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Quick Recap: Notre Dame Men’s Basketball Defeats North Carolina, 78-73

Nate Laszewski, Dane Goodwin, and Blake Wesley combined for 55 points in a big win for the suddenly surging Irish

NCAA Basketball: North Carolina at Notre Dame
Jan 5, 2022; South Bend, Indiana, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish guard Blake Wesley (0) grabs a loose ball in the first half against the North Carolina Tar Heels at the Purcell Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore
Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight the Notre Dame Fighting Irish Men’s Basketball team faced the North Carolina Tar Heels at home in their third game of ACC play. How did the Irish fare against the Tar Heels? Let’s have a look!

The Tar Heels came out all cylinders firing, sinking the first two buckets of the game, one by Brady Manek, and one by Caleb Love, but the Irish followed shortly thereafter with their first bucket by Blake Wesley, and with just under two minutes off the clock the score was 4-2, (UNC). Wesley scored his second bucket to tie the game up, but UNC quickly countered with a two-point shot by Armando Bacot.

Coming out of the 15:48 media timeout Dane Goodwin got a two-point bucket. UNC responded with a bucket from Bacot, followed by a Notre Dame bucket scored by Wesley, and the game was tied at 8-8. At the 14:25 mark the Irish started sinking the three-point shots. First, one from Cormac Ryan, then two from Nate Laszewski. At the 11:51 media timeout the score was 17-15 (Notre Dame), and with 11:21 remaining Wesley already had 8 points.

NCAA Basketball: North Carolina at Notre Dame Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Trey Wertz got in his first three-point shot at 10:13, followed by a Paul Atkinson Jr bucket, and a Wesley dunk, and the Irish were up by ten, 29-19. RJ Davis (UNC) sunk a three-point shot at 8:57, and at the 7:44 timeout the score was 29-22 (ND).

After the break, UNC’s Bacot sunk a layup and a free throw, and Notre Dame responded with a Wesley three-point shot. Bacot answered with a layup and at 6:09 the Irish were up 32-27. The Irish had no answer for Bacot, as he had 14 points at that point in the game. Then Notre Dame kicked back into gear with a Dane Goodwin jumper, and a Laszewski three-point bucket, and the Irish were up 39-31 at 3:34 in the first half.

UNC answered with a Bacot jumper, and a three-point bucket from Davis, and with 1:09 left in the half, the Irish were only up by four, 39-35. As the last minute of the half wound down neither team could get any more points on the board and headed into halftime the score was 39-35, (ND).

Halftime stats

Notre Dame
Field Goals: 16-34 (47%)
Three-Point Shots:7-19 (37%)
Free Throws: 0-0 (0%)

Field Goals: 15-31 (48%)
Three-Point Shots:1-9 (11%)
Free Throws: 4-4 (100%)

Notre Dame’s Top Scorers:
Wesley: 13 points
Laszewski: 9 points
Goodwin: 6 points
Ryan: 6 points

The Irish started the half with a Laszewski three-point bucket, immediately followed by a UNC three-point bucket (Love), and so the half began. Goodwin sank a two-point jumper, and the Irish defense took the ball away on the next UNC possession, but UNC got the ball back on a fast break and Love made the layup. The Irish responded with layups by Wesley and Hubb, and the Irish were up 48-40 at 16:39.

The Irish picked things up with a Laszewski dunk, and three-point buckets from Ryan and Wesley, followed by a UNC timeout at 13:54. Irish up, 56-43. After the timeout, UNC answered with a jumper by Black, and two three-point shots by Love and Harris. Five point game, ND up 56-51, and Brey took a timeout. (12:10)

With just under eleven minutes remaining in the half the Irish sank another three (Hubb), followed by a Goodwin jumper, and the Irish had a ten point lead, 61-51. But UNC wasn’t ready to give up just yet. Davis made two free throws on a foul by Dane Goodwin, and then Manek made a three-point jumper. Goodwin countered with a two-point jumper, and at the 7:39 media timeout the Irish were up, 63-56.

NCAA Basketball: North Carolina at Notre Dame Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Coming out of the timeout, Love sank a three-point shot, followed by a Goodwin jumper. On the next UNC possession, Bacot made a dunk, followed by a UNC steal and Manek jumper. Notre Dame’s lead was now only at three, 66-63.

At 4:18, UNC’s Love sank a layup and it was a one point game (after a 9-2 UNC scoring run), 66-65 (Notre Dame). UNC hadn’t led since it was 15-14 in the first half. Timeout Notre Dame, 4:09 to go.

Hubb tossed up a three-point shot but it didn’t fall, and then UNC’s Bacot made a jumper, putting the Tar Heels up. Laszewski answered with a three-point shot, and the Irish weren’t done yet either. The crowd finally woke up, breaking into a “Let’s Go Irish” cheer, and Laszewski sank another three-point shot. UNC answered with a three-point bucket by Davis, and it was a two point game, 72-70 (Notre Dame).

NCAA Basketball: North Carolina at Notre Dame Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Hubb drew a foul at 44.8 and headed to the foul line, making both shots. ND up 74-70. Then Ryan drew a foul and headed to the foul line, making both of his shots. ND up 76-70. (26.7 seconds on the clock.)

UNC’s Love put up a three-point shot but missed, but UNC retained possession. 10.1 seconds remaining on the clock. Davis put up a three-point shot and it did fall. UNC now within three (76-73) with 7.1 seconds on the clock.

Notre Dame inbounded to Goodwin and he was immediately fouled. Goodwin headed to the line and made both free throws. 78-73 Notre Dame.

UNC’s Davis took one last shot and missed, and the clock ran out. Notre Dame thus defeated UNC, 78-73.

Final Stats

Notre Dame
Field Goals: 29-61 (48%)
Three-Point Shots: 13-31 (42%)
Free Throws: 7-11 (64%)

Field Goals: 29-59 (49%)
Three-Point Shots: 8-22 (36%)
Free Throws: 7-8 (88%)

Notre Dame’s Top Scorers:
Laszewski: 20 points
Wesley: 18 points
Goodwin: 17 points
Ryan: 11 points

Next up, Notre Dame plays Georgia Tech on the road on Saturday, January 8th, at 6pm ET.

Cheers & GO IRISH!