GREENSBORO, N.C. – Second-ranked Notre Dame claimed its second consecutive title, winning the 2015 ACC Women’s Basketball Tournament by a 71-58 margin over the seventh-ranked Florida State Seminoles at Greensboro Coliseum on Sunday.
It was the Fighting Irish’s second title win in as many seasons as a member of the conference, while Florida State played in its first-ever ACC championship final game.
Four Irish players scored in double-figures, led by tournament MVP Jewell Loyd who posted 18 points and seven rebounds.
Taya Reimer (16), Madison Cable (13) and Brianna Turner (10) all joined Loyd with double-digit finishes.
Maegan Conwright’s 14 points led the Seminoles, while Leticia Romero and Adut Bulgak added 13 and 10 points respectively.
What they said:
“I’m really proud of this team for where we came from to win this,” Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw said.
“To go through the league with just one loss I think was a remarkable accomplishment. We had so many new pieces to fit together and I think with Jewell Loyd’s leadership, we were able to just get a little bit better every game. Tonight I thought was the best game we played all year. I don’t think it’s the best game we will play, but it was definitely the best game we have played so far. Jewell was phenomenal. Madison Cable, Brianna Turner, Lindsay Allen, Taya Reimer, everybody that came in the game I thought, gave us great minutes. Great team win.”
“Well, they’re a tough, tough basketball team,” Florida State coach Sue Semrau said.
“I thought they played extremely well. I thought defensively there was a stretch where they held us scoreless for a while. I thought that affected our defense. And any time our defense is affected, that’s not our strong suit. We have got to be able that’s what we hang our hat on, defending on rebounding. And this is the first time we have been out rebounded all year. I think that’s what hurts the most is that in a big game situation, we lost what we were best at. Give vredit to Notre Dame. I mean, they put us in tough positions defensively and made big plays.”
With the win, Notre Dame earns the conference automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament.
Florida State now waits an at-large berth into the NCAA’s.
Since joining the ACC prior to last season, Notre Dame is 38-1 against conference opponents (31-1 regular season, 7-0 postseason).
With the win, Notre Dame is 4-0 all-time against Florida State, including a victory in their only matchup to date this season, a 74-68 decision on Jan. 2.
Notre Dame moves to 10-1 against ranked opponents this season, including a 6-1 mark against top-10 teams.
The Fighting Irish move to 17-1 all-time when playing in the state of North Carolina and are 6-0 when playing at Greensboro Coliseum.
Florida State trailed by double-digits for only the third time this season – against Washington on Nov. 27 and Duke on Jan. 11 as the two others.
With seven rebounds, the Seminoles’ Adut Bulgak became just the fifth player in program history to grab 300 boards or more in a season.
2015 ACC Tournament Awards
Most Valuable Player
Jewell Loyd – Notre Dame
First Team All-Tournament
Elizabeth Williams – Duke
Shakayla Thomas – Florida State
Brianna Turner – Notre Dame
Jewell Loyd – Notre Dame
Dearica Hamby – Wake Forest
Second Team All-Tournament
Leticia Romero – Florida State
Stephanie Mavunga – North Carolina
Madison Cable – Notre Dame
Taya Reimer – Notre Dame
Vanessa Panousis – Virginia Tech