Notre Dame upsets Virginia Tech as Hidalgo sets ACC freshman mark

Hannah Hidalgo sets ACC freshman scoring record (0:19)

Notre Dame's Hannah Hidalgo sets the ACC scoring record with a free throw against Virginia Tech. (0:19)

Freshman Hannah Hidalgo had 23 points and 12 rebounds to help No. 17 Notre Dame beat fifth-ranked Virginia Tech 71-58 on Thursday night.

In addition to leading her team to a big win over the conference rival Hokies, Hidalgo passed Florida State's Ta'Niya Latson to become the highest-scoring freshman in ACC history when she hit a free throw with 21 seconds remaining in the third quarter.

Latson set the record of 659 points during her first year at Florida State last season.

Virginia Tech (23-5, 14-3 ACC) had its 10-game winning streak snapped, but ended up claiming its first ACC regular-season championship outright as No. 12 North Carolina State defeated No. 19 Syracuse 75-71 in overtime Thursday. The Hokies won the ACC tournament crown last season and reached the Final Four.

There was plenty at stake entering the game for both teams as they jockey for postseason advantages. The Hokies were ranked No. 5 in the NCAA reveal earlier in the night. Notre Dame (22-6, 12-5) is just outside of the top 16 and a chance to host first- and second-round games.

Hidalgo, a 5-foot-6 point guard who leads the ACC in scoring at 23.7 points a game, ignited an up-tempo Fighting Irish offense that saw Notre Dame race to an 18-2 advantage in fastbreak points.

"We knew that we needed to have better starts, so I knew that had to start with me," Hidalgo said. "I knew I had to pick up the pressure and stay locked in."

Sonia Citron added 21 points and Maddy Westbeld had 19 points for Notre Dame.

Georgia Amoore led Virginia Tech with 20 points. Matilda Ekh and Elizabeth Kitley scored 12 each. Notre Dame's physical defensive attack on Kitley held her well below her 23.3 scoring average.

Virginia Tech couldn't put the brakes on the dangerous Notre Dame transition.

"I feel like this team, when we push pace, we're at our best," Notre Dame coach Niele Ivey said. "I wanted to put a lot of pressure on Virginia Tech. I felt like, even in the zone, I stressed pace in the half court, pace in the full court. I think that's where our identity lies, with our speed, our ability to have shooters around the floor. All of our guards can get downhill."

Notre Dame used a 12-0 run to go up 32-18 with 3:46 left in the second quarter. Virginia Tech shook off the scoring drought of 6:34 to close out the quarter with a 10-4 burst and close to 36-28 at halftime.

Virginia Tech once again fell behind by 14 points at 44-30 with 6:57 remaining in the third quarter. The Hokies narrowed the deficit to 46-42 with 3:02 left in the period.

Citron helped the Irish pull away in the fourth quarter, scoring eight of Notre Dame's points in a 12-8 stretch that gave the Fighting Irish a 59-50 lead with 6:38 left.

Despite the loss, Virginia Tech coach Kenny Brooks pointed out that the Hokies won't have to put "Co-Champions" on their ACC rings, as the loss by Syracuse gives Virginia Tech the title outright.

"You lose a basketball game, but you gain a championship, it's huge," Brooks said. "It's kind of ironic. To be told that we won the outright regular-season championship at Notre Dame, because when I got here, Notre Dame was the staple. Coach McGraw and what they were doing ... You were in awe of what they were doing, winning national championships.

"And five, six, seven years later, we're the regular-season champion," Brooks continued. "That says a lot. We'll be proud of it. That's an achievement you don't take lightly, I don't care how bad you feel on a night like this. That's monumental for our program. I'll take it and smile all the way home."

The teams are both in action again Sunday when Virginia Tech visits Virginia and Notre Dame hosts Louisville.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this story.