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Kat Westbeld reaches 1,000 points as Irish roll past Virginia Tech

NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The past month has been filled with impressive nights, as Notre Dame women's basketball entered Thursday's meeting with Virginia Tech riding a 10-game winning streak. Even with that bar, the Irish seemed to reach it on several levels in a 30-point victory.

Notre Dame beat the Hokies 89-59 behind a game-high 26 points from Arike Ogunbowale. Marina Mabrey captured her first career double-double, and nearly recorded a triple-double with 21 points, 11 rebounds, and eight assists. Jackie Young also added a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Despite those performances, the moment of the night came when senior Kathryn Westbeld eclipsed the 1,000-point milestone with her eight points.

"Our crowd standing up and giving me that standing ovation was really special," said Westbeld following the game. "They've been by my side this entire four years and just to hear them, especially getting it at home really meant a lot."

"[Kat has] the poise. She's the calm in the storm, especially against the press," said coach Muffet McGraw. "She has meant so much to our program the last four years. She leaves a huge hole when she graduates that I'm not sure anybody can fill."

Westbeld also mentioned that it was nice to reach the mark before Sunday's festivities. Westbeld will be one of the seniors recognized as the Irish host North Carolina State, but was glad not to have the milestone hanging over her head on top of the other feelings sure to be at hand.

"Sunday is going to be very emotional for me. I have a lot of family coming, and a lot of people," she said. "I'm happy it happened tonight."

Westbeld became the 39th Irish player to reach 1,000 career points and the third this season. Juniors Arike Ogunbowale and Marina Mabrey passed the mark in the first half of the schedule.

Notre Dame's regular season finale against NC State is set to tip at 2 p.m. Sunday at Purcell Pavilion. 

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