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ND Women’s Basketball: Peters comfortable in her role

Molly Sammon | Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Irish graduate student forward Devereaux Peters had the week of her career over the last seven days.

Against Villanova on Saturday and Pittsburgh on Jan. 17, Peters averaged 64 percent shooting from the field and 19.5 points, earning Big East Conference as the Player of the Week honors Monday.

Simply put, Peters shined in the first-half of each game. Against the Panthers, Peters scored see McBRIDE/page 18

all of her season-high 20 points in the first half. The scoring run was uncharacteristic for the forward, who said her primary role on the team is usually not the leading scorer.

“I’m not really big into getting a bunch of points,” Peters said “There are plenty of people on the team who are scorers. When I have big nights, that’s great, but I don’t focus on it.”

Before halftime against Villanova, Peters scored more than the entire Wildcats team combined.

“After [the first half] they paid attention to me a little more and that opened everyone else up,” Peters said. “[Senior guard] Natalie [Novosel] and [junior guard] Skylar [Diggins] started hitting [shots]. They seemed to focus on me a little more.”

Peters averages 11.8 points per game over the season, but pushed her average up during No. 2 Notre Dame’s win over No. 7 Tennessee on Monday with 16 points.

Though Peters is on a scoring run over the last three games, she knows when to get rid of the ball and she does it well, sophomore guard Kayla McBride said.

“[Peters] sees the court really well,” McBride said. “She sees the double team and decides if she should lob or skip it. It’s something we work on in practice everyday, and she has been here for a while, so she knows what to do.”

When Peters is set up to score, she said she has faith in the Notre Dame guards to find her.

“I just run the floor, and Skylar is going to find me because she knows where I’m going to go,” Peters said. “The guards do a great job of finding me. I really just run down the floor, and they get me the ball.”

Her 16 points against Tennessee matched her career-high 16 rebounds, good enough for her fourth double-double of the season and the 15th of her career.

Irish coach Muffet McGraw told the team before the Tennessee game that she was looking for a drastic improvement in rebounds, Peters said.

“We got yelled at by coach, and that’s a lot of motivation to do what you’re supposed to do,” Peters said. “We knew rebounding was going to be really important coming in.”

She also became the first Irish player to reach at least fifteen rebounds and points since guard Lindsay Schrader (’09) did so against Cincinnati on Jan. 31.

According to Peters, getting rebounds requires the tenacity she brings in each game.

“It’s about what you’ve got to do to win the game,” she said. “If you’re going to be soft, you’re going to lose.”

Peters and the Irish will travel to New York to take on St. John’s on Saturday. Tip-off is scheduled for noon.

Contact Molly Sammon at [email protected]