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Lloyd earns freshman award

Notre Dame guard Jewell Loyd was named the U.S. Basketball Writers Association women's national freshman of the year.

Loyd averaged 12.5 points to help the Irish go 35-1, win the Big East regular-season and tournament titles and earn a third straight trip to the NCAA tournament’s Final Four. She is the second Notre Dame player to receive the freshman honor, joining Jacqueline Batteast in 2002

Loyd will be honored before Notre Dame’s national semifinal game against Connecticut, which is set to start at 9 p.m. Sunday in the New Orleans Sports Arena.

“I'm really happy with the way Jewell has played," Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw said in a statement. "What a phenomenal season for a freshman. She came in with high expectations, and was able to meet those expectations.

“That's a tough thing to be able to do. But probably what I like most is how she's developed at the defensive end - she's such a sponge and wants very much to know what she can do to get better, and that's the sign of a player who has a very bright future ahead of her.”