Tonight the Notre Dame Fighting Irish faced the Wake Forest Demon Deacons in the first round of the ACC Tournament, hot off their first win over a ranked opponent in more than three years. How did the Irish fare against the #14 seed, Wake Forest. Let’s take a look!
Wake Forest had the first possession of the game, but the Irish got points on the board first, on a Juwan Durham jumper. The Demon Deacons, however, quickly responded with a Daivien Williamson layup. After the initial Irish bucket, the Irish couldn’t seem to get off to much of a start, though, missing several buckets and turning over the ball. With 15:58 on the clock Wake Forest was already up by eight, 10-2.
Finally, with 15:42 left in the half, the Irish got a bucket to drop, on a Nate Laszewski layup. Wake Forest then went to the line on a Trey Wertz foul, and Wake Forest was still ahead, 12-4. Wertz didn’t let the foul shake him, though, sinking a three-point shot on the next possession, 12-7 Wake Forest.
The Demon Deacons continued to have the hot hand, and to get the rebounds, as we moved through the first half, and with 12:07 left on the clock, Wake Forest was up by 11, with a score of 21-7.
Following the 12:07 media timeout, Durham got a layup to fall, and the Irish were still down by 12. The Irish then got a rebound on the next Wake Forest possession, and Cormac Ryan got his first points of the game on a jump shot. Nikola Djogo then made a three-point shot and the Irish seemed to be getting their mojo back.
Djogo’s three-point shot was quickly answered by a Wake Forest three-point shot by Ian DuBose. And then another three-point shot by Daivien Williamson. Wake Forest continued to have the hot hand, with an offense that Notre Dame just could not seem to stop.
The Irish responded with two three-point shots, one from Wertz, and one from Ryan, and as they headed into the 7:29 TV timeout, Wake Forest was still up, 33-24. Coming out of the break, Prentiss Hubb missed a jumper but Durham got the rebound and the bucket. 33-26. Durham then headed to the free throw line on a foul by Ody Oguama, and Durham made both shots, which shrunk the Wake Forest lead to five, 33-28.
Eight points for Juwan Durham and were shooting 50% as a team from the field.— Notre Dame MBB (@NDmbb) March 10, 2021
With under 7 to play in the first half, Wake Forest leads it, 33-24 pic.twitter.com/Hgiw5l8GIF
Notre Dame got within three points, on a Trey Wertz layup, but Wake Forest quickly responded with a three-point shot by Ismael Massoud, 36-30. And just like that the Wake Forest offensive accelerated again, with a Ian DuBose jump shot, a Daivien Williamson three-point shot, and another three-point shot by Ismael Massoud. Wake Forest up 44-32.
Cormac, with eight points so far in the half, responded with a dunk, to make it a ten point game, 44-34. And as the final seconds ran off the clock. the Wake Forest Demon Deacons headed into halftime on top of Notre Dame, 44-37.
First Half Stats:
Field Goal %: ND 48.3%, WF 43.2%
Three Point %: ND 41.7% WF 46.2%
Rebounds: ND 13 WF 23
Turnovers: ND 3 WF 2
Wake Forest got the first bucket of the second half, a three-point shot by Carter Whitt, which extended the Demon Deacon lead to ten. Trey Wertz was then fouled by Whitt, and made both of his shots at the line, 47-39 WF. Prentiss Hubb made his first three-point shot of the half, and the Irish weren’t going to go away quietly.
The Demon Deacon freshman, Carter Whitt, made his second three-point shot of the half, and with 16:25 on the clock, Wake Forest was on a 9-0 run. Dane Goodwin responded with a layup, and at the 15:24 media timeout, the Wake Forest lead was at 14, 58-44.
Nikola Djogo got in the mix with a three-point shot at 13:47, and the Irish were down by twelve, 61-49. Wake Forest responded with a three-point shot by Daivien Williamson, to which Notre Dame’s Dane Goodwin sunk a three-point shot of his own; but the Irish weren’t closing the gap.
The Irish shrank the lead to eight on a Goodwin layup from underneath, 66-58. The Irish weren’t giving up, but they also weren’t accelerating. Cormac Ryan followed up Goodwin’s bucket with a layup, and then a Djogo three-point shot, and the Irish were on a run, with the gap at six points. 69-63.
The run, however, was answered by a Wake Forest three-point shot by Isaiah Mucius, which was quickly followed by a Daivien Williamson three-point shot. Just when the Irish started to get hot, Wake Forest came back with a vengeance. At the 6:57 media timeout, Wake Forest was up 75-65.
With 5:16 left in the game, the Irish shrank the lead to six points on a Prentiss Hubb layup, 75-69 Wake Forest. Trey Wertz sunk a three-point shot at 3:23 to get the Irish to within three. Then the Irish got the ball back on the next Wake Forest possession and Prentiss Hubb sank a huge three-point shot to tie the game at 75. (Wake Forest timeout, 2:31 left on the clock. Wake Forest had not scored in over five minutes.)
Prentiss Hubb was fouled at 1:54 and headed to the line and made both shots, Irish up by two. Notre Dame has scored 14 points in a row. Notre Dame got yet another rebound on the next Wake Forest possession, and the Irish miss the three. Wake Forest’s Carter Whitt sank a jumper with fifty seconds on the clock and the game is tied at 77.
Daivien Williamson missed a jumper, which was rebounded by Cormac Ryan, and at the other end of the court Trey Wertz tossed up a three-point shot at the buzzer to win the game by three points in dramatic fashion.
I’ll be honest, I didn’t see that coming when the Irish were down by 16, but I’ll take this win all day long!
TREY WERTZ CALLED GAME!!— Notre Dame MBB (@NDmbb) March 10, 2021
Final Game Stats:
Field Goal %: ND 51.7%, WF 39.7%
Three Point %: ND 46.2% WF 44.4%
The Irish will face the North Carolina Tar Heels Wednesday night, at 9pm ET, on the ACC Network.
Cheers & GO IRISH!!