Vaughn, defense net Notre Dame win at Georgia Tech

Tribune Staff Report
ND Insider

ATLANTA — The Notre Dame women’s basketball program had never lost a game to Georgia Tech.

Mikki Vaughn made sure that trend continued Sunday.

Vaughn tallied a career-high 20 points to pace the Irish past the Yellow Jackets 59-51 in Atlantic Coast Conference play.

The junior center hit 10-of-15 shots from the field and added seven rebounds as the Irish prevailed in McCamish Pavilion to snap a two-game losing skid.

Destinee Walker added 15 points and Katlyn Gilbert chipped in with 11 to go with five assists.

Notre Dame, now 13-0 all-time versus Tech, improves to 8-14 overall and goes to 3-7 in league play. Tech falls to 14-8 overall and 5-6 in conference action.

Vaughn scored eight points in the opening period as the game was tied at 12-12 after one quarter. The hosts hit a jumper right before the halftime horn to take a 24-23 halftime lead. The opening half saw 10 ties and five lead changes in the low-scoring affair.

The Irish took command with a 9-2 run to end the third period, turning a 33-33 tie into a 42-35 lead. Notre Dame took the lead after Vaughn went to the bench with her third foul with 6:58 left in the third period. The Irish held Tech without a field goal the final 5:09 of the quarter.

Notre Dame then used an 8-2 run to open the final frame to stretch its lead to 50-37. The Yellow Jackets got within 56-49, but no closer.

The Irish, who beat Tech 76-55 last season, bounced back after a pair of blowout losses. Notre Dame lost 90-60 at Virginia last Sunday and then 86-54 at home to No. 5 Louisville Thursday night.

Gilbert scored in double figures for the 19th time, while Walker hit the mark for the 17th time.

Notre Dame shot 21-of-45 overall from the field, including 0-of-7 on 3-pointers. It marked the first time since Dec. 21, 2014 versus Saint Joseph’s that the Irish had not made a trey.

The Irish were 17-of-23 from the free throw line, led by a 7-of-8 effort by Walker. Notre Dame had a 36-20 edge in points in the paint.

Jasmine Carson paced Tech with 17 points.

Tech shot just 19-of-63 overall from the field, including 2-of-7 on threes. The hosts were 11-of-20 from the line.

Both teams had 16 turnovers in the contest.

Notre Dame plays at Wake Forest Thursday at 7 p.m. before hosting Pittsburgh Sunday at 4 p.m.


At Atlanta

NOTRE DAME (59): Sam Brunelle 2 3-3 7, Mikki Vaughn 10 0-0 20, Kaitlyn Gilbert 4 3-6 11, Marta Sniezek 1 4-6 6, Destinee Walker 4 7-8 15, Kaitlin Cole 0 0-0 0, Danielle Cosgrove 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 21 17-23 59.

GEORGIA TECH (51): Anne Francoise Diout 1 0-0 2, Nerea Hermosa 2 0-0 4, Jasmine Carson 5 5-6 17, Francesca Pan 1 0-2 2, Kierra Fletcher 2 4-6 8, Lorela Cubaj 5 0-1 10, Letta-Maj Lahtinen 2 2-5 6, Daijah Jefferson 0 0-0 0, Kendalia Montgomery 1 0-0 2, Sarah Bates 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 19 11-20 51.

Notre Dame 12 23 42 59

Georgia Tech 12 24 35 51

3-point goals: Georgia Tech 2 (Carson 2). Rebounds: Notre Dame 31 (Vaughn 7), Georgia Tech 39 (Lahtinen 8). Assists: Notre Dame 13 (Gilbert 5), Georgia Tech 12 (Fletcher 5). Steals: Notre Dame 8 (Gilbert 2, Walker 2, Sniezek 2), Georgia Tech 5 (Fletcher 3). Turnovers: Notre Dame 16, Georgia Tech 16. Team fouls (fouled out): Notre Dame 16, Georgia Tech 20 (Pan).

Notre Dame’s Mikki Vaughn (30), shown against Louisville on Jan. 30, had a career-high 20 points against Georgia Tech on Sunday.