Jan. 28, 2016
ATLANTA (AP)– Notre Dame had a tough time scoring all night, so Brianna Turner was glad the Irish were stout enough on defense to keep their winning streak intact.
”We tried to be in the right place at the right time, focus on our help defense if somebody got beat and really having each other’s back,” she said.
Turner scored 15 points, Lindsay Allen added 14 and No. 3 Notre Dame took a 54-42 victory over Georgia Tech on Thursday night.
Notre Dame got two baskets from Kathryn Westbeld and a 3-pointer from Michaela Mabrey to push the lead to 11 early in the fourth. Before Mabrey hit from the left side, the Irish had missed 13 of 14 on 3s.
They finished just 2 for 16 beyond the arc, a poor showing for a team that began the game leading the nation with a 44.2 percentage on 3s. Notre Dame went just 10 for 24 from the foul line.
”I think it’s different to shoot at any away court, but especially here because the lighting and the backdrop are a little different,” Allen said. ”We could’ve done a better job attacking the basket and getting warmed up more and making sure we’re focused on our shots.”
Georgia Tech, which never led after the early minutes of the first quarter, pulled within two on Imani Tilford’s layup in the third before Madison Cable, Notre Dame’s second-leading scorer this season, drove the baseline for a back-door layup that made it 34-30 on her first points of the game.
Notre Dame’s biggest lead in the first half was 11 on Allen’s layup, but the Jackets came within four on Zaire O’Neil’s layup in the final minute of the second quarter.
Allen scored 11 points in the first half. Whiteside had six as the Yellow Jackets shot just 24.1 percent from the field in the first 20 minutes.
”I thought that we did everything we needed to do tonight except make shots,” Georgia Tech coach MaChelle Joseph said. ”Any time you hold Notre Dame to 54 points and 37 percent from the field you’re doing something right, but we can’t shoot 22 percent and win a game, not in this league, not against the No. 3 team in the country.”
The Irish’s only loss was at No. 1 Connecticut on Dec. 5. Coach Muffet McGraw has led Notre Dame to the Final Four in each of the last five seasons.
Notre Dame: Since joining the ACC two years ago, the Irish are 39-1 in the league and have won 24 straight, including conference tournament play. … Cable had a game-high 10 rebounds. Allen made her 98th straight start to set a school record.
Notre Dame: Visits Duke on Monday.