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3 Irish women are All-American candidates

Notre Dame placed a program record three women's basketball players on the list of 40 finalists for the State Farm Coaches' All-America team on Wednesday.

Sophomore guard Skylar Diggins was nominated for a second year in a row, and she was joined by junior guard Natalie Novosel and senior forward Deveraux Peters, the Women's Basketball Coaches Association announced Wednesday.

The finalists will be narrowed down to a 10-member State Farm Coaches' All-America team, which will be announced at 9 a.m. April 2 as part of the events for the NCAA women's tournament Final Four in Indianapolis.

Notre Dame has had two players earn a place on the All-American squad. Ruth Riley in 2001 and Jacqueline Batteast in 2005.

The Irish will play Oklahoma in the Sweet 16 at about 2:30 p.m. Saturday in Dayton. Notre Dame's game tips off 30 minutes after the conclusion of Tennessee's game against Ohio State, which begins at 12:04 p.m.

The Journal Gazette's Assistant Sports Editor Tony Krausz covers The University of Notre Dame. Krausz, a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism and a native of St. Louis, has been assistant sports editor since October 2005. Prior to joining the JG, he worked at two papers in Mississippi covering high school and college athletics.