The Notre Dame Fighting Irish traveled to Raleigh, North Carolina for a Saturday afternoon game with the North Carolina State Wolfpack. The Irish entered the day on a three-game winning streak, sitting in fifth place, 1.5 games back from ACC leader North Carolina. NC State, on the other hand, was only 14-13 (3-11), and are fresh off of the firing of coach Mark Gottfried (who is still coaching, but will not return next year).
The state of the NC State program was the story early on, with nary a mention of the game taking place throughout the first give minutes. On the court, the Notre Dame offense continued on its current hot streak. Defense, on the other hand, was optional at times. NC State kept with the pace early, and it was 22-17 with eight minutes left in the first half.
The Irish were able to push the lead down the stretch, going up by as many as 15. The lead was 13 at the half.
The second half was more of the same, initially. V.J. Beachem came alive, and the Irish pushed the lead to 23 with 13 minutes left in the game. Then, The Irish went to sleep. It wouldn’t be a proper Notre Dame basketball game if it they really finished a blowout, would it? It was a seven point game with 1:00 remaining. The Irish did just enough over the last minute (read: made free throws) to win the game 81-72. Phew.
Beachem had 27 points, while Bonzie Colson added 13.
A win is a win is a win, and the offense looked good for like, 80 percent of the game. However, you just can’t let a dying team back into the game like the Irish did. There was no energy in the building, Notre Dame was playing lights out, and then all of the sudden its a seven point game.
To speak on NC State’s coaching situation, Mark Gottfried is a good coach who has seen recent success. It’s even weirder that Gottfried has been fired but is coaching out the season. NC State must think they have a great shot to get Archie Miller.
For Notre Dame, Vasturia and Farrell are obviously tired. The Irish get eight days off before Georgia Tech comes to town on the 26th. Hopefully practices will be short and Vasturia, Farrell and the rest of the squad get a few days off of their feet.