Photo by Rick Kimball/ISD
Notre Dame Basketball

Irish Playing With Heart, Focused On Finishing

January 12, 2020
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The lack of finishing has been the thorn in Notre Dame's side for the last year.

The Irish found themselves in a 16-point hole against No. 13 Louisville, but Notre Dame fought back to take a four-point lead with 5:25 to play. 

Notre Dame didn't finish as Dwayne Sutton hit two threes in the final minutes to allow the Cardinals to escape with a victory. 

"It's our poise," captain John Mooney said of his team. "We've been down before and we've come back. You look at Toledo, Indiana, we didn't finish, but we were down double digits at half. 

"We're a poised and mature group to be able to claw and fight back like we did. First of all, we have to stop putting ourselves in that position in the first half. We know that it's a long game. We just have to do a better job of finishing games." 

Mooney leads the nation in rebounding and did his part yesterday with 15 points and 19 rebounds, but the Irish just couldn't get off a good shot in the final seconds.

"We were done three," explained Mooney. "They're a gifted group. We three gotta driving opportunity and when we're down three with 20 seconds left, we can get a quick two. We were looking for that. 

"That didn't happen. We got the offensive rebound and missed a shot." 

Sophomore Dane Goodwin has been one of the bright spots this season and the Ohio native showed up once again. 

Goodwin scored 11 points in the final 20 minutes, including going 3-for-6 from downtown. 

"I got in one of those grooves for a little bit," stated Goodwin. "I didn't really have it in the first half, but we were in a great flow in the second half for a while. It helped us get back in the game and take the lead. 

"We just have to finish those games. It comes down to a play here or there. We have to make those plays to get a win."
 
There is zero question Notre Dame is playing with heart this season, which perhaps makes the losses tougher to take. 

"It's tough," said Mooney. "When Sutton hits two bombs at the end, you tip your cap. He's a good player. They just made more plays down the stretch." 

 
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