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Notre Dame Basketball

Irish collapse: ND blows 13-point lead, falls to FSU

March 4, 2020

It was a last chance at a last chance.

And No. 7 Florida State’s final second-chance bucket stymied Notre Dame’s upset-bid.

Despite leading by seven at the half and by double figures on multiple occasions in the final 20 minutes Wednesday night inside Purcell Pavilion, the Fighting Irish watched helplessly as the Seminoles closed the game on a 22-10 run in the 73-71 comeback-win.

Florida State led for only 20 seconds in the game, but Trent Forrest’s putback off his own miss made it 21 consecutive losses against ranked foes for Notre Dame (18-12, 9-10 Atlantic Coast Conference).

The Seminoles (25-5, 15-4) spoiled a night in which John Mooney matched Luke Harangody’s single-season program record with his 25th double-double, 16 points and 11 rebounds, and in the process Mooney broke Tim Duncan’s single-season ACC record of 15 double-doubles in a single season.

“This game allowed us to, I thought, grow up a little bit tonight because we only led for 20 seconds the entire game,” said ’Noles coach Leonard Hamilton. “And so not very many times you’re going to win a game on the road in the ACC only leading 20 seconds in the game.

“But that’s kind of who we are.”

The Fighting Irish are, more or less, strikingly opposite of Florida State in closing out games. They lost their eighth game this season by five or fewer points; seven of their 10 ACC losses have come by a combined 15 points.

“I feel for our guys, but we got what we deserved,” said Irish coach Mike Brey, still upset enough after the game to skip his postgame show courtside. “We tried a little bit of zone, tried a little bit of everything.

“No answers for them.”

Notre Dame hit five of its first seven 3-point attempts and went 11-for-32 from distance in the game, but it was manhandled inside as Florida State outscored the Irish 48-29 in the paint and on second-chance points.

“They’re really good, let’s give them credit,” Brey said. “There were 15 NBA scouts here, and they weren’t here for any of our guys. They were here for their guys.

“I love our guys, and the second-shot, quick stuff around the bucket, we just couldn’t control it.”

The nation’s leader throughout the season in assist-to-turnover ratio, Notre Dame was sloppy with the ball --- 15 turnovers --- and also had multiple mental breakdowns, none perhaps more costly than when Nate Laszewski fouled FSU star M.J. Walker on a late 3-point attempt with the Irish up 66-63.

Walker, who went on a personal 10-2 run and scored 13-straight ’Noles points, sank all three free throws to knot the contest. Still, Notre Dame inched back on top with a T.J. Gibbs free throw and a baseline jumper from Prentiss Hubb --- the last of his game-high 24 points for a 71-68 lead before FSU scored the game’s final five points.

Dane Goodwin added 16 points off the bench for the Fighting Irish, but no other player scored more than five in the game.

After Walker scored 13 in a row, Forrest scored the final five points of the game.

“Trent Forrest drove, he missed the shot, he got the offensive rebound and put it up,” Mooney said. “He made a good play.”

Mooney, Gibbs and Rex Pflueger get one final game inside Purcell Pavilion Saturday at 2 against Virginia Tech on senior day.

Mooney's milestone a footnote in crushing loss

ISD Video | Mike Brey Post-Florida State

ISD Video | John Mooney & Prentiss Hubb Post-Florida State

ISD Video | Leonard Hamilton Post-Notre Dame

Irish Sports Daily
Final Stats

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