Notre Dame (10-8 / 8-6) picked up its second straight victory, beating the Florida State Seminoles (9-7 / 8-7) by a 72-64 score behind a balanced scoring attack. The Irish had five different players score in double figures, and the balanced attack led the Irish to a 49.1% shooting effort from the floor. Notre Dame also dominated Florida State on the glass, out-rebounding the Noles 44-31.
The Irish made just 3-of-14 from behind the arc, but the offense made up for it with 17 made free throws.
It was a bounce back performance for the Irish offense, which scored just 59 points in its last outing, which was a victory over Pitt. The Panthers rank near the bottom of the ACC, so the Irish were able to overcome that poor performance from the floor. The Seminoles, however, came into tonight's contest ahead of Notre Dame in the standings, but that changed with tonight's victory.
Notre Dame jumped out to a 17-7 lead at the end of one quarter thanks to a stingy defense and the Seminoles missing a number of open looks. Freshman forward Maddy Westbeld scored seven in the opening quarter and hauled down five rebounds.
Westbeld had one of her better performances of what has been an outstanding first season in the program. She led the Irish with 17 points, 12 rebounds and five assists. It was her second straight double-double, as the freshman had 20 points and 11 rebounds in the win over Pittsburgh.
Notre Dame led by at least nine for much of the first three quarters, and the lead grew to 67-49 with 3:19 left in the fourth quarter. It seemed the Irish were on cruise control, but as has been the case all season, an opponent made another late run, as Florida State went on an 11-0 run to make it a 67-60 game.
This time, however, the Irish were able to stop the bleeding from the free throw line. Notre Dame's final five points came from the line, and Florida State couldn't make enough baskets to claw all the way back.
Senior Mikayla Vaughn scored 12 points and Anaya Peoples, Destinee Walker and standout freshman Olivia Miles all had 11 points in the win. Miles also finished with eight rebounds, including three on the offensive end; impressive work for a 5-10 guard.
Notre Dame concludes the regular season on Sunday with a home contest #6 Louisville, who leads the ACC standings.
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