McBride's 14.6 points a contest. She is followed by Skylar Diggins, a 5-9 senior guard, who scores 14.0 a game while Natalie Achonwa and Jewell Loyd complete Notre Dame's double-digit scoring with 13.6 points and 12.6 points a contest, respectively. Achonwa is the team's leading rebounder at 9.6 an outing.
- Preseason National Player of the Year Brittney Griner, a 6-8 senior post, leads BU in scoring with 21.0 points per game. Over the past three games Griner has averaged just 19.3 minutes per game. She currently has 2,572 career points and 1,008 career rebounds.
- Senior forward/post Destiny Williams leads BU in rebounding at 6.5 per game, ranks No. 2 in scoring with 10.7 a contest and has produced two double-doubles (No. 6 Kentucky, at Rice) this season.
- Junior point guard Odyssey Sims, who had been sidelined for four games with a hamstring injury, averages 10.7 points an outing.
- Senior guard Jordan Madden leads the squad in assists (27) while averaging 8.9 points and 4.0 rebounds a contest. In addition, she is shooting .558 from the floor, including .333 from 3-point range.
Williams Plays Close to Home...
- Destiny Williams' hometown of Benton Harbor, Mich., is just 30 miles from the Notre Dame campus.
- Three of the six players named to the Associated Press' women's basketball preseason All-America team will be on the court on Wednesday, Baylor's duo of Brittney Griner and Odyssey Sims and Notre Dame's Skylar Diggins.
Third Top-10 Matchup of Young Season...
- Baylor's game vs. Notre Dame will be the Lady Bears' third top-10 contest of the young season.
- Baylor is 1-1 vs. top-10 teams this year, as it defeated No. 6 Kentucky (85-51) and lost to then-No. 4 and currently top-ranked Stanford (71-69) in Hawai'i.
Big 12 Player of the Week...
- For her play vs. Rice, Brittney Griner earned her 20th weekly Big 12 weekly award, tying the all-time women's basketball mark held by former Oklahoma player Courtney Paris (2006-09).
- Griner poured in a season-high 35 points, hitting 16 of her 19 (.842) shots from the floor and draining three free throws in just 22 minutes of action at Rice. In addition, she pulled down nine rebounds, added four blocked shots and dished out two assists. In hauling down her first board of the night, Griner collected her 1,000th career rebound. She became just the second Big 12 women's basketball player to score over 2,500 points (2,572) and garner 1,000 rebounds (1,008). Griner is only the sixth player to eclipse 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds since the Big 12's inception.
- Baylor and Notre Dame both average double-digit steals this season, Notre Dame checks in at 13.4, while BU manages 10.4 a contest.
- Wednesday's matchup features the two teams that played in the 2012 NCAA Championship finals, Baylor downed Notre Dame, 80-61, in Denver to claim its second crown.
- Baylor's Wednesday, Dec. 5, game at No. 5 Notre Dame has been sold out, one of two advance sellouts for the Irish this season (UConn on March 4).
- Senior guard Jordan Madden is having her finest season yet, averaging 8.9 points a game while hauling down 4.0 rebounds a contest.
- Madden leads the team in assists (24) and steals (14).
- She has scored in double-digits in five of seven games this season including a season-high 16 vs. then-No. 4 Stanford.
Johnson Dishing it Out...
- Freshman point guard Niya Johnson dished out a career-high 11 assists at Rice on Nov. 27, 2012.
- With the 11 dimes, she became just the 10th Lady Bear to dish out 11 or more assists in a contest.
Pope Coming On...
- Baylor graduate Brooklyn Pope has proved impressive so far this season, averaging 9.6 points and 5.1 rebounds in just 14.3 minutes of action a game.
- Most impressive among her 2012-13 numbers are her shooting percentage from both the floor (.548) and free throw line (.600). The 6-2 forward/post shot 48.3 percent from the floor last season and was 48.1 percent from the free throw line.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish...
- Located in Notre Dame, Ind., the Notre Dame Fighting Irish return to their home court, Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center, after two road contests.
- The Irish are led by 5-11 junior guard Kayla McBride's 14.6 points a contest. She is followed by Skylar Diggins, a 5-9 senior guard, who scores 14.0 a game while forward Natalie Achonwa and guard Jewell Loyd complete Notre Dame's double-digit scoring with 13.6 points and 12.6 points a contest, respectively. Achonwa is the team's leading rebounder at 9.6 an outing.
- Notre Dame is coached by 31st-year head coach Muffet McGraw (Saint Joseph's, 1977). McGraw owns a 684-256 (.728) career mark and is 596-215 (.735) in 26 seasons along the Notre Dame sideline.
- BU leads series 3-0, all games coming since BU head coach Kim Mulkey's arrival.
- Wednesday's contest marks the first time Notre Dame hosts the Lady Bears, the two teams have played twice in Waco and once on a neutral court.