On a night where Notre Dame put Irish legend LaPhonso Ellis on the Ring of Honor, they reached back for a little of that old school upset magic on Saturday night, and took down the #10 ranked Kentucky Wildcats.
With 11 seconds left in the game, Blake Wesley knocked in a jump shot to put the Irish up 64-62. Paul Atkinson pulled down a rebound from a missed Wildcat shot, passed it over to Wesley — and then Blake found an open Dane Goodwin running towards the bucket to dunk it home as time ran out to make it a 66-62 final.
The Irish played possession for possession with Kentucky in the first half. Defensively, Notre Dame tried to force the Wildcats into shooting the long ball. While Oscar Tshiebwe (25 points for the game) was unstoppable inside the paint, Kentucky was 0-10 from behind the three point line in the first half. It helped Notre Dame go into halftime down just two points. For the night, Kentucky was just 2-19 from three point land.
As the Irish hung around and hung around in the second half, the difference was clear — Notre Dame was rebounding the basketball better than at any other point this season. The Irish outrebounded Kentucky 33-28, with more than a handful of those rebounds coming at critical times.
The Irish effort was supported by a handful of players. Freshman Blake Wesley was really good on the night and had 14 points on the night — along with Dane Goodwin. Both Paul Atkinson (10) and Trey Wertz (14) joined Wesley and Goodwin in double-digit scoring.