SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Nerea Hermosa knotted the game with just over a minute to play, but Notre Dame hit a jumper with 20 seconds on the clock to regain the advantage and secure a 69-67 victory Sunday afternoon in Purcell Pavilion. Kierra Fletcher led all scorers with a game-high 19 points as Tech fell to 4-3 overall and 2-2 in Atlantic Coast Conference play.
Three Jackets finished in double-figures led by Fletcher’s 19. Hermosa finished with a season-high 12 points, followed by 11 from Lotta-Maj Lahtinen. Tech dominated the glass, winning the battle, 39-27, paced by eight rebounds each from Lorela Cubaj and Hermosa. For the game, Tech shot 42.4 percent (25-59) from the field and 78.6 percent (11-14) from the free throw line.
The Yellow Jackets and Fighting Irish tossed the lead back-and-forth through the first quarter and opening of the second frame before Fletcher went coast-to-coast to spark a 12-4 Tech run. Fletcher capped the spurt with a triple to hand Tech its largest lead of the first half, 28-21, with 1:27 to play. Notre Dame closed the half with a three-pointer of its own from Maddy Westbeld to setup the 28-24 halftime tally in favor of the Jackets.
Neither team held a lead larger than three points in the third quarter. Fletcher converted a pair of free throws following an Aixa Wone Aranaz field goal to put Tech up 48-45 with 41 seconds to play before ND capped the frame with a jumper from Dara Mabrey to setup a 48-47 score entering the final quarter.
With 3:19 left on the clock in the final stanza, the Fighting Irish converted a three-point play to hold a 64-60 edge. Tech slowly chipped away at its deficit and knotted the game on a pair of free throws from Hermosa with 1:16 to go. The Irish answered with a jumper from Destinee Walker that proved to be the game-winner as Tech called a timeout with 20 seconds left, but could not convert on the final possession.
Notre Dame was led offensively by Mabrey with 16 points. The Irish shot 48.3 percent from the floor and 77.8 percent from the charity stripe.
Up next, Georgia Tech visits Clemson for a midweek tilt on Thursday. The Jackets and Tigers are set to tip at 7 p.m. on the ACC Network Extra in Littlejohn Coliseum.
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