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Sports

Notre Dame women’s basketball extends winning streak to five, takes down Virginia Tech

| Friday, February 4, 2022

No. 20 Notre Dame downed Virginia Tech Thursday Night at Purcell Pavilion, dispatching the Hokies 68-55 to close out a four game homestand.

Freshman point guard Oliva Miles led the way for the Irish, notching a game-high 24 points to go with four assists, the final one of which brought the crowd to its feet as Miles went behind her back to find Anaya Peoples for the score.

Miles explained the assist as just one part of a well-calculated progression as she drove down the court.

“I was waiting for the other defender to react, so when she bit a little bit I was like, ‘alright, I’m just sending it, whatever,’” she said. “[Peoples] was there, she got it and got the tough finish for the and-one.”

The Irish were also boosted by a stellar defensive performance across the board, as Virginia Tech’s 55 points were the fewest Notre Dame had allowed in ACC play all season. 

Head coach Niele Ivey said she was impressed by how the team defended as a unit throughout the game.

“That’s always the goal, to hold teams below their average,” she said. “It’s just a mindset shift that we’re having defensively. We’re valuing defense more and everyone is locked in. You can see it in their faces, you can see it in practice, and I love the energy that we’re giving. It’s a lot of growth, and a lot of trust, and we’re building that defensively.”

The win ends a run of three games in five days for the Irish, with Ivey highlighting her pride in her team for being ready for every game even as the fatigue mounted.

“Credit to our performance staff, our trainers and doctors. They’ve done a great job with how we get through the week with massages, taking time off,” she said. “Just trying to find ways to rest [the team] and be very smart about making sure we recovered well. And credit to this group we only played seven people … they’re so comfortable but also so resilient that they can do whatever we need them to do. And they’re growing in so many different ways.”

The Irish will now enjoy another day of rest Friday before they begin preparations for a Sunday tilt on the road against Florida State. Notre Dame will enter Tallahassee on a five-game win streak. 

The Irish had played close and flirted with a top-15 victory against Georgia earlier in the year, but now have a bona fide statement win on their resume after their defeat of No. 3 North Carolina State. If the Irish can keep their momentum going, it’s not implausible that their February 13th matchup on the road against No. 4 Louisville will be a top-ten showdown. But to get to that point, Ivey and co. will need to take care of business against both Florida State and Miami.

Tip-off Sunday is scheduled for 2 p.m. The game will be broadcasted on the ACC Network.

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