Sam Brunelle received multiple honors from the Atlantic Coast Conference on Monday.
The former William Monroe High School standout was named to the conference’s All-Freshman team following a strong first season with the Notre Dame women’s basketball team.
She also was named the ACC Freshman of the Week after leading the Fighting Irish to a pair of wins last week.
Brunelle averaged 24.0 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists in Notre Dame’s wins over North Carolina and then-No. 19 Florida State.
She hit a combined nine 3-pointers in the two victories, shooting 56.3 percent from beyond the arc in the process.
The former Greene Dragon also was named ESPNW’s national player of the week.
Brunelle scored 23 points and pulled down nine rebounds in Notre Dame’s 83-65 win over the Tar Heels on Thursday. She finished 9-for-14 from the field and hit a pair of 3-pointers as Notre Dame won its final home game of the season.
In Sunday’s regular-season finale, Brunelle had one of her best performances of the season, scoring a game-high 25 points in an upset win over Florida State in Tallahassee. She hit a career-high seven 3-pointers against Seminoles, which tied the freshman single-game record at Notre Dame and tied for second most overall in a game.
Brunelle, who is averaging 14.1 points and 5.9 rebounds per game, has scored 20-plus points in three of her past four games while helping the Fighting Irish (13-17, 8-10 ACC) end the regular season on a three-game winning streak.
“It’s nice to know that we are kind of finishing strong and we still have a little more to play,” Brunelle said after the North Carolina win. “We just want to finish as strong as we can.”
Brunelle, who has been named ACC Freshman of the Week twice this season, has six 20-plus point performances this season, which leads all ACC freshmen. Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw believes Brunelle has a strong case to be ACC Freshman of the Year.
“Looking at the conference, I don’t see anybody better,” McGraw said of Brunelle after Notre Dame’s win over North Carolina. “She’s had a terrific year. She’s done so many things. She’s finishing strong. She doesn’t care about individual awards, she just wants the team to win, but it would great for us to see [her win Freshman of the Year].”
The ACC Freshman of the Year winner will be announced on Tuesday morning on the ACC Network during the “Packer and Durham” show.
Willoughby named first team
Virginia senior guard Jocelyn Willoughby was named to the All-ACC first team on Monday.
Willoughby leads the ACC in scoring (19.5 ppg) and ranks 12th in rebounding (7.5 rpg), is the first Virginia player to earn first team All-ACC honors since 2013.
The East Orange, New Jersey native has nine double-doubles this season and an ACC-best 14 20-point games, including a 31-point performance against Bucknell and a 29-point game last week in Blacksburg in the Cavaliers’ victory over the Hokies.