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Notre Dame Basketball

Notre Dame Can't Find Late Game Hero In 68-61 Loss To Florida State

February 25, 2019

Notre Dame (13-15, 3-12) got precisely what it wanted on Monday night in Tallahassee. The Irish were in a one-possession game with under four minutes to go to No. 18 Florida State (22-6, 10-5), but Notre Dame couldn’t overcome the Noles in the final minutes in the 68-61 loss. 

Mike Brey’s squad battled hard, but the downfall started with freshman Prentiss Hubb getting called for a 10-second call with Florida State up 59-57 with just 3:33 to play. 

John Mooney would add a dunk, but that would be the only points for the Irish for the rest of the game as Florida State outscored the Notre Dame 11-4 over the final 3:33. 

“We gave ourselves a chance,” stated Brey. “I’m proud of our group. They are really good and they guard you. They have a lot of bodies. We couldn’t finish and that’s been the story of us – maybe not mature or mentally tough enough to finish against a really good team. 

Notre Dame’s offense was efficient over the first 34 minutes of the game, but the Irish failed to get over the hump as they scored just four points in the final 6:01. 

Brey didn’t think his team wore down, but rather a veteran Seminoles team made big play after big play, including Terance Mann’s massive tip dunk over Mooney with 1:23 to play.

“We were only playing eight guys,” explained Brey. “I think you do get worn down a little bit, but we had conserved a lot of energy because we played zone. We didn’t chase them around. They had key offensive rebounds, and obviously, the tip dunk was an unbelievable play. I don’t know if there’s a fundamental block out for that.”

DJ Harvey led the Irish with 18 points, while Hubb added 17 points, seven rebound and three assists. 

“They’ve been in those spots more than some of my youth even though some of my young guys really battled,” said Brey. “I thought Hubb was fabulous. We’re just getting them experience.” 

Notre Dame had a chance to take command of the game following two three throws from Harvey, but the Irish failed to grow a five-point lead with just over 12 minutes in the game. 

Devin Vassell came up big when the home team needed him the most. Vassell got a dunk and hit a three on back-to-back possessions to give Florida State its first lead of the second half at 57-55 with 6:35 to go.

Vassell led Florida State with 13 points and seven rebounds. 7-foot-4 center Christ Koumadje scored 12 points and pulled down five rebounds. 

Mooney tied the game at 57 with a layup with 6:09 to play, but the Irish wouldn’t score another field until Mooney’s dunk with 41 seconds left to close Seminoles lead to 63-61. The Orlando native would finish the game with 14 points and eight rebounds for the Irish. 

Brey wanted to install a 20-second shot clock for his team on offense to help speed them up and it worked in the first half. Notre Dame scored 33 points and had a rhythm for the first time in several games. 

Freshman Dane Goodwin hadn’t hit a field in five games, but came off the bench to nail a three to give the Irish a 12-9 lead with 13:10 to play in the first half. Mooney picked up his second foul with 9:46 left in the opening 20 minutes, but it didn’t impact the Irish much. 

Hubb nailed his second three-pointer of the game to give Notre Dame a 27-17 lead, but the Seminoles rallied with a 7-0 run before Mooney answered with a trey of his own. 

Juwan Durham returned to the starting lineup and finished with two points and four rebounds in 24 minutes for Notre Dame. 

Notre Dame is back in action on Sunday as the Irish travel to Louisville on Sunday for a 1:30 PM tip on CBS. 

Irish Sports Daily
Final Box Score
Irish Sports Daily
Final Notre Dame Stats


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