March 8, 2015
Inside The Game: #2 Notre Dame 71, #7/6 Florida State 58 (ACC Championship Final)
March 8, 2015 – Greensboro, North Carolina (Greensboro Coliseum)
It Was Over When: Senior guard Madison Cable knifed between two Florida State defenders to grab an offensive rebound and convert a layup with 11 seconds left in the first half, giving Notre Dame a 38-25 lead at halftime. The Fighting Irish bumped their lead as high as 22 points in the second half and would never let the Seminoles get closer than 11 points the rest of the way.
Game Ball Goes To: Junior guard Jewell Loyd, who was named the ACC Championship Most Valuable Player for the second consecutive season after collecting 18 points (on nine of 17 shooting) and seven rebounds in Sunday’s win over Florida State. Loyd led the Fighting Irish in scoring in all three ACC tournament victories this weekend, averaging 17.3 points and 7.3 rebounds per game.
Unsung Hero: Sophomore forward Taya Reimer couldn’t have picked a better time for one of her best games of the season, piling up 16 points (on seven of 12 shooting), a game-high eight rebounds, three assists and two blocks. Reimer earned second-team All-ACC Tournament honors after averaging 11.7 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game with a .533 field-goal percentage (16 of 30) during Notre Dame’s three-game run to the title.
Unofficial Play of the Game: With the shot clock winding down and less than eight minutes to play, sophomore guard Lindsay Allen whipped a pinpoint bounce pass to Loyd on a precision backdoor cut along the right baseline. Loyd drove into the lane and with the taller Florida State defenders bearing down on her, athletically contorted her body and flipped in a layup to give Notre Dame its largest lead of the day (67-45 with 7:56 remaining).
Stat Of The Game: Florida State was the only NCAA Division I basketball program in the nation (men’s or women’s) that had not been outrebounded in a game this season, ranking second in the country with a +13.6 rebounding margin. All that changed Sunday, when Notre Dame earned a 39-27 advantage on the glass.
Additional Notes: Notre Dame earns its third consecutive conference tournament championship (2013 – BIG EAST; 2014-15 – ACC) and the eighth in program history … this marks the second time the Fighting Irish have won three consecutive conference tournament titles, following their “triple crowns” in the Midwestern Collegiate Conference/Horizon League from 1989-91 … junior guard Jewell Loyd becomes the second player in program history to be a two-time conference tournament MVP, joining Krissi Davis, who was the MCC Tournament MVP in 1989 and 1991 … Loyd was joined on the All-ACC Tournament First Team by freshman forward Brianna Turner, while senior guard Madison Cable and sophomore forward Taya Reimer copped second-team accolades (the first career conference all-tournament team honors for the latter trio) … Notre Dame improves to 10-1 against ranked opponents this season, including a 6-1 record against top-10 teams — seven of those 10 victories have come by double digits, notably all six wins against top-10 opponents … in the past four seasons (2011-12 to present), the Fighting Irish are 51-7 against ranked teams (22-7 against top-10 foes), with nearly 75 percent of their wins over Top 25 opponents in that span coming by double figures … with Sunday’s victory, this year’s senior class of Cable, guard Whitney Holloway and forward Markisha Wright has tied the school record for wins by a four-year class (now 138-9, .939), a mark originally set by last year’s seniors (current women’s basketball operations specialist Natalie Achonwa, as well as Ariel Braker and Kayla McBride posted a 138-15, record from 2010-14) … Notre Dame improves to 4-0 all-time against Florida State, including a 2-0 record in the ACC Championship (the Fighting Irish earned an 83-57 win in last year’s quarterfinals) … Notre Dame is 34-6 (.850) all-time against schools from the state of Florida, including a 21-3 (.875) record away from home (road/neutral sites combined) — the Fighting Irish also have won 14 of their last 15 games overall and nine of 10 away from home against Sunshine State teams … Notre Dame is 17-1 (.944) all-time when playing in the state of North Carolina, including an 8-0 record at neutral sites (6-0 at the Greensboro Coliseum) … the Fighting Irish have held their last 13 opponents to 63 points or fewer, including nine to less than 60 points (they are 18-0 this season and 310-15 since the 1995-96 season when holding opponents below the 60-point mark) … in its last 12 conference tournament games, Notre Dame has held nine opponents to fewer than 60 points … since 2008-09, the Fighting Irish are 53-10 (.841) when playing on one day’s rest or less, including an 8-0 record this season … Loyd now has scored 676 points this season, moving to fourth on the Notre Dame single-season scoring list past Kayla McBride (669 in 2013-14) and Ruth Riley (672 in 2000-01) … Turner now has 77 blocked shots this season, one shy of moving into the top five on the school’s single-season chart (Amanda Barksdale had 78 blocks in 2001-02 and Devereaux Peters did likewise in 2011-12).
Up Next For The Fighting Irish: Notre Dame has earned the ACC’s automatic berth into the 2015 NCAA Championship, clinching the 20th consecutive NCAA postseason appearance and 22nd in program history. The Fighting Irish will learn their first-round opponent in this year’s NCAA tournament when the 64-team field is announced at 7 p.m. (ET) March 16 live on ESPN. The date, time and place of that NCAA first-round game also will be revealed during the broadcast, with the top 16 seeds in the field serving as host sites for first- and second-round action.
At this stage, Notre Dame is likely to be selected as a host site for this year’s NCAA Championship, and tickets for those games currently are on sale to season ticket holders only through Notre Dame’s Murnane Family Athletics Ticket Office (call 574-631-7356 or visit the ticket windows at Gate 9 of Purcell Pavilion weekdays from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. ET for more information). Ticket sales to the general public for any NCAA Championship first- and second-round games at Notre Dame will go on sale at 8:30 a.m. (ET) March 17.
— Chris Masters, Associate Athletic Media Relations Director