Photo by Rick Kimball/ISD
Notre Dame Basketball

Irish Fall to Louisville 71-64

March 4, 2017

A late run by the Louisville Cardinals (24-7, 12-6) doomed Notre Dame (23-8, 12-6) on Saturday afternoon at the KFC Yum! Center in the regular season finale. The Cardinals took it 71-64 avenging an ACC loss to the Irish earlier in the season in South Bend.

The loss snapped Notre Dame's six game winning streak and cost them a shot at a share of the ACC regular season title. Bonzie Colson led the Irish with 20 points, while Donovan Mitchell led the Cardinals with 20 points as well using a strong second half.

The Cardinals shot 45% from beyond the arc which helped them take control in the second half, the Irish shot just 28%.

Deng Adel knocked down his first shot of the game with 35 seconds left to extend the Cardinal lead to 67-62. A free throw shooting contest closed out the game as Mitchell hit the last four to give the Cardinals the win with the crowd going into a frenzy.

The Cardinals out-rebounded the Irish 44-27.

The second half started a very similar way to the first half with both teams playing strong defense. A couple nice hustle plays by Colson gave the Irish their first lead since late in the first half. Louisville opened the half just one of seven from the field before a Mitchell three gave them the lead back. A three and a dunk by V.J. Beachem gave the Irish a 40-37 lead with 14:40 to go.

The Irish defense started to impose its will with the Cardinals going on a 1 for 10 shooting drought that left them scoreless for over two minutes until Quinten Snider hit back to back threes. At the midway point of the second half, the Cardinals led 47-46 as the game became a back and forth contest.

Mike Brey took a timeout with 8:34 to play as the Cardinal crowd started to come alive after an impressive driving layup by Snider that gave them a three-point advantage. Another big three by Beachem tied the game at 51, giving him 17 for the afternoon.

A 7-2 run by the Cardinals, highlighted by an alley-oop from Snider to Mitchell, gave them a 58-53 lead with under five to play. The Cardinals looked to be in command going up by six with over two minutes left but the Irish came storming back with a dunk by Martinas Geben and a layup by Matt Farrell.

The intensity was evident from the tip as both teams opened the game playing great defense. Farrell knocked down the first three of the game, giving him at least one trey in his last 21 games. The Irish had the early 7-2 advantage thanks to some big rebounds inside by Beachem.

Both teams went extremely cold from the field going 2 for 18 at one point, Louisville struggled to find any sort of consistency while the Irish made a few more shots but still were struggling. The Cardinals snapped an over three-minute scoring drought with a layup and a dunk by Mangok Mathiang.

At the midway point of the half the Irish led 11-10. Farrell snapped Notre Dame's scoring drought with a corner three. The game remained close with neither team shooting over 35%, with 7:06 to play in the half as the score was tied at 16. Mitchell gave the Cardinals their first lead with a transition three, but then Colson gave the Irish the lead right back.

With another Mitchell three, the Cardinals took a 22-20 lead into the final TV timeout of the half with 3:44 left. A 7-0 run followed, giving the Cardinals their largest lead as the Irish started to struggle to score going nearly three minutes without points. The Irish trailed 30-27 at the half with both teams shooting under 40%, Farrell and Colson led the Irish with nine points apiece, while Mathiang led the Cards with 12.

Player of the Game: Mitchell. The sophomore added 5 rebounds to go along with a team-high 20 points to lead the Cardinals to a much needed win to close out the regular season. Mitchell also made three three pointers.

Unsung Hero: Mathiang. With 18 points and 11 rebounds, he dominated inside as the Irish seemingly had no answer for him.

Up Next: The ACC Tournament starts on Tuesday at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York
Verify your student status
See Membership Benefits >