Photo by Rick Kimball/ISD
Notre Dame Basketball

Irish Drop Tough Game in Tallahassee 83-80

January 18, 2017
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No. 15 Notre Dame (16-3, 5-1) traveled to Tallahassee on Wednesday night for a showdown with No. 10 Florida State (17-2, 5-1). The story of the game was turnovers and a lack of rebounding on the night for Mike Brey’s gritty squad.  The Seminoles got timely stops and forced 19 turnovers to get an 83-80 win to move into a first-place tie in the ACC. 

With the Irish up 64-62, Jonathan Isaac knocked home a three-pointer with 5:23 left in the game to give the lead to the home team at 65-64. The freshman forward then completed a three-point play seconds later to put Florida State up 68-64.

Isaac proceeded to knock home another three-pointer with 3:05 left to push the Seminoles lead to 73-65 and end Notre Dame’s hopes of improving to 6-0 in the ACC. I

The Irish battled back to pull within 79-77 with 16 seconds to play on a Rex Pflueger three, but Florida State would hit its foul shots to put the game away.

Isaac led the Seminoles with 23 points, 10 rebounds and seven blocks.

Notre Dame started with a big-time defensive effort to start the second half. The Seminoles got to two quick buckets to open the half to take a 43-35 lead. Then the Irish defense would hold Florida State to zero field goals over the next 4:41.

Matt Farrell and Steve Vasturia would knock home three-pointers and Martinas Geben laid in an easy layup to pull within 49-46. Senior forward VJ Beachem would hit his second shot from behind the arc with 12:24 to play and tie the game at 49.

Vasturia led Notre Dame with 1 points, while Farrell finished with 17 and Beachem added 14.

That would be short lived, as Notre Dame would go 1 for 8 from the field until Beachem nailed his third three of the game to pull the Irish to 53-52 with 10:29 to play. Notre Dame once again tied the game 58 with 7:47 on Beachem’s third three-pointer of the half.

Colson would hit a short layup to give Notre Dame a 60-58 lead. The junior forward finished the night with nine points and eight rebounds.

The first half for the Irish was something to forget and forget soon. Turnovers were the story for Notre Dame were a major problem. Farrell started the game with three turnovers in the first four minutes of the game and was sloppy with the rock over the first twenty minutes.

The Irish followed their point guards example, as Notre Dame finished the first half with 13 turnovers, including five by Farrell. On the flip side, Florida State ended the first half with 12 turnovers but held 12-7 scoring advantage in points off turnovers.

With the Irish offense struggling to open the game, Gibbs entered the game and immediately hit back-to-back shots from behind the arc to give Notre Dame a 14-11 advantage with 11:40 left in the opening half.

Florida State made the first major run of the game with just over five minutes left in the half. Matt Ryan nailed a three-pointer to tie the game at 26, but then fouled Savoy on a three. Savoy then knocked him all three foul shots and hit back-to-back three-pointers and Bacon slammed home a dunk to give the Noles an eight-point lead at 37-29 with 2:57 to play in the first half.

At the half, Florida State led 39-33. Gibbs led Notre Dame with 11 points off the bench and Savoy was the top scorer for the Noles with 12 points. Notre Dame also struggled on the boards losing the battle 20-11 over the first twenty minutes.

PLAYER OF THE GAME: Jonathan Isaac. 23 points, 10 rebounds and seven blocks. Everytime the Noles needed a bucket, the freshman got it. Isaac also was 7 for 7 from the foul line and came up with two blocks on the games final play.

STAT LINE OF THE GAME: 11 blocks by the Seminoles. Florida State's size and length gave the Irish problems all game.

TURNING POINT:
Xavier Ranthan-Mayes hit a jumper to give Florida State a five-point lead with 3:53 to play. Isaac hit a three-pointer on the next possession to put the Noles up by eight with just three minutes to play.

WHAT'S NEXT: Notre Dame will host Syracuse at Purcell Pavilion on Saturday at noon.
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