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ND Women’s Basketball

Notre Dame to begin final home stand against Virginia Tech

| Thursday, February 20, 2020

The Notre Dame women’s basketball team will be returning home Thursday night to take on Virginia Tech. The Irish (10-16, 5-9 ACC) are coming off of two straight road losses, a 56-55 heartbreaker at Boston College and an 82-49 rout at Louisville.

The Hokies (19-6, 9-5 ACC) are coming in on a three-game winning streak — having defeated North Carolina 72-63, Georgia Tech 64-61 in overtime and Wake Forest 73-62 — and have one loss in their last five games. That loss came in a 71-59 decision against No. 10 NC State.

The Irish have a balanced scoring attack, with five players averaging double-figure points per game, led by graduate student guard Destinee Walker and sophomore guard Katlyn Gilbert with 14.5 and 13.5 marks, respectively. Freshman guard Anaya Peoples leads the Irish in rebounding with 8.1 boards per game, while fellow freshman and stretch forward Sam Brunelle is second at 7.1 per game on the glass.

Hannah Huelskamp | The Observer
Irish graduate student guard Destinee Walker takes her defender off the dribble during Notre Dame’s 76-53 win over Miami on Jan. 19.

The problem for the Irish is that, while the point production is spread out, it doesn’t come in mass, as they average only 63.8 points per game as a tea, and surrender an average of 68.6 to opponents. The Hokies are a capable team on both offense and defense, putting up 72.3 points per game and allowing only 61.2 on average.

Virginia Tech also shoot 43% from the field and 35.4% from three, while Notre Dame has shot just under 40% from the floor and a meager 24.9% from beyond the arc, although they have held opponents to very similar marks of 38.8% field goals and 28.2% three-pointers.

With only four games remaining in the regular season, the Irish are looking to build momentum heading into the postseason, as winning the ACC Tournament is likely their only chance at keeping their 24-year NCAA Tournament streak alive. The game against the Hokies will tip off at 8 p.m. in Purcell Pavilion.

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