Achonwa scores 21 as ND women improve to 25-0 on Senior Night


Muffet McGraw joked after the game Monday night, that she planned to move Senior Day next season to August because of all the emotions it brings.

"I feel like every year it's the same thing with the emotion of the moment," McGraw said.

Thankfully, the Irish had their underclassman to right the ship. Jewell Loyd scored 27 points to help lift the seniors from a sluggish start to beat Georgia Tech 87-72 on Senior Night at Purcell Pavilion.

The senior class of Natalie Achonwa, Kayla McBride, and Ariel Braker improved their four-year record at Notre Dame to 126-14. The school record for wins by a senior class was set last season by Skylar Diggins and her classmates with a mark of 130-20.

Achonwa had 21 points and 10 rebounds for her 6th double double of the season for the Irish, which improved to 25-0 on the season and 12-0 in the ACC. Notre Dame played "O Canada" before the game to honor Achonwa, a Canadian.

"Definitely emotional and I'm very grateful that a) I got to come to Notre Dame and that b) they were able to do that for me on my senior night," Achonwa said. "It means a lot to me and representing my country is a big part of who I am so it was great that I was able to do that."

McBride struggled shooting, making just 3-of-13 shots. She finished with 12 points and also found her game, distributing the basketball with a career high eight assists.

Braker added six points and six rebounds.

After a slow start, the Irish used a 10-0 run to take a 16-10 lead. Spurts of 10-2 and 11-3 in the second half helped them put the game away.

Loyd scored seven straight at the end of the first half, capped by an alley-oop layup, and then made back-to-back layups after the break to give the Irish a 16-point lead.

The Irish are five wins shy of their longest winning streak, set last season. The loss ended a four-game winning streak for the Yellow Jackets (17-9, 7-6), who were led by a career-high 21 points by Aaliyah Whiteside.

Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw (739-258) tied former Virginia coach Debbie Ryan (739-324) for 10th in career victories.


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