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Notre Dame defeats Georgia Tech to advance in ACC Tournament

bear creek 2019 ACC TournamentJohn Mooney had 20 points and 10 rebounds, and Notre Dame snapped a seven-game losing streak with a 78-71 win over Georgia Tech on Tuesday in the first round of the ACC Tournament.

Notre Dame (14-18) advanced to Wednesday’s 7 p.m. second-round game versus No. 7 seed Louisville (19-12). The Cardinals defeated the Fighting Irish 75-61 when the teams met in Louisville on March 3.

Dane Goodwin added 15 points for the Irish, who nearly squandered a 20-point halftime lead.

Nate Laszewski had 14 points for the Irish before leaving late in the first half with a lower back bruise after landing hard on the floor.

It was Notre Dame’s first victory since defeating the Yellow Jackets 69-59 in South Bend, Indiana, on Feb. 10 and only their fourth win of the calendar year.

Moses Wright led Georgia Tech (14-18) with 25 points and James Banks III had 12 points and 11 rebounds.

The Irish (14-18) didn’t play like the last place team in the ACC in the first half, shooting 58 percent from the field and 7 of 11 from 3-point range to build a 52-32 lead over the 10th-seeded Yellow Jackets.

Georgia Tech picked up the intensity with full-court pressure in the second half and cut the Irish lead to six with 1:56 remaining on a 3-pointer from the left wing by Jose Alvarado. After an Irish miss, Moore sank a 3 from the right corner and the lead was suddenly down to 72-69 with 1:06 remaining.

But Mooney didn’t panic, calmly drilling a 15-footer as the shot clock was winding down. Prentiss Hubb then sank two free throws after a Georgia Tech miss to put the Irish safely up by seven with 32 seconds left.

Michael Devoe cut the lead to five on a layup, but Juwan Durham blocked Devoe on the next possession to help seal the win.


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Game Notes

Notre Dame is now 9-4 in the ACC Tournament and has won at least one tournament game each of the past five seasons since losing its first-ever tourney game as a No. 13 seed versus Wake Forest in 2014.

The Fighting Irish became the first No. 15 seed to win an ACC Tournament game … No. 15 teams were 0-3 versus No. 10 seeds prior to Thursday.

Georgia Tech (14-18) slipped to 26-37 all-time in ACC Tournament play and to 4-11 in first-round games.

With team highs of 20 points and 10 rebounds, Notre Dame junior John Mooney upped his ACC-leading double-double total for the season to 20 games.

Freshman Dane Goodwin delivered his third consecutive double-figure scoring game for the Fighting Irish with 15 points.

Before being forced to leave the game late in the first half due to injury, Notre Dame freshman forward Nate Laszewski scored 14 points with the help of 3-for-4 shooting from 3-point range … That followed a stellar performance in last Saturday’s regular-season finale against Pitt in which Laszewski went 6-for-9 from beyond the arc and scored a career-high 23 points.

Laszewski’s first half keyed a team effort that saw Notre Dame shoot 7-for-11 from beyond the arc en route to building a 52-32 lead at the break … The Fighting Irish wound up 8-for-14 on 3s for the game.

Georgia Tech sophomore Moses Wright led all scorers with a career high 25 points on 12-of-18 shooting from the floor …. Wright’s previous career high was 19 points.

The Yellow Jackets’ James Banks III led all rebounders with 11, marking his 10th game with 10 or more rebounds this season.

The teams combined for just 13 turnovers (Notre Dame 7, Georgia Tech 6).

Notre Dame trimmed Georgia Tech’s all-time series lead to 7-6 and earned a season sweep in 2018-19 meetings … The Irish defeated the Yellow Jackets 69-59 in South Bend on Feb. 10. That is the most lopsided of the teams’ 13 total games as ACC members.

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