Notre Dame and visiting Virginia Tech are both looking to gain momentum for the home stretch when they meet in Atlantic Coast Conference play on Saturday in South Bend, Ind.
Notre Dame (10-14, 2-11 ACC) has dropped six of its past seven games, including a 70-68 setback at Georgia Tech on Wednesday.
Virginia Tech (14-10, 4-9) is coming off an 82-76 loss to visiting Boston College on Wednesday, the Hokies’ second loss in their past three games.
The Fighting Irish absorbed a heartbreaking loss against the Yellow Jackets, as Lance Terry’s tip-in as time expired lifted Georgia Tech to the win.
Notre Dame had overcome a four-point deficit in the final 2:58 to tie the game at 68-68 on Cormac Ryan’s two free throws with 1:55 left.
However, the Fighting Irish missed their next three shots, including two contested layups, before Terry tipped in Kyle Sturdivant’s missed baseline jumper.
“I thought we had some pretty good looks,” Notre Dame assistant coach Hamlet Tibbs said. “(Cormac) had a nice drive to the rim there … the next possession Nate (Laszewski) kind of bore his way into the paint. I thought he had a pretty good look over a smaller defender and it just didn’t drop.”
Notre Dame was led by Laszewski, who had 16 points, while Dane Goodwin added 14 points and seven rebounds. Ven-Allen Lubin chipped in 13 points and seven rebounds and Ryan had 13 points.
Meantime, Virginia Tech’s loss to Boston College wasn’t nearly as close.
The Eagles ended the first half on a 22-7 run to take a 39-27 advantage at halftime before leading by 15 with 6:34 left in the game.
“We’re 25 games into this thing now and we are not reinventing the wheel,” Virginia Tech Mike Young said. “We got good players and guys that can really shoot the basketball. Just have to do it better moving forward.”
Grant Basile scored a career-high 33 points and Justyn Mutts added 16 points, six rebounds and four assists against the Eagles.
Virginia Tech has lost all seven true road games so far this season but is 3-0 in neutral-court games.
–Field Level Media