Photo by Rick Kimball/ISD
Notre Dame Basketball

Irish Hang On 77-73 Against Noles, Advance to ACC Championship Game

March 10, 2017
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Notre Dame hit 13 three-pointers on Friday night, and they needed every one of them to hold off Florida State 77-73. The Irish were held without a field goal over the final 4:47 of the game, but the nation’s top free throw shooting team hit five from the charity stripe to close out the Seminoles.

The Irish will take on Duke in the ACC Championship game on Saturday night at 9:00 p.m. ET.

Florida State whittled down an 18-point Notre Dame lead to eight points before a crazy stretch of scoring by both teams. With just over nine minutes to play in the game, Steve Vasturia knocked home a three-ball to end an 8-0 run by the Noles. 10 seconds later Braian Angola-Rodas answered with another trey, but then Rex Pflueger nailed a three from the corner on Notre Dame’s next possession.

Vasturia led the Irish with 18 points, two assists, and two rebounds, while Angola-Rodas finished with 17 points for Florida State.

Angola-Rodas hit his fourth trey of the game on Florida State’s next possession, while answered with a layup to put the Irish up 65-55 with 7:52 remaining.

Florida State trimmed the lead to five points on a Bacon layup with :44 seconds to play, but then the Irish free throw shooting iced the game. Bacon scored 18 points and grabbed nine boards for the Seminoles.

Notre Dame was outrebounded 41-23 in the game, got outscored 42-24 in the paint, and lost the bench points battle 28-12. However, the Irish made eight more three-pointers, and maybe most importantly forced 18 Florida State turnovers compared to just nine by Notre Dame. 

Over the first four minutes of the second half, Notre Dame exactly what they needed to do. Florida State came out aggressive scoring nine points, but the Irish matched, including five points from Farrell.

Angola-Rodas hit Florida State first three-pointer of the game with 13:24 remaining in the contest to pull the Noles within 54-41. However, Matt Ryan knocked on the next possession to push the lead back to 16.

Ryan finished the night with 11 huge points off the bench for Notre Dame, which included three treys. 

The Noles weren’t going away, as Angola-Rodas hit two more field goals, including another three-pointer to bring the Noles within 11 with 11:41 to play.

Both teams got off to a slow start as both teams were a combined 4-of-15 to start the game. Back-to-back treys from Beachem and Vasturia gave the Irish a 9-8 lead with just over five minutes into the game.

Over the next four minutes, the Irish stayed hot from downtown. Farrell added a three, while Vasturia knocked in his second triple of the game to give Notre Dame a 15-11 advantage.

The Irish finally hit a shot from inside the arc at the 9:21 mark when Colson hit the first of back-to-back jumpers to give Notre Dame the lead back at 19-16. Colson’s next bucket came almost four minutes later to complete a 7-0 run to put Notre Dame up eight points.

In March, any spark in any form is felt, and sophomore forward Matt Ryan delivered. Ryan used a beautiful pump fake to get baseline for a layup and then knocked in a three just over a minute later to give Notre Dame a 31-22 lead with 3:37 left in the first half.

Things got magical for Notre Dame to end the first half with an 11-3 run capped by Ryan’s second three-pointer to put the Irish up 42-26 at the half.

Notre Dame was outrebounded 19-12 in the first 20 minutes, but going 8-of-15 from three-point range made up for it. The Seminoles also had 10 first half turnovers, which the Irish turned into 13 points.

Colson led the way in the first half with 11 points and two rebounds, while Vasturia, Farrell and Ryan added eight points.
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Irish Hang On 77-73 Against Noles, Advance to ACC Championship Game

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