John Mooney had 20 points and 10 rebounds, and Notre Dame snapped a seven-game losing streak with a 78-71 win over Georgia Tech on Tuesday in the first round of the ACC Tournament.
Dane Goodwin added 15 points for the Irish, who nearly squandered a 20-point halftime lead.
Nate Laszewski had 14 points for the Irish before leaving late in the first half with a lower back bruise after landing hard on the floor.
It was Notre Dame’s first victory since defeating the Yellow Jackets 69-59 in South Bend, Indiana, on Feb. 10 and only their fourth win of the calendar year.
Moses Wright led Georgia Tech (14-18) with 25 points and James Banks III had 12 points and 11 rebounds.
The Irish (14-18) didn’t play like the last place team in the ACC in the first half, shooting 58 percent from the field and 7 of 11 from 3-point range to build a 52-32 lead over the 10th-seeded Yellow Jackets.
Georgia Tech picked up the intensity with full-court pressure in the second half and cut the Irish lead to six with 1:56 remaining on a 3-pointer from the left wing by Jose Alvarado. After an Irish miss, Moore sank a 3 from the right corner and the lead was suddenly down to 72-69 with 1:06 remaining.
But Mooney didn’t panic, calmly drilling a 15-footer as the shot clock was winding down. Prentiss Hubb then sank two free throws after a Georgia Tech miss to put the Irish safely up by seven with 32 seconds left.
Michael Devoe cut the lead to five on a layup, but Juwan Durham blocked Devoe on the next possession to help seal the win.
Notre Dame: Laszewski provided a big spark for the Irish early on. He was 4 of 6 from the field with three 3-pointers and had four rebounds before a collision with Georgia Tech’s Brandon Alston under the basket. Laszewski remained on the court for several minutes before being helped to the locker room by trainers. X-rays on his back were negative, but he didn’t return. If he can’t play in the next round it could hinder the Irish.
Georgia Tech: It was a tough ending to a tough season for the Yellow Jackets, who won only six ACC games during the regular season. They played hard in the second half but the 20-point deficit was too much to overcome.
Notre Dame: Moves on to face seventh-seeded Louisville on Wednesday night.
Georgia Tech: Season over.
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