Notre Dame will look to beat host Georgia Tech for the eighth time in the past nine meetings when they compete in Atlantic Coast Conference play on Wednesday in Atlanta.
The Fighting Irish (10-13, 2-10 ACC) have dropped five of their past six games since knocking off the visiting Yellow Jackets 73-72 in overtime on Jan. 10. Notre Dame is coming off an 81-64 loss to visiting Wake Forest on Saturday.
Georgia Tech (8-15, 1-12) extended its losing streak to nine games — its longest since dropping 13 straight to end the 1980-81 season — with a 72-64 loss at North Carolina State on Saturday.
Notre Dame trailed the Demon Deacons 27-26 at halftime before Wake Forest outscored the Fighting Irish 54-38 in the second half to win going away.
Nate Laszewski, who averages a team-high 14.1 points and 7.2 rebounds per game, had 18 points and seven rebounds, while Cormac Ryan, who averages 11.5 points per game, added 12 against Wake Forest.
Marcus Hammond, who averages 8.9 points per game, was the only other member of Fighting Irish who finished in double figures, scoring 10 points.
“We’ll go to Atlanta and keep on playing and you’d love to see if you could get a little momentum before you go to (the ACC tournament next month),” retiring Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said. “But you know, it’s a group that has ownership of themselves and they come in and keep trying and we keep trying to help them and we’ll continue to do that.”
Georgia Tech led the Wolfpack 61-58 with 4:10 to play. But the Yellow Jackets scored just three points the rest of the way as the Wolfpack ended the game on a 14-3 run.
“I wanted to win so bad for our guys because losing stinks,” Georgia Tech coach Josh Pastner said. “Losing’s no fun and we’ve taken quite a few on the chin.
“I thought, ‘Man, we’re going to break through the barrier. It’ll be great for our young men and just maybe change the season around.’ And we just weren’t able to break through.”
Miles Kelly, who averages 13.3 points per game, scored 17 against the Wolfpack, with Ja’von Franklin, who averages 7.7 points per game, added 16 against NC State. Kyle Sturdivant, who averages 7.0 points per game, had 13 points, while Deebo Coleman, who averages 9.3 points per game, was held to eight on 3-of-10 shooting on Saturday.
In the last meeting, the Yellow Jackets rallied from a nine-point, second-half deficit to take a 65-58 lead with 2:31 left before the Fighting Irish closed on a 7-0 run to send the game into overtime.
After Sturdivant’s two free throws gave Georgia Tech a 72-71 lead with 39 seconds remaining, Laszewski’s two free throws with 23 seconds to go proved to be the difference.
Sturdivant missed a 3-pointer with five seconds left and Franklin’s jumper was off the mark with two seconds to go.
–Field Level Media
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