The Notre Dame Fighting Irish men’s basketball team got back on track this evening after a rough Monday game against Duke, defeating the co-first-place-in-the-ACC Miami Hurricanes by a final score of 68 to 64 at the Watsco Center in Coral Gables.
The Irish were led on the evening by Paul Atkinson Jr., who scored 23 points on 11-of-16 shooting and snagged 11 rebounds on the game. Other key contributions came from Dane Goodwin (14 points, 4 rebounds), Prentiss Hubb (15 points, 6 assists), and Cormac Ryan (7 points, 7 rebounds).
Overall, Notre Dame as a team shot 46% from the field and a still-rough 23% from long range (6-for-26) while winning the rebounding battle 38 to 33.
The Hurricanes were paced in scoring on the night by Isaiah Wong (18 points, 4 rebounds), while Charlie Moore (12 points, 7 assists), Anthony Walker (12 points, 8 rebounds), and Jordan Miller (8 points, 6 rebounds) chipped in as well. Miami shot 43% from the floor overall and 32% from long range
The game began a bit slow for the Irish, as the Hurricanes jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead by scoring on their first two possessions. However, ND quickly turned it on offensively, using a 10-0 run fueled by Goodwin and Atkinson Jr. to briefly take command of the game.
Miami pulled themselves back into it, though, driven by Charlie Moore and Kameron McGusty, and by the midway point of the half it was just a 2-point game. From there until halftime, the two teams went back and forth, essentially matching each other bucket-for-bucket. The Irish led by that same 2-point margin at the intermission, 30-28.
In the second half, Notre Dame once again let Miami get going first, as the Hurricanes grabbed their first lead since the beginning of the game. However, the Irish rattled off a 10-0 run powered by a couple threes from Prentiss Hubb, and at the 13:50 mark led 42-34.
Miami closed that gap fairly soon after, but the Irish counter-punched again with another 10-0 run to obtain a 54-40 lead with just 10 minutes to play. From there, Miami made some big plays to seemingly shift momentum (including an and-one three-pointer by Anthony Walker with about 4 minutes left), but Notre Dame always found an answer on the other end — usually in the form of a Paul Atkinson dunk or layup. At the under-4 media timeout, the Irish led 63-55.
The Hurricanes cut that deficit down to 5 with a Charlie Moore three at the 2:29 mark, but Dane Goodwin drained a response from long range soon after — right before the shot clock buzzer — to keep Miami at arm’s length.
A couple Jordan Miller free throws cut the Irish lead down to 6, but a Charlie Moore turnover two possessions later gave ND the ball back and forced Miami to begin fouling to extend the game.
Notre Dame’s ensuing inbound was stolen by Moore, though, and he managed to convert on a quick layup to make it a 4-point game with 30 seconds to play. From there, though, the Irish managed to hit their free throws and stave off a desperate, last-second Miami rally, and held on for the 4-point victory on the road.
With the win, the Irish improved to 15-7 overall and 8-3 in ACC play on the season. They’re scheduled to play next on Saturday at 3 pm ET, when they will travel to Raleigh to take on the NC State Wolfpack for the second time in a little over a week.