Basketball Or Lacrosse, Irish Are Glad Mallory Is Aboard
By Matt Zenitz
In her bio on the women's basketball page of Notre Dame's official athletic site, Baltimore native Brittany Mallory was described as, among other things, one of the team's top defenders and "a constant nuisance for opponents for the defensive end."
That kind of defensive pressure from Mallory, a graduate student, was a key part of the Fighting Irish's ability to advance to the NCAA national championship game for the second consecutive season.
Now, Notre Dame women's lacrosse coach Christine Halfpenny is hoping Mallory can provide a similar type of defensive presence for the Irish team.
Halfpenny announced earlier this month that Mallory, a former lacrosse standout at McDonogh School in Owings Mills, would be joining the lacrosse team now that her college basketball career has ended.
"We are excited to add Brittany Mallory to the roster now that her basketball season/career has come to a close," Halfpenny said in a news release. "Brittany has played the sport of lacrosse in high school and has stayed connected with it over the past five years."
Mallory will be a defender for Notre Dame, which was 9-2 and ranked seventh nationally as of April 13.
"I'm really excited to be able to join the women's lacrosse team for the rest of the season," Mallory said in the release. "I played in middle and high school, and I love the sport. I'm friends with many of the girls on the team and have missed playing while I have been here at Notre Dame. I just want to come in and help out the team in whatever way I can."
Mallory played lacrosse during her first three years of high school before deciding to focus solely on basketball.
During those three years, Mallory, a midfielder, was a two-time US Lacrosse honorable mention All-American, as well as a two-time IAAM A Conference All-Star. As a junior in 2006, she led McDonogh to a berth in the conference championship game.
"She was a great player," said Eagles coach Chris Robinson, who coached Mallory during each of her three high lacrosse seasons. "She was one of the best players in the Baltimore area her junior year. If she would've continued on, I think she would've been one of the top collegiate players in the country because of her athletic ability, her drive and her competitive attitude. …
"Obviously, she had a great career at Notre Dame with basketball, and now, depending how Notre Dame's lacrosse is going to use her, I think she's going to be a great asset to that team."
Mallory concluded her Fighting Irish basketball career as the program's all-time leader in games played (151), while ranking fifth in both career steals (272) and career 3-point field goal attempts (466). She also ranks sixth in Notre Dame history in career 3-point field goals made (153).
A two-year captain, Mallory started 74 games during the last two years. She started all 39 games for the Irish last season, averaging 5.8 points per game and almost 30 minutes per game. She also finished the year eighth in the Big East Conference in steals (2.1 per game), helping Notre Dame set a school record for fewest points per game allowed for a season (52.9).
"I am excited about the unique contributions that Brittany can add to our already strong and balanced team for the remainder of the season," Halfpenny said. "Without a doubt, her championship character will be a natural fit with the goals this team has set for the program."
Issue 172: April 2012