The Notre Dame Fighting Irish basketball team took their seven game winning streak and their lone position at the top of the ACC standings to Tallahassee to face the dangerous Florida State Seminoles. Notre Dame had just played two close and fierce conference games on the road and came out on top- but that wasn’t to be the case this night.
The Irish were quite polarizing.
One of the reasons why Notre Dame has already done so well this season is because they have protected the ball. The Irish were second in the nation for the least amount of turnovers per game with 9.4. Against the Seminoles, the Irish committed 13 in the first half alone, and ended the game with 19 over all. While facing dynamic players like Jonathan Isaac and Dwayne Bacon, this was a death sentence.
Isaac finished the game with 23 points and 10 rebounds, and he was devastating while defending the hoop with 7 blocked shots. What’s more incredible about Isaac, was his ability to make a big shot which surprised Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey at the post game press conference. Brey said, "I knew he was active around the bucket, I knew he could block shots and fly and rebound.I didn't think he could make shots. And that he made them when the game was on the line? I have a lot of respect for that young man."
While Notre Dame astounded us with their turnovers, they also dazzled us with their 3 point range. The Irish shot 71% from behind the arc (15-21) and it included a desperation dagger from Rex Pfluger to give Notre Dame a chance with just seconds remaining.
Florida State had ice water in their veins and hit their foul shots and ended it with Isaac doing his best Dikembe Mutombo impersonation.
Steve Vasturia led all Irish scorers with 18 points, while Matt Farrell had 17 and V.J. Beachum added another 14. The trio were a combined 11-15 from 3 point range, but lacked support on the boards.
The Irish ended their grueling 3 game road swing with a 2-1 mark, after most people thought the best they could do would have been 1-2. They will look to bounce back this Saturday against the Syracuse Orange back home in Purcell Pavilion.