March 7, 2020 / 9:14 PM / a month ago

Gibbs propels Notre Dame past Virginia Tech

Senior guard T.J. Gibbs highlighted a 22-point performance with five 3-pointers as Notre Dame posted a 64-56 win over Virginia Tech on Saturday in South Bend, Ind.

Mar 7, 2020; South Bend, Indiana, USA; An informational sign on Coronavirus is posted in a restroom at the Purcell Pavilion before the game between the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Virginia Tech Hokies. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Gibbs was honored before the game along with fellow captains Rex Pflueger and John Mooney on Senior Day for the Fighting Irish (19-12, 10-10 ACC), who built an early lead and held off Virginia Tech (16-15, 7-13).

Closing out the regular season with a 15-4 mark at home, Notre Dame held the Hokies scoreless for nearly 10 minutes to build a 28-17 halftime lead.

Virginia Tech missed 16 straight field-goal attempts during that stretch before junior forward PJ Horne ended the drought with a 3-pointer.

Gibbs hit four 3-pointers in a 15-point first half as the teams shot a combined 15 for 55 from the floor. The Irish uncharacteristically committed nine first-half turnovers.

The Hokies closed within five early in the second half but sophomore guard Dane Goodwin hit two straight driving layups to give Notre Dame some breathing room.

The game matched two of the top seven scorers in the ACC. Mooney came in fourth with a 16.8 scoring average, while Hokies redshirt freshman forward Landers Nolley II was seventh at 15.9.

Nolley also was shut out in the opening period as he and Mooney missed all nine of their combined attempts. They finished with seven points apiece as Mooney failed to add to his ACC season record for double-doubles.

Notre Dame was coming off yet another heartbreaker, a 73-71 home loss to No. 7 Florida State on Wednesday in which the Seminoles wiped out a 13-point deficit midway through the second half. That setback gave the Irish eight losses by a combined 17 points this season.

The Hokies had lost nine of their past 11, including home overtime losses to Boston College and Miami. They were coming off a 12-point home win over Clemson and were looking for back-to-back wins for the first time since a three-game streak in mid-January.

Notre Dame was 7-3 in the series since joining the ACC but the Hokies had claimed three of the past four meetings under Mike Brey disciple Buzz Williams, now at Texas A&M.

—Field Level Media

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