Irish steamroll Clemson 74-47 on senior night

NOW: Irish steamroll Clemson 74-47 on senior night

SOUTH BEND, Ind – Notre Dame had Purcell Pavilion on fire on senior night and Hannah Hidalgo's birthday.

It's only right that Notre Dame had all hands-on deck for a game that had so much meaning.

Senior night, Hidalgo's 19th birthday, and the day Hidalgo launched a philanthropy foundation in South Bend, as a teenager.

Of the nine players to touch the floor for the Irish, five scored in double figures.

The first quarter didn't go as planned, trailing 16-18. But the second quarter, the Irish started to cook off a corner three-pointer from Citron, followed by a Maddy Westbeld layup. Both assisted by Hannah Hidalgo, leading the Irish outscoring Clemson 21-9.

Third quarter was much of the same. Notre Dame outscored the Tigers 22-9, but things got chippy at some point. Irish led by 15, Westbeld rolled to the basket but was blocked by Ruby Whitehorn and the two had a brief stare down. Those four sets of eyes led to some chatter, a little shoving, and technical on Clemson.

Although it wasn't close, that scenario was a difference maker. Specifically for Hannah Hidalgo. The freshman struggled with 10 points on 4-14. One of the buckets came on a shot from beyond the arc, followed by a steal, and assist to Anna DeWolfe.

The sequence lit a fire under Hidalgo, the bench, the fans, and her mother Tamara, visiting from New Jersey. The stamp of approval was Maddy Westbeld in the post-game interview. A player Head Coach Niele Ivey considers to be the heartbeat of the team.

"That was one of the first like, chippy back and forth things that we've experienced. And I think it was just a testament to how close we are in the bounce back that we had from that. And I think for the rest of the game, we kind of felt that energy, that chippy energy but it just like I said, it just tests how close we are and how tight knit and how loyal we are to each other. So, it was good, it was fun to make the rest of the game," Westbeld said.

The next matchup for the Irish is one week away, at home. Currently ranked eighth in the country, the 22-4 Virginia Tech Hokies visit South Bend on February 29 for a top 25 matchup.   

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