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Notre Dame Basketball

Braeden Shrewsberry Leads Notre Dame in 75-68 Road Win at Georgia Tech

January 9, 2024
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Notre Dame (7-9, 2-3) needed a road win and earned one on Tuesday night as the Fighting Irish earned win No. 2 in ACC play with the 75-68 overtime win over Georgia Tech (8-7, 1-3). 

The first 13 points of the game were scored by freshmen and perhaps that was an omen of how the game would shake out. 

Freshman guard Braeden Shrewsberry led the Irish with a career-high 25 points on 7-of-12 shooting, including 5-for-9 from deep and he went 6-for-6 from the free throw line for good measure. 

“Winning is hard, man,” stated Notre Dame head coach Micah Shrewsberry. “I came from the NBA. I coached in the same organization as Damon, so I know what they're doing and how they're playing. 

"We're fortunate to get out of here with a win. I thought our guys just really competed in the second half and in overtime. 9-2 in overtime was big. I know a lot of those were free throws, but that's OK. We'll take it any way we can." 

It was almost an old-fashioned duel between Shrewsberry and Georgia Tech guard Miles Kelly, who also finished with 25 points and seven three-pointers. Both players hit big buckets to end scoring droughts and clutch shots to stay in the game. 

In fact, the final 25 minutes featured 16 points from Kelly and 14 points from Shrewsberry. Yet, Notre Dame found a way to dominate overtime 9-2, including closing the game out with a run of 6-0 over the final 2:15 while not even hitting a field goal themselves over the final 3:53. 

Shrewsberry was also joined in double figures by Tae Davis and JR Konieczny with 10 points each while classmate Markus Burton added 12 points, but it came on 4-of-18 shooting. Davis also added 10 rebounds and Konieczny joined in the double-double party with 11 boards. 

At the end of regulation, Notre Dame appeared to have pulled ahead after two free throws from Shrewsberry put the Irish up 66-63 with 16 seconds on the clock. But then Georgia Tech standout freshman Baye Ndongo hit a three to tie the game with just five seconds to play. 

Ndongo finished the game with 16 points and nine boards. The game-tying three was just his third of the year. 

“I know they've had some tough losses and some close losses, but some of that is a little bit of luck,” explained Shrewsberry. “Miles Kelly started the year not shooting it great and now he's starting to catch fire. Ndongo is a really good player. He's going to be a good player in this league and the other guys are going to keep doing their part.” 

Despite the tough night for Burton, Shrewsberry was pleased with his young point guard’s play. Burton was able to attack the rim to make plays, but also overcame two late turnovers by hitting two big foul shots in overtime. 

"He's got the ability to put a lot of pressure on people - pick and rolls, driving the seam and people help,” said Shrewsberry. “They're a really good shot-blocking team and sometimes those guys were coming over to block it, which left some of those guys open on the backside. Sometimes the best offense is just getting up on the backboard when you draw help because he's attacking the rim. 

"He did have a tough shooting night, but I'm so proud of him. Seven assists, two turnovers and he had a couple turnovers late and he still stuck with it. If we can keep getting the production from him where he's scoring and getting others involved, he's making great plays for us." 

Now, it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows as Georgia Tech quickly erased Notre Dame’s 31-29 halftime led with a quick 5-0 run. It’s the third game in a row where Notre Dame has started slow out of halftime, which Shrewsberry vowed wouldn’t happen following Saturday’s loss to Duke. 

Shrewsberry’s team responded with a 12-2 run to take the lead at 43-36. Junior guard Julian Roper II scored five of his eight points during the key stretch. 

Notre Dame lost the turnover battle 16-10, but the Irish dominated just about every other category, including a massive 48-33 edge on the boards. The Notre Dame bench outscored Georgia Tech 33-7 and the Irish made 19-of-21 free throws compared to just 3-of-7 from the Yellow Jackets. 

"I think playing some of those games that were close at home gave us some belief to really play the right way to give ourselves a chance,” Shrewsberry said. “I'm proud because our defense traveled with us. Sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes, you're a good defensive team and then you go on the road, and it doesn't happen. Our rebounding traveled with us." 

ROAD DAWGS?
Tuesday’s win also marked the first true road win for Notre Dame since Feb. 12th, 2022. Yes, it’s been 23 months since Notre Dame beat Clemson 76-61 on a night where Blake Wesley led the Irish with 21 points. 

The win also comes one month after Marquette ran Notre Dame out of the building in Milwaukee. It was night the Golden Eagles could have named the score given it took the Irish almost seven minutes to even score. 

Yet, Notre Dame has stuck to the plan and executed on the road to get an important win. 

"We've talked about we want to play our best basketball at the end of the season,” stated Shrewsberry. “I listen to some of those press conferences and Steve Forbes (Wake Forest head coach) said it best, sometimes you get judged on November and December when you want to be playing your best basketball in March. We're one month away from going to Marquette and getting our doors blown off. We couldn't function, couldn't score and almost went two media timeouts without scoring. This was the very next road game for us and I thought our guys really competed.” 

UP NEXT
Notre Dame will host Florida State (9-6, 3-1) on Saturday at 2:15 PM ET. The game will be carried on The CW. 

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