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Notre Dame Women's Basketball Earns Important Road Win Over Duke

Hannah Hidalgo led three Notre Dame players in double figures with 23 points in the Irish win over Duke
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Durham, NC - Notre Dame women’s basketball picked up a much needed 70-62 win at Duke Monday night. The Fighting Irish (19-6, 9-5 ACC) went into the night tied with the Blue Devils (16-9, 8-6) for seventh place in the ACC standings and are now tied for sixth place with North Carolina with just four games remaining in the regular season.

After scoring a season-low 10 points in last Thursday’s home loss to North Carolina State, Hannah Hidalgo topped that with 11 points in the first half and shared the game-high of 23 points with Duke’s Reigan Richardson as the Irish improved to 6-0 following a loss this season.

Duke, the ACC’s top defensive team, had not lost a home game since their Dec. 3 loss to No. 1 South Carolina. The Blue Devils used an 8-0 run to go on top 13-7 in the first quarter, but the Irish followed with a 6-0 run of their own to take a 16-15 lead.

Hidalgo, Anna DeWolfe and Sonia Citron, who scored 12 points, each hit 3-pointers in the first quarter a game after the Irish hit just three 3s in last Thursday’s loss to NC State. Hidalgo hit two more in the second half to help Notre Dame finish 5 of 14 from behind the arc.

After railing 30-27 at halftime in a half that saw four ties and seven lead changes, Notre Dame’s offense came to life in the second half. KK Bransford’s first six points of the game helped spark a 14-0 run to put the Irish up 48-37 with a little more than a minute to play in the third quarter.

Richardson ended the run with a pair of free throws, but the Irish outscored Duke 21-9 in the third thanks to shooting 10 of 18 in the quarter while Duke was just 3 for 9. It all added up to a 48-39 Irish lead 48-39 going into the fourth.

Maddy Westbeld was steady all game and came up big at the free throw line as Duke cut a 15-point deficit down to 63-56 with 1:55 to play after an Ashlon Jackson. Westbeld hit all six of her free throw attempts in the fourth to finish with 14 points. She just missed her tenth double-double of the season with nine rebounds for a second consecutive game.

Notre Dame shot 16 of 27 (59%) in the second half while outscoring the Blue Devils 43-32. Duke hit 12 of 24 shots but committed 11 turnovers in the half and 21 in the game to help the Irish score 18 fastbreak points and 23 points off turnovers.

With four games to play in the regular season, Notre Dame still has a chance to move as high as fourth place in the ACC standings. They are home this Thursday night against Clemson before traveling to Boston College next Sunday. Their last two games the following week are at home against No. 8 Virginia Tech and No. 20 Louisville. 

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