Turner, Allen lead Notre Dame women's hoops past Georgia Tech
ATLANTA — Notre Dame had a tough time scoring all night, so Brianna Turner was glad the Irish were stout enough on defense to keep their winning streak intact.
"We tried to be in the right place at the right time, focus on our help defense if somebody got beat and really having each other's back," she said.
Turner scored 15 points, Lindsay Allen added 14 and No. 3 Notre Dame took a sluggish 54-42 victory over Georgia Tech in women's college basketball on Thursday night.
The Irish (20-1, 8-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) have won 13 straight, but their point total was a season low as they struggled for three quarters beyond the arc and at the free-throw line before taking charge in the fourth.
Aaliyah Whiteside, who began the game leading the ACC with a 21.8 scoring average, finished with 12 points for Georgia Tech (12-9, 2-6 ACC).
Notre Dame got two baskets from Kathryn Westbeld and a 3-pointer from Michaela Mabrey to push the lead to 11 early in the fourth. Before Mabrey hit from the left side, the Irish had missed 13 of 14 on 3s.
They finished just 2 for 16 beyond the arc, a poor showing for a team that began the game leading the nation with a 44.2 percentage on 3s. Notre Dame went just 10 for 24 from the foul line.
"I think it's different to shoot at any away court, but especially here because the lighting and the backdrop are a little different," Allen said. "We could've done a better job attacking the basket and getting warmed up more and making sure we're focused on our shots."
Georgia Tech, which never led after the early minutes of the first quarter, pulled within two on Imani Tilford's layup in the third before Madison Cable, Notre Dame's second-leading scorer this season, drove the baseline for a back-door layup that made it 34-30 on her first points of the game.
Notre Dame's biggest lead in the first half was 11 on Allen's layup, but the Jackets came within four on Zaire O'Neil's layup in the final minute of the second quarter.
Allen scored 11 points in the first half. Whiteside had six as the Yellow Jackets shot just 24.1 percent from the field in the first 20 minutes.
"I thought that we did everything we needed to do tonight except make shots," Georgia Tech coach MaChelle Joseph said. "Any time you hold Notre Dame to 54 points and 37 percent from the field you're doing something right, but we can't shoot 22 percent and win a game, not in this league, not against the No. 3 team in the country."
The Irish's only loss was at No. 1 Connecticut on Dec. 5. Coach Muffet McGraw has led Notre Dame to the Final Four in each of the last five seasons.
Notre Dame: Since joining the ACC two years ago, the Irish are 39-1 in the league and have won 24 straight, including conference tournament play. ... Cable had a game-high 10 rebounds, but she has scored a combined five points in the last two games. McGraw said Cable has been feeling sick and unable to practice the last few days. ... Allen made her 98th straight start to set a school record.
Georgia Tech: The Jackets dropped to 0-6 in the series with Notre Dame. ... Georgia Tech went just 2 for 13 on 3s.
NOTRE DAME (54): Brianna Turner 7-12 1-4 15, Lindsay Allen 6-9 2-6 14, Madison Cable 1-6 1-2 3, MichaelaMabrey 2-7 0-0 6, Kathryn Westbeld 2-5 0-0 4, Arike Ogunbowale 0-7 2-4 2, MarinaMabrey 1-5 0-2 2, Mychal Johnson 0-0 0-0 0, Kristina Nelson 0-1 0-0 0, Hannah Huffman 2-2 4-6 8. Totals 21-54 10-24 54.
GEORGIA TECH (42): Aaliyah Whiteside 3-14 6-6 12, Chelsea Guimaraes 2-5 0-1 4, Irene Gari 1-4 3-4 5, Roddreka Rogers 0-4 1-2 1,Antonia Peresson 1-4 0-0 3, Imani Tilford 1-3 2-3 4, Ciani Cryor 0-1 0-0 0, Katarina Vuckovic 1-8 0-0 3, Simina Avram 2-3 2-2 6, Zaire O'Neil 2-12 0-0 4, Dejoria Howard 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 13-58 14-18 42.
Notre Dame 15 11 12 16—54
Georgia Tech 10 10 14 8—42
3-Point Goals--Notre Dame 2-16 (Mi. Mabrey 2-7, Allen 0-1, Ogunbowale 0-1, Westbeld 0-1, Ma. Mabrey 0-3, Cable 0-3), Georgia Tech 2-13 (Vuckovic 1-3, Peresson 1-4, Cryor 0-1, Gari 0-2, Whiteside 0-3). Fouled Out--O'Neil. Rebounds--Notre Dame 43 (Cable 10), Georgia Tech 36 (Vuckovic 9). Assists--Notre Dame 14 (Mi. Mabrey 6), Georgia Tech 9 (O'Neil 3). Total Fouls--Notre Dame 22, Georgia Tech 23. A--1,908.