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Notre Dame Basketball

Goodwin Drills Game-Winner as Notre Dame Escapes Lipscomb, 66-65

November 18, 2022

Dane Goodwin was all alone as Cormac Ryan kicked the ball out to him at the top of the key.  He stepped into a three-point shot with the Irish down two points in the final seconds of the game against Lipscomb and let it fly. 

Coach Mike Brey knew the shot was good before it even left Goodwin’s fingertips. 

“When we got that look and that drive, I said, ‘that one’s going in,’” Brey said.

The shot fell, giving the Irish a one-point lead with 0:14 left in the game. Lipscomb chose to hold its timeout and the Irish forced Bison forward Derrin Boyd to miss a late jump before time expired. 

Notre Dame (4-0) defeated Lipscomb (2-2), 66-65, even after the Irish allowed the Bison to score 42 points in the second half on 76 percent shooting.

That came after Notre Dame played perhaps its best defense of the season in the first half, forcing Lipscomb to shoot 35.7% from the field on their way to scoring just 23 points. 

“Honestly, defense for us is always going to be a bit of a work in process,” Nate Laszewski said. “But over the course of the season, as you see more teams, you're going to get better and better at that. Obviously, we need to get better. We know that.”

Laszewski and Goodwin dismissed the notion that Notre Dame was tired after playing four games in nine days while primarily relying on a six-man rotation, but Brey says “exhaustion” was likely a factor. 

Goodwin led all scorers with 24 points on 9 of 13 shooting from the field. He hit on six of his eight three-point attempts, including the go-ahead bucket at the end of the game. 

“I knew one of us needed to hit a big shot,” Goodwin said. “On any given night is going to be any of us. Cormac made a great draft to the middle and found me. I keyed on that today, just being ready to shoot wherever it was on the floor.”

Laszewski finished with 16 points, nine rebounds and two blocks. He shot one of seven from the field in the first half but never missed in the second. 

Ryan and Trey Wertz struggled to find a rhythm offensively on Friday night but found success as distributors.  Both shot three of nine from the field, while also dishing out four assists. 

Former McDonald’s All-American JJ Starling had an up-and-down night and finished with 11 points.

Ven-Allen Lubin was the only Fighting Irish bench player against Lipscomb. He played 13 minutes and grabbed three rebounds. 

“I have the utmost respect for them,” Brey said. “I knew this was going to be the hardest of these first four games. We couldn't get away from them, but I'm proud of our group. We believe we can get over the hump, especially in this building. Our crowd was fabulous.”

He Said It

“They're so old,” Lipscomb coach Lennie Acuff said of Notre Dame. “You're good at something when you make it look easy, and they make it look really easy. On their last possession, I don't even know what happened on offense, but they moved the ball around. We made a mistake. They made us pay.”

Stat of the Night

It’s hard to ignore the Irish allowing Lipscomb to make 19 of 25 second-half shots, 15 of which came in the paint. 

The Bisons entered the game making 37.9% of its threes, so Notre Dame switched everything to prevent them from getting many good looks from beyond the arc in the second half. 

Still, Lipscomb made three of its four three-point attempts in the period. 

“We just didn't want to give up threes,” Brey said. “We were really riding it. We were probably a little tired because we had to play for so long. As long as it wasn't a three, I thought we'd have a chance. I think you know, you've got some exhaustion, and we'll come back to the drawing board.”

Highlight Reel

How could it be any shot other than Goodwin’s game-winner?

Big Picture

Notre Dame starts 4-0 for the first time since the 2017-18 season. The Irish have needed two come-from-behind wins to get there, despite facing four opponents ranked outside of the top 175 teams on Kenpom. 

At the same time, it could be worse. 

“There's a lot of teams in our league and in the power five that are losing these games,” Brey said. “We've been able to keep our nose clean, and for us to 4-0... I'm thrilled.”

What’s Next?

Notre Dame will continue its long home stand to open the season by hosting Bowling Green (2-1) on Tuesday, Dec. 22, at 6:30 p.m. ET. The game will be broadcasted on the ACC Network. 

The Falcons got off to a 2-0 start to the season before losing to Wright State on Tuesday. Bowling Green will face St. Bonaventure (1-2) on Saturday before traveling west to South Bend on I-80/I-90.

Coincidentally, the Irish travel to the UBS ARENA in Elmont, N.Y., to face St. Bonaventure on Friday, Nov. 25.

Notre Dame employed a six-man rotation for the second time this season, which will likely continue in competitive games until guard Marcus Hammond returns to the lineup.

Brey says it's an “extreme long shot” that Hammond will play on Tuesday and won’t count on him for Friday, either. 

“We certainly could use him,” Brey said. “We could use another veteran body out there and another guard that can make a play.”

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