The Irish took the lead at the 18:42 minute mark in the first half on Monday night as and never relinquished it, as they took down the Colorado Buffaloes 89-83 in the opening game of the Legends Classic. Junior forward Bonzie Colson, my pick to click by the way, paced the Irish with a double-double of 22 points and 12 rebounds. It was Colson’s first double-double of the year, and just the fifth of his career. Colson continues his tear and is now looking like one of the most untalked about players in the ACC.
The Irish also got a huge contribution from Matt Farrell. The first year starter enjoyed the best game of his young career. Farrell poured in 20 points and also dished out six assists, both of which were career highs. Dating back to last year’s NCAA Tournament, Farrell has shown he is more than capable to run this Irish offense at a high level.
V.J. Beachem was up to his usual ways as he scored 17 points and grabbed down nine boards. Beachem put an exclamation point on the game in the second half when he drove baseline and threw down a monstrous, and-one dunk.
Senior guard Steve Vasturia also had 17 points and had a highlight reel play of his own. Vasturia nearly broke the Colorado defender’s ankles with a deadly hesitation move in the 2nd half.
Xavier Johnson and Derrick White led the way for the Buffs. Johnson posted a game high of 23 points, while White chipped in with 20 of his own.
Notre Dame did a great job of stifling Colorado’s rebounding efforts. The Buffs came into the game as the fifth best rebounding team in the country, but the Irish outrebounded them anyways 41-38.
I was wrong about my prediction about Colorado slowing the Irish offense down. If anything it was Colorado who had to adjust to the Irish. The Buffs had to play keep up with the Irish all night. Notre Dame continues to show that they are still an elite offensive team.
The Irish now get the Northwestern Wildcats on Tuesday night at 6pm ET in the championship game of the Legends Classic. Northwestern blew out #22 Texas 77-58 in the nightcap at the Barclays Center on Monday night. The Wildcats are 3-1 on the year. Their only loss came by two on the road to a very good Butler team. Northwestern seems to be turning the corner under head coach Chris Collins. They are no longer a pushover and will surely give the Irish a fight on Tuesday night.
Make sure you keep up with is here at One Foot Down as we’ll have a preview and recap of tomorrow night’s game. Go Irish!