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Game 9 Preview: Georgia Tech Rematch

Irish look to get revenge on Sunday, Jan. 3, at 4 p.m. EST

2021 ACC Tournament 
ACC Tourney Central:Click Here
Where:Greensboro Coliseum | Greensboro, N.C.
Listen:99.9 WQLQ-FM
Live Scoring:Statbroadcast
2nd Round:vs. #11 Clemson (10-12)
When:Thursday, March 4 | 8:30 p.m. EST
Watch:RSN - Check Affiliates
Watch:Fox Sports to Go
Quarterfinals:vs. #3 Georgia Tech (14-7)
When:Friday, March 5 | 8:30 p.m. EST
Watch:RSN - Check Affiliates
Watch:Fox Sports to Go
Semifinals:TBD
When:Saturday, March 6 | 2:30 p.m. EST
Watch:ACC Network
Finals:TBD
When:Sunday, March 7 | Noon EST
Watch:ESPN2
Social:@NDWBB

Notre Dame Notes | Georgia Tech Notes

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – In a rare college basketball instance, the University of Notre Dame women’s basketball team (4-4, 2-2) will get to ring a previous wrong when they once again host Georgia Tech (4-2, 2-1) on Sunday, Jan. 3. The rematch is scheduled to tip-off at 4 p.m. EST inside Purcell Pavilion, airing live on the ACC Network.

HISTORY WITH THE YELLOW JACKETS

The Irish were a perfect 13-0 all-time against Georgia Tech, until the Yellow Jackets invaded Purcell Pavilion on Dec. 13 and left with an 82-67 victory.

Maddy Westbeld nearly netted a double-double in the game with 21 points and nine rebounds. Dara Mabrey was the lone other Irish in double figures with 11 points. Both Westbeld and Mabrey were 3-for-4 from beyond the arc that day. The Irish will look to stop Lorela Cubaj who posted 16 points and 13 boards.

WESTBELD MAKING IMMEDIATE IMPACT

Maddy’s 16.9 ppg not only leads the team, but also ranks sixth overall in the ACC. Not to mention, her scoring average tops all ACC freshmen and ranks 10th among all freshmen in the country. Maddy will also be chasing the ND freshman scoring record held by Beth (Morgan) Cunningham – 17.9 ppg in 1993-94.

To truly show what kind of season Westbeld is having, she’s 1-of-3 freshmen in the country averaging at least 16 points, 7 rebounds & 1.5 steals.

How dominant has Westbeld been? Well, the freshman ranks in the top-15 in the ACC in seven different statistical categories: 6th in scoring (16.9), 12th in rebounding (7.5), 10th in FG% (.481), 11th in Steals (1.6), 12th in Blocks (1.0), 15th in O-Reb (2.5) and 9th in D-Reb (5.0).

TURN THE THREE AROUND

A season ago, the Irish ranked dead last in the ACC in three-point shooting percentage (.271). Fast forward to now and the Irish have recorded quite the renaissance from beyond the arc primarily thanks to the trio of Mabrey, Westbeld and Brunelle. In fact, the Irish are converting 38.1 percent from three, which ranks 3rd in the ACC and 27th in the country. All three are shooting over 40 percent from deep.

Mabrey leads the way at 48.6 percent, which ranks 2nd in the ACC and 35th in the country. In addition, her 2.3 made three-pointers/game ranks 12th in the league. Mabrey has been lights out in conference play, where she has converted 9-of-12.

Brunelle follows right behind, as her 48.1 percent ranks 3rd in the ACC and 39th nationally. Brunelle has made a three-pointer in all six games she’s played and is shooting 52.6 percent in conference play.

FIVE PLAYERS AVERAGING DOUBLE FIGURES

Westbeld (16.9 ppg), Walker (12.6), Mabrey (11.4), Peoples (10.8) and Brunelle (10.2) are all averaging double-digit points on the season. As a result, Notre Dame is the only school in the ACC with five players averaging double figures.

4TH QUARTER WILL

Against both IUPUI and Georgia Tech, Westbeld found another gear in the fourth quarter, trying to will her team on to victory. She scored 12 of her 22 in the 4th vs. IUPUI (12/6), then tallied 12 of her 21 points in the 4th vs. Georgia Tech (12/13).

Brunelle then displayed some fourth-quarter fire at Miami (12/31), where she tallied 11 of her 13 points in the final period. Brunelle went off from three, going a perfect 3-for-3 from deep.

SUPER SUBS

Not too often you have both a 2020 ACC Honorable Mention player and a Preseason All-ACC selection coming off your bench.

Destinee Walker has come off the bench for two straight games and led the Irish in scoring in each, totaling 31 points on a combined 11-of-24 shooting from the floor. In addition, she nearly achieved a double-double at Miami (12/31), earning 17 points & eight boards.

Then there’s Sam Brunelle who is averaging 10. 2 ppg. She played a huge factor in the wins over Virginia Tech and Miami, scoring 17 and 13 points, respectively.

FASTEST TO 100

Before last season, Notre Dame had been nothing short of dominant since entering the ACC for the 2013-14 season. A 91-5 record in league play and 58 straight conference wins at home, which dated back to 2012 in the Big East. The Irish had won six straight ACC regular-season titles (eight straight when counting the final two years in the Big East) and had won five ACC Tournament crowns. 

Even with last year’s 8-10 mark in conference play, the Irish still unlocked an achievement in the win over Virginia Tech on Dec. 17 – becoming the fastest program to reach 100 ACC wins. The Irish accomplished the feat in 116 games – NC State held the record prior at 132.

— ND —