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ND Women’s Basketball

Notre Dame women’s basketball looks to prove themselves against No. 16 Georgia Tech

| Thursday, February 17, 2022

Notre Dame women’s basketball will take on Georgia Tech in Atlanta on Thursday night, in a game that looms large with major implications for the Irish squad — implications tangible and intangible alike.

Starting with the tangible, the matchup with the Yellow Jackets holds major significance for the ACC standings heading into the home stretch of the season. Right now, Notre Dame and Tech are tied for fourth place in the conference, and Thursday’s winner will walk away in the drivers seat for the coveted fourth seed in the conference tournament and a double-bye to the quarterfinals. 

But the Georgia Tech game also holds significance relevant to something much less quantifiable but equally important to the Irish’s success as the season reaches its final stages: momentum. Tech will enter Thursday’s clash ranked 16th in the country, one of six ranked ACC teams. And so far, against these top teams, Notre Dame has produced a mixed bag of results. At home, the Irish have been dominant, pulling off wins over current No. 24 North Carolina, No. 23 Virginia Tech and even No. 4 North Carolina State. But on the road, the results have been less promising, with Sunday’s 73-47 dismantling at the hands of No. 3 Louisville being the most recent, and dramatic, example. 

The Irish have made clear that despite their inexperienced core, they have the chops to compete with just about any team they can be matched up against on their day. The only problem is, as the schedule stands now, they only appear to have their day when they’re within the friendly confines of Purcell Pavilion. Outside of conference play, Notre Dame played two more ranked games outside of South Bend, in the form of current No. 21 Georgia and No. 10 UConn. And both times, despite reaching overtime on a neutral floor against Georgia in Daytona, Florida, the Irish came up short. 

These tough losses have helped a young Notre Dame team adapt quickly to the rigors of a tough ACC schedule, and their ever-growing comfort against the nation’s best has shown when they’re on their home floor. But when the Irish are not in front of their home faithful, the results against top tier opposition are yet to come. Georgia Tech provides head coach Niele Ivey and her squad another major opportunity, fresh off a rough loss to Louisville, to prove they can make just as clear of a statement on the road as they have previously at home.

The Yellow Jackets present a tough opponent who can beat teams in a variety of ways. They play great team basketball on offense, with their scoring more or less spread equally across the starting lineup, rather than relying on a single star to take over a game (four Tech players average more than 10 points a game, and none average more than 12). Tech also plays tremendous defense, having held their opponents to 60 points or fewer in 10 of their 14 games in the ACC thus far. They will no doubt come into Thursday’s matchup with a point to prove of their own, having just barely beaten Clemson over the weekend in overtime to halt a two game losing streak that had stretched back to Feb. 1 before their win over the Tigers.

The game tips off Thursday at 8 p.m. at the McCamish Pavilion in Atlanta, and it will be broadcasted on the ACC Network.

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