Jan. 18, 2017
By Robby Hamman
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- The ACC's top two teams took the floor in Tallahassee, Florida on Wednesday evening, as No. 15/15 Notre Dame (16-3, 5-1 ACC) squared off against No. 10/11 Florida State (17-2, 5-1 ACC). The Seminoles did just enough to hold off a furious Irish comeback attempt to escape with an 83-80 win to draw even with Notre Dame in the ACC standings at 5-1.
The Irish had four players finish with double-digit points, as senior guard Steve Vasturia led the Irish with 18 points. Junior guard Matt Farrell scored 17 and senior forward V.J. Beachem added 14. Freshman guard T.J. Gibbs played a vital role in keeping the Irish within striking distance in the first half, as he scored 11 of his 12 points in the first frame.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Irish and Seminoles struggled to get their offenses going to start the game, as the score was tied at 11-11 with under 12 minutes left in the first half. The two sides traded baskets over the next six minutes of action, as the score was tied 26-26 with 5:34 left in the frame. Florida State finished the half by outscoring the Irish 13-7 to finish the half and take a 39-33 lead into the break.
Notre Dame came out of the break and pulled within two points of the Seminoles after the first four minutes of the second stanza, as a three-point make from Vasturia cut the Florida State lead to 45-43. The game was tight throughout the second half, as the Irish managed to tie the game on three separate occasions over the next nine minutes of play before a layup from Farrell gave Notre Dame its first lead of the second half at 60-58 with 7:23 to play.
Unfortunately for the Irish, the Florida State offense got hot down the stretch, making a number of contested shots. The hosts took a 75-67 lead with 1:36 left in the game. However, Notre Dame refused to go away, reeling off a 7-2 run to make it a one-possession game with 27 seconds remaining at 77-74. Trailing by six in the waning seconds of the game, Vasturia connected on his fourth make from beyond the arc of the night to once again cut the Seminoles' lead to three. The Notre Dame defense then forced a turnover but was unable to convert as the final horn went off, giving Florida State the 83-80 victory.
NOTRE DAME PLAYER OF THE GAME
Vasturia led the Irish in scoring for the second straight game, scoring 18 points. The Medford, New Jersey, native went 4-for-6 from three-point range to do much of his damage. The four makes from distance tie a career high for the senior and mark the most he has made this season. Vasturia added three rebounds, a steal, a block and an assist.
STAT OF THE GAME
Notre Dame's three-point shooting was phenomenal on Wednesday, as the team finished 15-for-21 (.714) from beyond the arc. The team's three-point percentage of .714 is the highest the Irish have ever posted in ACC play in program history. The 15 makes tie the record for most three-poing field goals during an ACC game in Notre Dame history. Six different players recorded a three-pointer, with Beachem and Vasturia each draining four.
NOTES OF THE GAME
- Notre Dame knocked down 15 three-pointers on Wednesday and has now made a three-point basket in 600 consecutive games.
- The Irish have now made 10-plus three-pointers in nine games this season.
- Notre Dame made nine shots from beyond the arc in the second half, the most an Irish team has made in any half in ACC play in program history.
- Vasturia started his 100th consecutive game on Wednesday, becoming just the fourth Irish player to accomplish the feat.
- Farrell finished in double figures in points for the 15th time this season.
- Farrell led the team in assists with seven and has now dished out six or more assists in 12 games this season.
- With 18 points, Vasturia has tallied double digits in the scoring column 16 times this season, including seven straight outings, and 66 times in his career.
- Beachem connected on four shots from beyond the arc to finish with 14 points. The senior has now finished with 10-plus points in 15 games this season.
- Freshman guard T.J. Gibbs finished in double figures for his second consecutive outing with 12 points. Gibbs has now scored 10-plus points in four games this season.
The Irish return home to Purcell Pavilion from their three-game road swing on Saturday, Jan. 21, as they host Syracuse at noon. To purchase tickets visit UND.com/BuyTickets.
Robby Hamman joined Fighting Irish Media as athletics communications assistant director in September 2016, coordinating efforts for the volleyball and men's lacrosse program. Hamman is a 2010 graduate of Bethel College, where he earned bachelor's degrees in sport management and business administration, and earned his master's degree in business administration from Defiance College in 2013.