The Notre Dame Fighting Irish men’s basketball team lost for the 14th time in 17 contests Tuesday evening, falling just short on the road to the Duke Blue Devils by a final score of 68 to 64 at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
The Irish were led on the day by Dane Goodwin, who scored 25 points and had 4 rebounds while shooting 11-for-13 from the field. Ven-Allen Lubin had a really nice game as well, scoring 10 points and grabbing 6 rebounds on the evening while also blocking 2 shots. J.J. Starling chipped in 9 points and 2 rebounds as well. Nate Laszewski, who scored 33 points against Virginia Tech last weekend, struggled with foul trouble all game and finished with just 5 points and 8 rebounds.
As a team, Notre Dame shot 43% from the field and 29% from long range (6-for-21) for the game. They lost both the rebounding and turnover battles in this one.
The Blue Devils were paced in scoring by Kyle Filipowski (22 points, 6 rebounds). Jeremy Roach (9 points, 3 assists) and Dariq Whitehead (9 points, 3 rebounds) contributed to the effort as well, while Dereck Lively II (6 points, 6 rebounds, 2 blocks) and Mark Mitchell (8 points, 2 rebounds) added some nice moments in the winning effort, too. Duke shot 43% from the floor and 25% from three-point range.
The game started pretty even, with Marcus Hammond scoring 6 points early and Lubin and Goodwin adding a couple buckets to put Notre Dame up 15-13 at the under-12 media timeout. The Irish started out by shooting 6-for-11 from the field, with all 5 misses coming from three-point range.
A 9-2 run from the Blue Devils gave Duke a 22-17 lead just a handful of minutes later, and Duke rode that momentum — aided by ND shooting 1-for-11 from deep in the first half — into halftime with a 31-23 advantage at the break.
In the second half, Duke used an early 7-2 run to push their lead to 13 points, and threatened to run away with it after an emphatic blocked shot by Lively led to Duke pushing the ball up the court looking to score in transition. Cormac Ryan managed to block a three-point attempt, though, and on the other end Laszewski drained a three to keep the Irish within 10 at the first media timeout of the second period.
The Blue Devils extended their lead a bit from there, though, going up by as much as 14 before the Irish finally turned things on. ND went on a 12-2 run, using some scoring from Lubin and Starling and a three from Goodwin to make it 44-40.
Duke immediately responded with a 6-0 run to build their lead back up to 10, capped by a putback dunk from Lively that forced ND to take a timeout with 9:25 to go. Around then is when Goodwin really got going, pulling the Irish back to within 4 points multiple times during a stretch where he scored 17 consecutive points for Notre Dame. ND trailed 56-52 at a media timeout with just around 4 minutes remaining.
Duke again pushed their lead higher, this going up 62-54 and threatening to finish the Irish off. However, Ryan buried a three, Lubin swatted a Filipowski shot attempt down low, and then Starling drained a three on the other end to make it a 2-point game with just over a minute to play. ND refused to go quietly in this one.
After Roach hit one of two free throws to put Duke up 3, Starling had himself a nice drive and bucket at the rim on the other end to make it 63-62 with just about a 6-second difference between the game clock and the shot clock. The Irish would need to get a stop, but if they did, they’d have a chance to win it with a few seconds to go.
Unfortunately, Mitchell found himself wide open in the corner with just a few seconds left on the shot clock, and he buried the open three to put Duke up 4 with 11 seconds left. Lubin managed a tip-in on the offensive rebound of a missed shot on the ensuing possession, but Duke would hit their free throws after that and lock up the 4-point victory for the Blue Devils.
With the loss, the Irish are now 10-16 on the season (2-13 ACC). They will play next on Saturday, 2/18 at 12 PM ET, when they’ll travel to Charlottesville to take on the 7th-ranked Virginia Cavaliers.