NCAA Women's BB

The Bluegrass and Beyond

1/3/09 in NCAA Women's BB   |   ChristiSunshine   |   4020 respect

Anyone who knows ANYTHING about Kentucky knows that this is basketball country.  Christian Laettner is still widely hated for his last-second buzzer beater against Kentucky, resulting in a dramatic overtime victory for Duke in the NCAA East Regional Finals.  In 1992.  Yes, folks, that's an almost 17 year grudge.  
Over those past 17 years, the Novosel sisters, Shannon and Natalie, have spent many a night playing one-on-one in their backyard.  In neighborhood pick-up games in Lexington, or on their high school team at Lexington Catholic, Shannon and Natalie have always been on the same team.  That is, until they faced each other in college.  Shannon is a senior center at the University of Evansville during Natalie's freshman year at Notre Dame.  
Prior to committing to Notre Dame, Natalie was ranked #35 nationally, according to  Notre Dame has a consistent women's program...and they are consistently good.  Natalie's decision to commit to ND was driven by their commitment to academics as well as athletics.  The fact that two of ND's top scorers were graduating the year she arrived did not hurt.    She knew that if she came in and worked hard, she could have an immediate impact on her team.  And she has.
ND head coach Muffet McGraw says of Natalie:  "She has a scorer's mentality, and with a fiesty, aggressive presence...She's poised in pressure situations, shows good court awareness, and her fundamentals are really solid."  Last week, Novosel earned her first Big East Player of the Week honors, coming off the bench as a freshman to score 12 points as the Irish defeated Charlotte 68-61.  However, probably the biggest win of her life involved taking it to her big sister's team, 96-61.  I wonder how long THAT grudge will last?

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