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Women’s Basketball: Duffy selected in third round of WNBA draft

Ken Fowler and Eric Retter | Thursday, April 6, 2006

The Minnesota Lynx selected Notre Dame senior point guard Megan Duffy in the third round of the WNBA Draft in Boston Wednesday.

Expected by many analysts to go in the first round, Duffy fell to the No. 31 pick overall in the draft.

“Obviously it was a little nerve-racking, sitting there for a few hours and not hearing your name,” Duffy said Wednesday in a telephone interview with The Observer. “But I was just really excited when Minnesota called my name and [said] they wanted me on their team.”

With the first overall pick in the draft, Minnesota took two-time Associated Press national player of the year Seimone Augustus, a 6-foot-1 shooting guard from Louisiana State. The Lynx used their second first-round selection to draft Utah point guard Shona Thorburn at No. 7 overall.

Duffy will compete with Augustus, Thorburn and returning Lynx players for a spot on the active roster during Minnesota’s training camp, which begins April 23.

“I think I have a really good situation in Minnesota because they need a point guard,” Duffy said. “It’s kind of up for grabs of who’s going to make it…. It’ll be an exciting, competitive training camp, and I’m just thankful to have the opportunity to go up to Minnesota.”

Minnesota and the 13 other teams of the WNBA held pre-draft workouts with about 40 college seniors Monday.

“I feel that I played well [in the workouts],” Duffy said. “I just kind of stuck to my game and concentrated on playing good defense and running the teams out there.”

Duffy averaged 15.7 points and 4.1 assists per game in her senior season and was seventh in the Big East in steals (2.03 per game). Her collegiate career ended March 19 with Notre Dame’s 78-61 loss to Boston College in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at Mackey Arena in West Lafayette, Ind. She scored 15 points on 6-of-15 shooting in the loss.

Duffy became the sixth Notre Dame player selected in the draft since 2001 – and the second taken by Minnesota. Last year, the Lynx drafted Duffy’s former teammate and Notre Dame alumnae Jacqueline Batteast. The forward played in just eight games last season, accumulating six rebounds and three assists in 46 minutes of play.

Minnesota traded Batteast to the Detroit Shock Wednesday for Ambrosia Anderson, a second-round pick out of BYU.

The Miami Sol drafted former Notre Dame center Ruth Riley in the first round of the 2001 draft, and Irish guard Niele Ivey went to the Indiana Fever in the second round that year.

Former Notre Dame forward Kelley Siemon was the third Irish player selected in 2001, going to the Los Angeles Sparks in the third round.

The Detroit Shock selected Irish guard Ericka Haney in third round of the 2002 Draft, and the Lynx took Batteast in the second round last year.

Duffy finished her career with an .859 free-throw percentage – second overall in Irish history and No. 15 all-time in the NCAA – and led the conference in the category in 2005-06 (.888).

She was a unanimous selection to the All-Big East first team this year and won the Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award – given annually to the nation’s best senior shorter than 5-foot-8.