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No. 5 Notre Dame Uses Second Half to Top Jackets, 85-69

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Georgia Tech stood tied with No. 5 Notre Dame at halftime, but the Fighting Irish used a strong second half to take an 85-69 win Sunday afternoon. Four Yellow Jackets finished in double-figures led by Kaylan Pugh with 13 points.

“I thought we played extremely hard in the first half and in the second half,” noted head coach MaChelle Joseph. “We were able to cause some turnovers for Notre Dame that I don’t think they’re used to seeing that kind of full court pressure. Coach McGraw did a great job at halftime with her adjustments. I’m just really pleased with our team and our effort. We out-rebounded Notre Dame and that was a game goal coming in here.”

How It Happened
Georgia Tech came out of the gate strong and kept the game close in the first frame, never trailing Notre Dame more than two possessions, shooting 41.2 percent from the field. The Fighting Irish held its largest lead of the frame at 14-9 following a three-point play from Kathryn Westbeld at the 4:45 mark. ND opened the second quarter with a bucket for a six-point lead before the Jackets started to slice away its deficit. At the 6:56 mark, Kaylan Pugh jumpstarted a 6-2 run that cut the score to 29-28 at the media break. Back-to-back three-pointers from Francesca Pan and Chanin Scott handed the lead back to Tech as Elo Edeferioka capped an 8-0 spurt for a 36-33 Tech lead, forcing ND to burn a timeout at 1:42. Notre Dame closed the half with a 6-3 run capped by a layup at the buzzer that setup a 39-39 halftime score.

Notre Dame opened the third quarter with a 6-0 run, forcing the Jackets to call a timeout at 7:53 before Edeferioka snapped the spurt. Scott connected on a jumper at 6:46 and the sophomore combined with Pan to post a 7-2 Jacket run, cutting the score to 51-48 with 5:01 to play in the third. Coming out of the third media break, ND posted an 11-4 run to lead 64-54 entering the final period. The Irish held Tech to one field goal through the first five minutes of the final frame and pulled away with a 79-56 lead at the final media break. Notre Dame held on for the win despite Tech posting a 9-3 run out of the timeout.

Tech Tidbits
* Tech won the rebounding battle over Notre Dame, 42-38, paced by 11 boards from Edeferioka
* Pugh led the Jackets offensively with 13 points followed by Pan with 12 points. Scott and Fletcher each added 10 points
* The Fighting Irish finished 15-of-23 from the free throw line compared to Tech’s 5-of-7 effort
* Notre Dame dominated in the paint, 56-32, led by Arike Ogunbowale with 27 points
* Jackie Young finished with 22 points and seven assists as the Fighting Irish recorded 22 helpers on the afternoon

Next Up
Tech returns to Atlanta to welcome North Carolina on Thursday at 7 p.m. The game will serve as Tech’s #Play4Kay Game and will be available on ACC Network Extra.

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