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Notre Dame Basketball

Notre Dame Falls Short In Tallahassee 85-84

January 25, 2020
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In a season rife with heartbreak, Notre Dame somehow discovered an all-new method to finish just short Saturday night in what could have been a season-defining upset.

The Fighting Irish, after trailing by as many as 14 points in the second half, saw Dane Goodwin’s desperation heave fall off-mark at the buzzer in an 85-84 defeat at No. 5 Florida State.

Fueled by the relentless shooting of Prentiss Hubb and the timely, clutch contributions from Juwan Durham, Notre Dame (11-8, 2-6 Atlantic Coast Conference) scrapped all the way back to have possession and multiple shots to steal victory from the Seminoles (17-2, 7-1 ACC).

FSU hit on 12-for-18 3-pointers, outscoring Notre Dame 36-30 from behind the arc, for the win.

“They’re really good and we still had an opportunity,” said Irish coach Mike Brey. “Even though they shot it like I’ve never seen before. I know they calmed down a little bit. I’m proud of our group.

“We gave ourselves a chance. Disappointing, though. We had chances there at the end.”

ND outscored FSU, 23-10, in the game’s final six minutes, but a flurry of last-ditch shots --- Durham, John Mooney, Hubb and Goodwin all were charged with missed shots in the final 14 seconds --- all missed the mark.

Hubb might have been fouled on a running jumper off the left-hand side of the key in the waning seconds, and the ACC Network broadcast crew also wondered aloud about the possibility of Durham twice being fouled on what would have been and-1 opportunities for the Fighting Irish.

Dominated early on the boards, with at one point an 18-3 deficit on the glass, Notre Dame rallied to be outrebounded by just two, 34-32, and also outscored the ’Noles, 27-19, in points off turnovers. ND similarly was remarkably lethal from the free-throw line, where it converted on 22 of 27 attempts while FSU managed just 14 charity tosses --- though the ACC’s best free-throw shooting team hit on 13.

The Irish were poised and in command in the game’s initial moments, when they built leads of both 15-4 and 18-8 before FSU unhinged what proved to be a game-deciding run.

The Seminoles, fueled by career-best efforts from Wyatt Wilkes and RaiQuan Gray, threatened to blow out their guests after Notre Dame’s early charge. They delivered runs of both 18-0 and 22-3 as they seized command heading into the break, with an 47-37 edge.

Gray and Wilkes combined for 32 points for FSU, with Wilkes supplying 19 off the bench in just 19 minutes.

Still, Notre Dame --- which now has seen nine of its games this season decided by single digits --- would not fold. Durham and Hubb combined to score 28 second-half points for the Irish, finished with an uncharacteristic 15 turnovers against just a dozen assists.

Mooney had his double-double streak end at a dozen consecutive games, as the senior post poured in 16 points but mustered just five rebounds.

Up next for Notre Dame is a visit Wednesday from Wake Forest and another home tilt next Saturday against Georgia Tech.

Irish Sports Daily
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