Jan. 29, 2016
By Chris Masters
Inside The Game: #3 Notre Dame 54, Georgia Tech 42
Jan. 28, 2016 – Atlanta, Ga. (McCamish Pavilion)
It Was Over When: Senior guard Hannah Huffman converted two free throws with 1:20 remaining to give Notre Dame a 51-42 lead. Georgia Tech’s Katarina Vuckovic had fouled Huffman for the second time in less than a second (the first was ruled intentional), and after missing the first two foul shots, Notre Dame retained possession and Vuckovic against fouled Huffman, this time putting the Fighting Irish in the bonus. The Diablo, California, native made the most of her second opportunity, canning both free throws and the Fighting Irish defense did the rest, holding the Yellow Jackets to one basket over the final 5:29 of the game.
Game Ball Goes To: Junior guard/captain Lindsay Allen, who made her school-record 98th consecutive start on Thursday and responded with 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting while adding five rebounds and four assists.
Unsung Hero: Huffman, who scored six of her season-high eight points (including a career-best 4-of-6 free throws) in the final 2:46, along with a fastbreak layup, a rebound and a steal.
Unofficial Play of the Game: With 7:47 remaining in the game, sophomore forward Brianna Turner blocked a shot by Georgia Tech’s Zaire O’Neil, with graduate student guard Madison Cable grabbing the rebound. She then fired an outlet pass to Allen, who raced up the floor and found senior guard/captain Michaela Mabrey with a pinpoint pass on the left wing. Mabrey’s three-pointer capped an 8-0 Fighting Irish run to give Notre Dame a 45-34 lead and the Yellow Jackets never got closer than seven points the rest of the night.
Stats Of The Game: Notre Dame’s 54 points were the fewest it scored in a win since Jan. 21, 2006, when the Fighting Irish posted a 54-52 win at Georgetown. In addition, the 96 combined points were the fewest in a Notre Dame game since March 1, 2005, when the Fighting Irish earned a 41-35 victory at Seton Hall.
Additional Notes: Notre Dame picked up its 20th victory of the season, assuring the Fighting Irish of their 22nd 20-win season in the past 23 years (1993-2016) ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ Notre Dame is 20-1 for the fourth time in five years and sixth time in program history (also 2000-01, 2009-10, 2011-12, 2012-13 and 2013-14) ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ the Fighting Irish have won 83 of their last 87 games against conference opponents and are 46-1 against ACC opponents since joining the conference in 2013-14 (39-1 regular season, 7-0 postseason) ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ Notre Dame reached the midpoint of its conference schedule with 0-1 losses for the seventh consecutive season ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ Notre Dame has won 53 of its last 55 regular season road games ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ the Fighting Irish registered season lows for points (fewest since last year’s NCAA championship game, a 63-53 loss to Connecticut on April 7, 2015, in Tampa), points in a half (previous was 29 in the first half vs. Toledo on Nov. 18 at Purcell Pavilion), three-point percentage (previous was .231 vs. Toledo) and free-throw percentage (previous was .476 at Valparaiso on Nov. 23) ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ conversely, Notre Dame held Georgia Tech to an opponent season-low field-goal percentage (previous was .237 by Toledo) ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ along with Sunday’s 80-41 win over Virginia Tech at Purcell Pavilion, this marks the first time the Fighting Irish have held consecutive opponents to 42 points or fewer since Dec. 20, 2011-Jan. 4, 2012, when they did so in four consecutive games against UCF (90-38 at home), Longwood (92-26 at home), Mercer (128-42 on the road) and Seton Hall (74-36 on the road) ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ Notre Dame moves to 6-0 all-time against Georgia Tech (3-0 in Atlanta), although all six series games have been decided by 15 points or fewer (this was the lowest scoring game by either side in the series) ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ the Fighting Irish are 10-2 (.833) all-time against Georgia schools (4-1 on the road) and have won their last 10 against the Peach State ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ Notre Dame is 9-0 all-time when playing on the ACC-Regional Sports Networks package, produced by Raycom Sports ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ Allen started her 98th consecutive game, passing Jacqueline Batteast’s school record of 97 consecutive starts from Jan. 26, 2002-March 21, 2005 (Allen has started every game to date in her three-year Fighting Irish career) ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ Turner registered a season-high five blocks for the sixth time this year and fourth time in the past six games (she has 26 blocks in those six outings, averaging 4.33 blocks per game in that time) ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ Cable logged her third double-digit rebounding game this year with 10 boards, one off her season high at home against No. 10/12 Ohio State on Dec. 2 (she also had 10 rebounds in another home game against No. 18/17 DePaul on Dec. 9) ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ Cable tied her season high with three steals, a mark she’d hit five times before, the last on Jan. 3 at Pittsburgh ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ Huffman’s season-high eight points were two more than her total in that DePaul victory ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ Mabrey’s game-high six assists were two shy of her career best set on Dec. 12 at TCU, and it was the third time in the last four games she has dished out at least five assists ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ Notre Dame’s bench was outscored by its opponent’s reserves for only the second time all season, and coincidentally, Georgia Tech was the opponent on both occasions (28-22 on Dec. 30 at Purcell Pavilion; 17-12 on Thursday night in Atlanta).
Up Next For The Fighting Irish: Notre Dame begins the second half of its ACC schedule at 6 p.m. (ET) Monday when it travels to Durham, North Carolina, to take on Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium. The game will be televised live on ESPN2 as part of its Big Monday package, in addition to airing on ESPN3 and WatchESPN. Radio coverage will be available in South Bend on Pulse FM (96.9/92.1) and free of charge around the world through the official Notre Dame athletics online multimedia platform, WatchND (watchnd.tv).
– ND –
Chris Masters, associate athletics communications director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 2001 and coordinates all media efforts for the Notre Dame women’s basketball and women’s golf programs. A native of San Francisco, California, Masters is a 1996 graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University, earned his master’s degree from Kansas State University in 1998, and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).