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Notre Dame Women Clinch ACC Double Bye With74-58 Win Over Louisville

Notre Dame locked-up the ACC Tournament's No. 4 seed by beating rival Louisville to close the regular season

Notre Dame, Ind. - No. 17 Notre Dame clinched the No. 4 seed and the double bye that comes with it at this week’s ACC Tournament with a 74-58 win over No. 22 Louisville to close the regular. The Fighting Irish (23-6, 13-5 ACC) went from a seventh place tie to No. 4 by winning their last five games to close the regular season.

Hannah Hidalgo, already a lock to be named ACC Rookie of the Year, also made a case to also earn conference Player of the Year honors when the awards are announced this week by leading the Irish with 23 points against the Cardinals (23-8, 12-6). The freshman guard had eight rebounds, six steals and four assists on Sunday.

Anna DeWolfe scored off the opening tip to give the Irish the early lead in a first quarter that saw four ties and a pair of lead changes. Sonia Citron finished the quarter by rattling down the first 3 of the game from the right wing to give ND a 17-15 lead at the end of one. Citron added a second half 3 as well to end her day with the second most points in the game at 17.

Louisville hit 5 of its last 7 shots of the first half to outscore the Irish 21-12 in the second quarter to take a 36-29 lead into the locker room. The Cardinals hit 10 of 17 in the quarter, while Notre Dame was just 4 of 10.

Louisville’s 16 for 30 shooting in the first half kept Notre Dame’s offense at a slower pace than Irish head coach desired. The Cardinals outscored the Irish 20-8 in the paint in the half and limited Notre Dame to just four fast break points. The Fighting Irish would flip that in the second half.

Notre Dame’s defense, sparked by Hidalgo’s steals as well as the inside play of Kylee Watson, who also scored 10 points, and the perimeter play of DeWolfe, stopped Louisville’s first three offensive possessions to spark an early 7-0 run that tied the game 36-36 after DeWolfe’s lone 3 of the game.

The Fighting Irish hit 8 of their first 9 shots and went on a 19-1 run to push their lead to 15 points. They outscored Louisville 30-10 by hitting 11 of 13 shots in the third quarter after scoring just 29 points in the first half. Louisville was just 2 for 17 from the floor in the lopsided quarter.

Louisville’s defense focused on keeping the ball away from Irish forward Maddy Westbeld early in the game. Westbeld didn’t attempt a shot in the first quarter and was 1 for 3 with three points in the first half before breaking out in the final 20 minutes. She was 4 for 7 in the second half to finish with her 12th double-double of the season with 11 points and 11 rebounds.

Notre Dame has now won three of the last four meetings against Louisville. There is a good chance they will meet again later this week. Notre Dame’s first game is Friday morning at 11 am ET and they will play the winner of Louisville’s Thursday game against the winner of Wednesday’s 12/13 seed game. 

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