Jan. 29, 2015
Inside The Game: #4 Notre Dame 74, Virginia Tech 50
January 29, 2015 – Blacksburg, Virginia (Cassell Coliseum)
It Was Over When: Sophomore forward Taya Reimer converted a pair of free throws with 40 seconds remaining in the first half, capping a 13-0 Notre Dame run that put the Fighting Irish in front, 43-15. Virginia Tech never managed to get closer than 23 points the rest of the night, while Notre Dame boosted its lead as high as 30 points while playing its reserves for much of the second half.
Game Ball Goes To: Playing on her 19th birthday, freshman forward Kathryn Westbeld scored a career-high 17 points on eight of 14 shooting (making seven of her first eight shots). The Kettering, Ohio, native also tied her career high with two blocks and added two steals, one off her personal best, all in 22 minutes off the bench.
Unsung Hero: Reimer saw her evening get off to a rough start when she suffered a bloody lip at the 12:15 mark of the first half, coming to the sidelines to receive treatment. However, the Fishers, Indiana, product bounced back well after halftime, finishing just shy of a double-double with nine points and a game-high 10 rebounds. This marked the fourth consecutive game (and seventh time this season) Reimer has ended up within two points or two rebounds of a double-double.
Unofficial Play of the Game: Notre Dame used a sturdy defense to put the game on ice in the first half, with no play bigger than freshman forward Brianna Turner deflecting a pass by Virginia Tech’s Vanessa Panousis in the backcourt, recovering the loose ball and converting the layup to give the Fighting Irish a 28-8 lead with 7:43 left in the first half.
Stat Of The Game: Westbeld is the second Notre Dame freshman this year to score a career-high 17 points on her birthday. Guard Mychal Johnson posted that total for the Fighting Irish in an 88-53 win over Chattanooga on Nov. 21 at Purcell Pavilion.
Additional Notes: Notre Dame recorded its 20th win of the season, the 21st time in the past 22 seasons the Fighting Irish have reached that mark, as well as the 25th time in the 28-year tenure of head coach Muffet McGraw … the Fighting Irish men’s and women’s basketball teams both are 20-2 this year, the first time in school history both programs have posted that record in the same season … Notre Dame makes the turn in Atlantic Coast Conference play with a 7-1 record, the sixth consecutive season the Fighting Irish have reached the midpoint of the conference season with 0-1 losses in league action … Notre Dame has won 53 of its last 56 regular season conference games, as well as 42 of its last 43 regular season road games … Notre Dame is 11-0 this season when holding its opponent to fewer than 60 points in a game, and 303-15 (.953) in such games dating back to the 1995-96 season … the Fighting Irish move to 7-1 all-time against Virginia Tech (2-1 in Blacksburg) and have won the past three series games with the Hokies (the past two by nearly identical scores, following last year’s 74-48 win at Purcell Pavilion) … Notre Dame is 12-8 (.600) all-time against Virginia schools, having won its last six games against the Commonwealth … the Fighting Irish are 4-5 on the road all-time against Virginia schools and have won their last three … Notre Dame has won the last five games it has played in the Commonwealth, adding in victories over Kansas and Duke in the 2013 NCAA Norfolk Regional semifinals and final in Norfolk, Virginia … Westbeld’s 17 points matched Johnson’s total against Chattanooga for the most by a Fighting Irish player off the bench this season … Westbeld is the fifth different Notre Dame player to lead the team in scoring this season … sophomore guard Lindsay Allen dished out at least five assists for the ninth consecutive game and 14th time this season.
Up Next For The Fighting Irish: Notre Dame returns home Sunday for a 1 p.m. (ET) Atlantic Coast Conference game against Wake Forest at Purcell Pavilion. The contest, which will be Notre Dame’s seventh annual Pink Zone Game to help raise funds in the fight against breast cancer, will be televised live on the ACC-Regional Sports Networks, which includes Comcast Channel 101 in South Bend and northern Indiana, numerous Fox Sports regional affiliates within the ACC footprint and ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app (blackout restrictions apply). Radio coverage also will be available in South Bend on Pulse FM (96.9/92.1) and free of charge worldwide online through the official Notre Dame athletics multimedia platform, WatchND (watchnd.tv).
— Chris Masters, Associate Athletic Media Relations Director