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Notre Dame Women's Basketball Beats Miami 70-59

Hannah Hidalgo led three Notre Dame players in double figures with 27 points in a Sunday win over Miami
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Notre Dame, Ind. - Notre Dame shook off a slow start and a slow finish to win consecutive ACC games for the first time this season in a 70-59 win over visiting Miami. The Fighting Irish (12-3, 3-2 ACC) missed their first six shots from the field and hit just 6 of 21 shots in the game's first 10 minutes but still led Miami (11-5, 1-4) 15-13 at the end of the first quarter. Miami came into the game with the ACC's fourth best scoring offense.  

Hannah Hidalgo and Nat Marshall were the only players for either team to hit multiple buckets in the quarter. Hidalgo finished with a game-high 27 points to top 20 points for the 13th time in 15 games this season. She tied Beth Morgan for the freshman record for most 20-point games in a season.

Hidalgo also now has eight games with at least six steals, tying Irish Ring of Honor member Skylar Diggins-Smith for the most career games in program history with six-plus steals.

Notre Dame got its offense going in the second quarter, going on a 10-0 run that started with a Sonia Citron 3-pointer from the left wing. Citron hit a trio of 3-pointers and scored 15 points to hit double digits for a third straight game after missing nine game with a knee injury.

Miami missed its last six shots of the first half and the Irish closed the half on a 12-2 run for a 40-24 lead at the break. Hidalgo had four of Notre Dame’s eight first half steals to help force 15 turnovers that 19 points off turnovers in the half. The Irish had 15 steals, seven from Hidalgo, who leads the nation with nearly 6.0 per game and scored 31 points off turnovers against the Hurricanes.

Maddy Westbeld had an off shooting day, but still managed to stuff her stat line. The senior forward missed her first nine shots before hitting two in a row in the second quarter. Westbeld was just 2 for 14 with a season-low five points, but she had four assists, four steals and six rebounds. The game marks just the second time this season Westbeld has failed to score in double figures.

KK Bransford continued her recent hot hand though. The sophomore guard scored all 10 of her points in the first half, while also pulled down eight rebounds. Bransford has been in double figures in three straight games.

"I thought KK was a huge spark for us," Irish head coach Niele Ivey said afterward. "She was such a positive light, both defensively and offensively. She showed great poise, was really aggressive offensively, and did a great job on the boards."

Notre Dame closed the third quarter with a 6-0 run and led 53-35 going into the fourth quarter. Their biggest lead was 58-35 early in the fourth quarter before Miami’s full-court press harassed the Irish into six turnovers in the quarter to give the Hurricanes a 24-17 scoring edge in the game’s final frame.

The victory wrapped up a three-game homestand for the Irish that saw them win two of three games. They are on the road Thursday at Virginia and then play at Wake Forest next Sunday before their next home game against Syracuse on Jan. 25. 

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