BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) Arike Ogunbowale had 16 points, 10 rebounds and six assists and No. 7 Notre Dame pulled away after halftime to beat Virginia Tech 76-59 on Thursday night.
Kathryn Westbeld added 15 points and Brianna Turner and Marina Mabry added 13 each for the Irish (21-3, 9-1 Atlantic Coast Conference). Notre Dame led by just 34-29 at halftime, but scored 15 of the first 19 points after the break. The Hokies got no closer than 11 thereafter.
Chanette Hicks had 14 points and seven assists for the Hokies (16-6, 3-6), who lost for the sixth time in seven games. Regan Magarity added 13 points and 10 rebounds.
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The Irish used a 19-4 run spanning the first and second quarters to open a 25-13 lead, but Virginia Tech closed the half on a 16-9 burst. Ogunbowale had seven points in the big run after the intermission, and the Irish led by as many as 22 in winning their fifth in a row.
Notre Dame: The Fighting Irish can be sloppy with the ball, averaging more than 14 turnovers, but they more than make up for it with their fluid play and unselfishness. They also average more than 19 assists and shot 54.1 percent (33-61) and got 42 of their points in the paint against the Hokies.
Virginia Tech: The Hokies are clearly struggling since their 15-0 start to the season, and first-year coach Kenny Brooks has to hope that having essentially been in the game against one of the nation’s top teams into the final quarter helps rebuild some of that good feeling from the fast start to the year.
Notre Dame returns home but gets a visit from No. 9 Louisville on Monday night.
Virginia Tech goes on the road to face Georgia Tech on Sunday.