The Notre Dame Fighting Irish men’s basketball team, in a game that at VARIOUS points seemed like a certain loss for ND, managed to top the Toledo Rockets 64-62 in a wild overtime thriller at Purcell Pavilion tonight.
The game had various ugly shooting droughts from both sides, with the Irish seemingly having too many such stretches to possibly come away with a victory. Regulation also included one of the worst calls any of us have seen in a while.
Lol what in the world is this call? pic.twitter.com/3M8gqUghmE— Mike Rutherford (@CardChronicle) November 22, 2019
However, at the end of regulation, some fantastic full court defense by the Irish forced a couple key turnovers. Then, down three and with time running out, TJ Gibbs took what appeared to be the last shot of the game from deep, hoping to send it to overtime. However, the ball got stuck in the rim, stopping play.
Ok this is the greatest game ever played. pic.twitter.com/Jw9YYPG9YH— Mike Rutherford (@CardChronicle) November 22, 2019
With possession going to ND, they would miraculously get one final shot to tie it up and send it to OT.
Enter Nate Laszewski, who was 3-for-22 from deep on the year entering this play.
GREATEST GAME EVER PLAYED pic.twitter.com/QofAkwIkt0— Mike Rutherford (@CardChronicle) November 22, 2019
After Laszewski’s buzzer beater, the Irish and Rockets played a very even extra period until the final 30 seconds, when the Irish took the lead on a nice backdoor cut and layup by Rex Pflueger with about 25 seconds to go, followed quickly by some fantastic defense from the Irish to get multiple stops that ultimately led to the Irish closing things out from the free throw line (but not before Toledo hit its own buzzer beater to cut their final deficit from 5 to 2).
The Irish were led by Dane Goodwin, who led all Irish scorers with 16 points. At one point, he scored 11 points in a row for the Irish, one of the only players shooting the ball with some confidence in the second half. He finished 4-of-7 from deep and 6-of-13 from the field overall.
The rest of the Irish squad, unfortunately, did not shoot so hot. As a team, Notre Dame shot 32% from the field, making 23% from deep and hitting just 10 of 17 from the charity stripe. They were also badly out-rebounded by the Rockets 57 to 46.
Other key contributors for ND included TJ Gibbs (11 points), Nate Laszewski (10 points, 6 rebounds, 1 buzzer-beating-three), John Mooney (7 points, 15 rebounds), and Prentiss Hubb (6 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists).
Toledo was led by star guard Marreon Jackson, who scored 23 points and grabbed 8 rebounds on the evening. They also had Luke Knapke chip in with 16 and 11, and Willie Jackson add in 11 points and an ABSURD 20 rebounds.
The Rockets shot 35% from the field, 22% from deep, and 62% from the free throw line on the evening.
With the win, the Irish improve to 5-1 on the season. They will pick it back up on Tuesday night at 7:00 PM ET against the Fairleigh Dickinson Knights at home in Purcell Pavilion.