Hidalgo’s double-double leads No. 17 Notre Dame past No. 5 Virginia Tech

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Freshman Hannah Hidalgo had 23 points and 12 rebounds to help No. 17 Notre Dame beat fifth-ranked Virginia Tech 71-58 on Thursday night.

Virginia Tech (23-5, 14-3 ACC) had its 10-game winning streak snapped, but ended up claiming its first ACC regular-season championship outright as No. 12 North Carolina State defeated No. 19 Syracuse 75-71 in overtime on Thursday. The Hokies won the ACC Tournament crown last season and reached the Final Four.

There was plenty at stake entering the game for both teams as they jockey for post-season advantages. The Hokies were ranked No. 5 in the NCAA reveal earlier in the night. Notre Dame (22-6, 12-5) is just outside of the Top 16 and a chance to host first- and second-round games.

Hidalgo, a 5-foot-6 point guard who leads the ACC in scoring at 23.7 points a game, ignited an uptempo Fighting Irish offense that saw Notre Dame race to an 18-2 advantage in fastbreak points.

“We knew that we needed to have better starts, so I knew that had to start with me,” Hidalgo said. “I knew I had to pick up the pressure and stay locked in.”

Sonia Citron added 21 points and Maddy Westbeld had 19 points for Notre Dame.

Georgia Amoore led Virginia Tech with 20 points. Matilda Ekh and Elizabeth Kitley scored 12 points each. Notre Dame’s physical defensive attack on Kitley held her well below her 23.3 scoring average.

Virginia Tech couldn’t put the brakes on the dangerous Notre Dame transition.

“I feel like this team, when we push pace, we’re at our best,” Notre Dame coach Niele Ivey said. “I wanted to put a lot of pressure on Virginia Tech. I felt like, even in the zone, I stressed pace in the half court, pace in the full court. I think that’s where our identity lies, with our speed, our ability to have shooters around the floor. All of our guards can get downhill.”

Notre Dame used a 12-0 run to go up 32-18 with 3:46 left in the second quarter. Virginia Tech shook off the scoring drought of 6:34 to close out the quarter with a 10-4 burst and close to 36-28 at halftime.

Virginia Tech once again fell behind by 14 points, 44-30, with 6:57 left in the third quarter. The Hokies narrowed the deficit to 46-42 with 3:02 left in the period.

Citron helped the Irish pull away in the fourth quarter, scoring eight of Notre Dame’s points in a 12-8 stretch that gave the Fighting Irish a 59-50 lead with 6:38 left.

Despite the loss, Virginia Tech coach Kenny Brooks pointed out that the Hokies won’t have to put ‘Co-Champions’ on their ACC rings, as the loss by Syracuse gives Virginia Tech the title outright.

“You lose a basketball game, but you gain a championship, it’s huge,” Brooks said. “It’s kind of ironic. To be told that we won the outright regular-season championship at Notre Dame, because when I got here, Notre Dame was the staple. Coach McGraw and what they were doing … you were in awe of what they were doing, winning national championships.

“And five, six, seven years later, we’re the regular-season champion,” Brooks continued. “That says a lot. We’ll be proud of it. That’s an achievement you don’t take lightly, I don’t care how bad you feel on a night like this. That’s monumental for our program. I’ll take it and smile all the way home.”


Virginia Tech: The Hokies will likely need to get some help to earn a No. 1 seed even if they close out the regular season with a win at arch-rival Virginia on Sunday and then win the ACC Tournament title.

Notre Dame: The Fighting Irish still have some work to do in order to push into the Top 16 and host first- and second-round games, but the victory against the Hokies helps.


Virginia Tech: At Virginia on Sunday.

Notre Dame: vs. Louisville on Sunday.


Get poll alerts and updates on AP Top 25 basketball throughout the season. Sign up here.


AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball

Copyright © 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

Federal News Network Logo
Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up