In a quick turnaround from the weekend trip to North Carolina, Notre Dame hosted Wake Forest on Tuesday night. The Irish were in desperate need of a win to break a four game losing streak. Meanwhile, the Demon Deacons entered the game at just 14-9, but are an approved team.
Coach Brey looked to shake things up early. Rex Pflueger got the start as part of a small lineup, alongside Farrell, Vasturia, Beachem and Colson. In the first half, the Irish appeared to have carried over the momentum they picked up in their late comeback loss against the Tar Heels, going on a few runs.
However, turnovers and the same rebounding issues that have plagued the Irish all year reared their ugly heads, halting any momentum Notre Dame could build. Despite five different Irish players scoring in the first half, including Beachem with 10 and Colson with 11, Wake Forest held a five point lead at the break. On the defensive end - in a surprising development - Notre Dame recorded eight blocks in the first half.
The second half was another game of runs. The Irish shot their way back into the game, taking the lead at 56-54 on a Bonzie Colson three pointer with 12:05 left in the game.
The teams would trade punches down the stretch, with Notre Dame answering seemingly every big shot Wake made with a three of their own to maintain the lead late. Thanks to hot shooting and free throws, Notre Dame would escape with an exciting 88-81 win.
VJ Beachem was one point short of extending his streak of 20-point games. He had 19 and four blocks. Bonzie Colson led the way with a monster game: 27 points, 16 rebounds and five blocks. Steve Vasturia is back, contributing 17. Farrell finished with 16. The Irish shot 49.2 percent from the floor and 38.1 percent from three; the offense is seemingly back.