GAME NOTES: After finally snapping a three-game losing streak, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish will try and string a pair of wins together as they travel to face the Florida State Seminoles in Atlantic Coast Conference action at the Tucker Center.
Following a win over Duke on Jan. 4, Notre Dame went on to lose three consecutive contests in ACC play, but got back in the win column Sunday with a 70-63 victory over Virginia Tech.
Florida State's 78-66 loss to Virginia Saturday snaps a three-game win streak in ACC play. The Seminoles will look to get back into the win category and close some distance between them and Syracuse in conference play.
These two teams have only met once before in history, with Florida State having won the only meeting, which was back in March of 2011 in the NCAA Tournament. It's the first time these programs meet as members of the ACC.
Notre Dame held a 15-point advantage at the half against Virginia Tech, but the Hokies made it interesting by pulling within two points, 53-51, in the second frame. The Irish responded by going on a run of their own that led to the win. Pat Connaughton scored a team-high 21 points and grabbed eight rebounds for Notre Dame. Demetrius Jackson contributed 13 points, and Eric Atkins netted 12 and dished out four assists. The Irish connected on 41.4 percent of their shots in the game.
Jerian Grant, who is unable to play for Notre Dame due to academic restrictions, still leads the team with a 19 ppg average through his 12 games played. Garrick Sherman and Connaughton are the active leaders in scoring for the Irish at 14.6 ppg and 14.1 ppg, respectively. Both Sherman and Connaughton are also the top rebounders for the squad, pulling down 8.3 rpg and 7.3 rpg, respectively. Atkins leads the team with 88 assists on the year.
For the second time this season, Florida State lost to Virginia. Both of the Seminoles' conference losses this season are to Virginia. In the latest loss, Okaro White and Aaron Thomas led the Seminoles with 15 points. White notched seven rebounds and Thomas contributed five boards and four assists. Devon Bookert netted 12 points for the 'Noles.
Ian Miller leads Florida State this season in scoring, netting 13.4 ppg, even after his nine-point performance against the Cavaliers. He also tops the team in assists with 63, despite not starting a single game. Thomas has yet to start this season as well, but he still registers a second-best 12.6 ppg. White, who shoots 51 percent from the floor and has a 12.4 ppg average, leads the team in rebounding at 6.6 rpg. The Seminoles average 73.2 ppg this year.
The loss to Virginia set Florida State back a bit in conference play, but the Seminoles should be able to rebound against Notre Dame at home with some strong scoring options and a very solid defensive effort.
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