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NCAA Notre Dame Fighting Irish Recap and Analysis

Notre Dame Hoops: Cold Shooting Dooms Irish vs. Virginia Tech

The Virginia Tech Hokies came into Purcell Pavilion on Saturday night and shot the lights out. Finishing the game connecting on 50.9% of their field goal attempts, including 14 of their 25 threes, the Hokies were able to knock off the Notre Dame Fighting Irish tonight, 80-75.

Suffering their fifth consecutive loss, Notre Dame dropped to 3-5 in ACC play.

Virginia Tech was aggressive from the three-point line from the opening tip. In the first 10:37 of game action, the Hokies attempted 10 three-pointers and made 6 of them. Their early success from downtown opened the rest of the floor, making it easier for them to find high percentage shots in the lane. 

Contrary to Virginia Tech’s offensive success in the first half, the Irish really struggled to put the ball in the basket. They shot 8-29 from the field, 6-11 from behind the arc, and 5-7 from the charity stripe.

After the first twenty minutes of play, the Hokies were able to build a 34-27 lead while playing well on both ends of the floor. 

While Notre Dame faltered for the first 10 minutes of the second half, they used a 15-6 run late in the game to shrink the Virgina Tech lead from 11 to 2 with a little over four and half minutes left in the game. In the end, however, the Hokies made more key plays down the stretch and came away with an 80-75 victory. 

Senior guard Justin Bibbs paced Virginia Tech with 20 points on 8-10 shooting, including 4-4 from three. Bibbs received help from fellow guard and junior Justin Robinson, who finished with 12 points and 7 assists. On the interior, junior forward Chris Clarke was a load for the Irish big men to handle. He had 12 points, 14 rebounds, and 4 assists.

Although Notre Dame fought valiantly until the final buzzer, it seemed as though their lack of depth took a toll as the game was winding down. Despite the loss, there are some positives for the Irish to take away. 

T.J. Gibbs put up 27 points for the Irish to lead all scorers, including shooting 5-10 from distance. He was joined by Martinas Geben, John Mooney, and Rex Pflueger as the other Irish players in double-figures. They scored 10, 15, and 15 points respectively. John Mooney also chipped in 11 rebounds to finish with a double-double.  

Mike Brey’s squad has a quick turnaround, as they will travel to Durham to face Duke on Monday looking to snap their five-game losing streak. 

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