Farrell co-led the way for the Irish with 21 points and 6 assists while shooting 4-of-9 from deep, while Martinas “The Bird Whisperer” Geben had another monster game, scoring 22 and snagging 14 rebounds while also icing the game by stealing the Wake Forest inbounds pass on their last chance to tie it. TJ Gibbs chipped in 20 of his own for the Irish as well.
The Irish shot 44% from the field and 35% from deep while hitting 18-of-20 from the free throw line. ND had just 7 turnovers and won the rebounding battle 36-31.
The game did not go well in the early going for Notre Dame, as we got to the first media timeout without the Irish making a field goal and with the Demon Deacons jumping out to a 7-2 lead.
From there, though, the Irish righted the ship and played pretty even with Wake Forest, as Martinas “The Bird Whisperer” Geben led the way in the first half with 12 points and 7 rebounds, and Matt Farrell and TJ Gibbs added 10 and 9 points respectively to power the Irish offense to 35 points despite shooting 20% from deep.
Wake, on the flip side, made their living inside the three point arc in the first half as well, shooting 47% overall and led by 8 points apiece from Keyshawn Woods, Chaundee Brown, and Brandon Childress. The Demon Deacons did a great job taking care of the ball, dishing out 11 first half assists and turning the ball over just once.
In the second half, the Irish used an 11-3 run to begin the half and lots of Geben dunks and some Gibbs threes to briefly pull ahead, before Wake responded and then the two teams proceeded to trade buckets and leads for a few minutes.
The Demon Deacons turned up the offense and defense, though, going on a 12-4 run to grab a 56-51 lead with 14 minutes to play, and extending that lead further to 62-54 two minutes later. The Irish charged back to make it 64-60, but Wake Forest responded with a quick 5 points to force a Mike Brey timeout with less than 8 minutes and the Demon Deacons up 9.
The Fighting Irish wouldn’t give up that easily, though, and Wake went more than 4 minutes without scoring while ND made a run capped by a Matt Farrell three pointer to give the Irish a 2 point lead with 3 minutes to play.
The Demon Deacons tied it up at 71, and then both teams failed to score for the next couple minutes. Finally, in the final minute, after a Wake Forest turnover, Matt Farrell hit a shot clock buzzer-beating, off-the-dribble, pull-up three to give ND a 74-71 lead with 5 seconds to go.
After The Bird Whisperer stole the Wake Forest inbounds pass and hit a couple free throws, the Irish finished with a 5-point road win, improving to 7-9 in conference and 17-12 overall. Wake Forest, meanwhile, falls to 11-18 overall and 4-13 in ACC play.
The Irish will play on Wednesday at Purcell Pavilion against Pittsburgh for Senior Night. Bonzie Colson is expected to at least start the game to honor him, even if he isn’t ready to actually play. The Panthers are 0-17 in ACC play and are coming off an absolute shellacking at the hands of Virginia.