Loyd and Turner lead Notre Dame sweep of ACC honors

Lewis Bagley
South Bend Tribune

For the second straight day, Notre Dame's Jewell Loyd and Brianna Turner have been honored by the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Loyd, a junior guard from Lincolnwood, Ill., has been named the conference's Player of the Year, while Turner has been honored as the league's Freshman of the Year. On Tuesday, the pair were named first team All-ACC.

"This is such a blessing and to earn this award along with (Turner) makes it even more special," Loyd said in the release. "All 13 players, the entire coaching staff and our tremendous fans — we celebrate and share these awards together."

It is the first time since 2009 one school has swept both awards.The Notre Dame program swept both awards as part of the Big East Conference in 2013, when Skylar Diggins was named the league's top player and Loyd the top freshman.

The Irish are in Greensboro, N.C. for the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament.

Loyd started all 30 games for the 28-2 Irish, averaging 20.7 points and 3.2 assists per game. She also led the ACC with 17 20-point games and four 30-point games this season. The four 30-point games in one season is also a school record.

Turner averaged 14.2 points and 7.6 rebounds a game and leads the country in field goal percentage, shooting at a .681 clip. She also averaged 2.7 blocks per game, which ranks third in the ACC.

"These are two remarkable, outstanding young women and it's a thrill and a joy to see them recognized in this way," Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw said in a university release. "They are so determined and focused and the hard work they put in throughout the season has shown itself in their play on the floor."

Turner, from Pearland, Texas, also spread praise around.

"It's really a group effort," Turner said in the release. "I'm just the one who is taking care of this award on behalf of my team. I'm so grateful, honored and humbled."

Loyd is the seventh ND women's basketball player to earn league player of the year recognition, following on the heels of Kayla McBride last season and Diggins, who won the Big East award in 2012 and 2013.

Turner is the fifth player in program history to be named the top freshman with Loyd being the most recent.

Notre Dame will take a 14-game winning streak into the ACC Tournament, where the Irish will begin play Friday in the quarterfinals against the winner of Thursday's Miami-Virginia contest.

Notre Dame’s Brianna Turner (11) stands by Jewell Loyd (32) Thursday, January 22, 2015, during the Georgia Tech-Notre Dame women's basketball game at Purcell Pavilion. SBT Photo/GREG SWIERCZ