SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Chris Clarke’s double-double and Justin Bibbs’ 20 points led the Virginia Tech men’s basketball team to an 80-75 victory over Notre Dame on Saturday night inside Purcell Pavilion. The win for the Hokies (15-6, 4-4 ACC) marked the first win versus the Fighting Irish (13-8, 3-5 ACC) since the 1973 NIT. Tech shot 51 percent from floor and a blistering 56 percent from 3-point land with 14 triples.
Clarke, a junior, posted his third double-double of the season with 12 points and 14 rebounds, while Bibbs was 8-for-10 shooting, including a perfect 4-for-4 from behind the arc.
Four Hokies hit a 3-pointer in the opening minutes to take a 16-9 lead, forcing a Notre Dame timeout at the 14:29 mark. The smallest advantage Tech had following was when the Irish cut it to five, but redshirt sophomore Kerry Blackshear Jr. got a steal and redshirt freshman Tyrie Jackson followed with a breakaway dunk, extending the lead to seven. Tech went into halftime with a 34-27 advantage.
Coming out of the locker room to begin the second half, the Hokies extended their lead to as many as 15 points with a little over 12 minutes to go. Notre Dame responded with a 15-3 run to trim it to a one-possession game at the 6:53 mark.
Trading baskets left and right in the final moments, the contest was a two-point game with 1:34 left after a Martinas Geben’s bucket. The Irish had the momentum until Clarke took over, scoring the Hokies’ final six points to seal the win. Tech led the entire second half. The Hokies made 29 field goals on 19 assists, and finished with a 1.90 assist/turnover ratio. T.J. Gibbs led the way for the Irish, posting a game-high 27 points, five assists and two rebounds.