Notre Dame's Brianna Turner reacts to a knee injury during the first half of a second-round game against Purdue in the NCAA women's college basketball tournament, Sunday, March 19, 2017, in South Bend, Ind. (AP Photo/Robert Franklin)
Robert Franklin
March 21, 2017

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) Notre Dame junior forward Brianna Turner will miss the rest of the season with a knee injury, a major blow to the NCAA Tournament hopes of the top-seeded Fighting Irish.

Notre Dame said Tuesday that Turner tore the anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee Sunday night during a second-round win over Purdue. She leads the team this season with 15.3 points and 7.1 rebounds per game, and also has 86 blocks - sixth-best for a single season in Notre Dame history.

The Fighting Irish (32-3) face fifth-seeded Ohio State (28-6) on Friday night in the Sweet 16 in Lexington, Kentucky.

It's the eighth straight time Notre Dame has advanced to the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament, doing so after downing ninth-seeded Purdue in overtime.

''We completely fell apart offensively,'' Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw said after the close win. ''It's just so different without (Turner) when you're in the ball screen, because they have to worry about her.''

Turner has been one of the best players for the Fighting Irish for all three of her seasons, starting all but one of her 65 games over her first two years. The 6-foot-3 forward missed six games as a sophomore with a shoulder injury, but she led the Atlantic Coast Conference in both field goal percentage (59.3 percent) and blocked shots per game (3.0) while averaging 14.6 points.

As a freshman, Turner shot a remarkable 65.2 percent from the field while averaging 13.8 points and 7.9 rebounds in 25.6 minutes per game.

This season, Turner was named the ACC Defensive Player of the Year and a first-team All-ACC selection.

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