Irish defense spearheads 59-51 victory at Georgia Tech

ATLANTA - The Notre Dame women’s basketball squad (8-14, 3-7) squared off against Georgia Tech (14-8, 5-6) and its second nationally ranked defense on Sunday.

The Yellow jackets entered the contest allowing just 50.6 ppg, yet it was the Fighting Irish defense who flipped the script and allowed just 51 points in the 59-51 victory inside McCamish Pavilion.

Mikki Vaughn went off for a career high 20 points on 10-of-15 shooting from the floor, to go along with her seven boards. In addition, Destinee Walker poured in 15 points, while Katlyn Gilbert tallied 11 points and five assists.

How It Happened

Vaughn got the Irish off and running in the first quarter, scoring eight of the team’s 12 points on 4-of-6 shooting. Walker supplied the other four points, going 2-of-5 from the floor, as Notre Dame and Georgia Tech were tied at 12-all after one.

It continued to go back-and-forth in the second, as there were 10 ties and five lead changes at the half. In fact, it was buzzer-beating jumper by Georgia Tech’s Kondalia Montgomery that gave the Yellow Jackets a slight 24-23 advantage at halftime.

Vaughn had 10 points and six boards at the half, marking the fourth time since her return she was in double figures at the midway point. Walker and Gilbert followed with six and five points, respectively. On the flip side, eight different Yellow Jacket players had tallied points by the half, with none boasting more than four points.

With Vaughn sent to the bench at the 6:58 mark in the third with three fouls, other Irish stepped up in her place with Walker, Sniezek, and Gilbert combining for 15 points in the period.

With 5:09 remaining in the third, Georgia Tech’s Lorela Cubaj hit a mid-range jumper to tie the game at 33-all. That would mark Georgia Tech’s last field goal of the period as the Irish fired off a 9-2 run to claim a 42-35 advantage heading into the fourth. It marked the first time either team boasted a lead greater than four points in the game.

Irish kept the momentum going in the fourth, starting the period on an 8-2 scoring spree, receiving contributions from four different players. At the 4:52 media timeout, the Irish had only allowed one field goal over the last 10 minutes, bolstering a 50-37 lead.

Georgia Tech’s Carson spearheaded a late rally, scoring eight straight points for the Yellow Jackets, which included two three’s, to pull within seven at 56-49. Yet, the Irish held strong, receiving big buckets from Vaughn and clutch free throws from Gilbert and Sniezek to hold on for the 59-51 victory.

Notes

Today marked the 13th meeting between Notre Dame and Georgia Tech. The Irish remain undefeated against the Yellow Jackets.

Gilbert tallied her team best 19th double-digit scoring effort with 11 points.

Sniezek took three charges today and now has 26 on the year.

Walker logged her 17th game in double figures with 15 points.

Vaughn earned her fifth game in double figures with a career high 20 points on 10-of-15 shooting. All five of her double-digit scoring games have been 16 points or more.

Vaughn boasted 10 points at the half, which marked the fourth time since returning in which she was in double figures at the midway point. In fact, all four instances have been on the road, previously doing so at Pitt, Syracuse and Duke.

There were only two three-pointers made in the entire game, with both coming in the final two minutes from Georgia Tech. It marked the first time Notre Dame didn’t connect on a three-pointer since Dec. 21, 2014, against Saint Joseph’s.

Up Next

The Irish remain on the road, venturing out to Winston-Salem on Thursday, Feb. 6, to battle Wake Forest at 7 p.m. ET on ACCNX.