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Notre Dame Basketball

Notre Dame Outduels Cowboys in 66-64 OT Win

November 17, 2023

Basketball is a game of runs and Notre Dame (2-2) defined that on Friday evening as the Irish topped Oklahoma State (1-3) 66-64 in overtime. 

It wasn’t always pretty, but the Irish head coach Micah Shrewsberry saw his team do just enough to secure a much-needed win after a two-game skid. 

"Last night was a wake up call for some of our guys,” stated Shrewsberry. “Auburn is good. They're big, physical, athletic and a deep team. I say it all the time, ‘You don't know what you don't know.’ Sometimes you think you're ready and then you run up against something.

"We bounced back today."

Notre Dame found itself in a familiar hole to start the game as the Cowboys started quickly, but the Irish bench brought life to the game. Freshman forward Carey Booth hit two threes and then classmate Braeden Shrewsberry, who started the first three games, added a layup to give Notre Dame a 13-11 lead with 12:40 left in the first half. 

The next run would come to end the half as junior Julian Roper II scored seven straight points before Tae Davis added a baseline dunk and Logan Imes nailed a three to cap a 12-0 run to put the Irish up nine. 

Roper finished night two in Brooklyn with 12 points, eight rebounds and three assists. 

Notre Dame ground out an impressive 16-4 run, which proved to be significant as they took a 33-25 lead into the break. 

The Irish would then go on a 10-2 run five minutes into the second half to take the largest lead of the game at 46-34 with 13:35 left to play. Freshman Markus Burton led the second half charge as he scored 10 points on 5-for-11 shooting on his way to a team-high 20 points on the night. 

"He really took to the film and learned from it," Shrewsberry said of Burton bouncing back from Thursday’s 4-for-20 performance. "He saw a little bit better when it was his time to score and when help was there to kick it out. It's constantly a learning experience for him, but he can get through some small cracks with so much speed that you can go to stuff like that.

“He’s a tough kid. He’s going to keep getting better as the year goes on.” 

Oklahoma State failed to away as South Bend native Javon Small scored the next 16 points for the Cowboys, including a huge three-pointer to cut the Notre Dame lead to 55-54 with less than a minute to play. 

Small led all scorers with 29 points, which included going 4-for-8 from three and 9-for-9 from the free throw line. He also added 10 boards. 

Notre Dame certainly helped the Cowboys stay in the game as Shrewsberry’s squad would turn the ball over four times in the final four minutes and then couldn’t find any rhythm on offense to put the game away. 

Yet, it was Shrewsberry who took the blame for how the Irish finished the second half as he admitted Notre Dame slowed down the pace on the offensive end. 

"I told them I probably put the brakes on too fast,” explained Shrewsberry. “I didn't know how much we had left in the tank. I tried to shorten the game a little bit. I listened to a podcast with Joe Muzzla and he said the moment you're about to win is the moment you're about to lose because people take their foot off the gas and the other team goes into desperation mode. That's what happened. We relaxed a little bit.” 

Offensive consistency is still a major concern in the Shrewsberry era as the Irish shot 42 percent for the game, but just 36 percent in the second half. Notre Dame’s three-point shooting was much better as the Irish hit 8-of-25 from deep a day after going 2-for-26. 

"I thought we turned it over too much late, but I thought we moved the ball in the first half as well as we moved it all year,” Shrewsberry said. “We didn't do it in the second half and we need to continue to do that. The way we were moving it, we made eight threes, which doesn't sound like much, but after you made two a few games in a row, it feels like you made a thousand threes. We just have to see it and keep growing confidence." 

In overtime, Oklahoma State led by four points twice, but Notre Dame’s local stars stepped up. Burton dropped five straight points before JR Konieczny hit two crucial free throws to take a 65-62 lead with 5.7 seconds remaining. 

"To give the lead up and then to comeback and fight - JR Konieczny played so hard he's cramping, Tae (Davis) fouls out and all those guys are tired,” said Shrewsberry. “I think we grew from this and we're going to keep growing from this. Every small victory or thing like this just gives us more confidence."

Konieczny finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds, which was his second double-double after tallying 18 and 11 against Auburn on Thursday. 

Up Next: Notre Dame will host Maryland Eastern Shore on Wednesday at 7:00 PM ET. 

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