Jan. 28, 2017
ATLANTA – A furious second half rally on Saturday afternoon nearly brought No. 14/12 Notre Dame (17-5, 6-3 ACC) all the way back in an ACC showdown at Georgia Tech (13-8, 5-4 ACC). A game-winning layup from Josh Okogie as time expired lifted the host Yellow Jackets to a 62-60 win over the Irish at McCamish Pavilion.
Senior forward V.J. Beachem led all Notre Dame players with 23 points on 10-of-16 shooting, including a 3-of-6 day from three-point range. Junior guard Matt Farrell chipped in 15 points and four assists, while junior forward Bonzie Colson went for a double-double with 13 points and a game-high 13 rebounds.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Notre Dame hit six of its first 10 shots from the floor, including 3-for-3 from beyond the arc, to open a 17-9 lead over Georgia Tech at the second media timeout of the first half. A 10-0 Irish run was snapped by a Yellow Jacket three at 10:59 of the half to close the gap to 19-12.
Georgia Tech would flip momentum on that made jumper, closing the first period on a 26-12 run to take its first lead. The Yellow Jacket advantage would climb as high as eight points following a layup with 2:24 left in the stanza (33-25). Back-to-back 3-pointers for Notre Dame near the end of the half trimmed the Yellow Jacket lead to 35-31 at the break.
The Irish quickly tied the game at 35 less than three minutes into the second half, and reclaimed the lead with a tip-in with 16:52 to play (37-35). Georgia Tech withstood the storm of a 9-0 Notre Dame run with a 13-5 surge of its own, taking a 48-42 lead to force an Irish timeout at 11:53.
A Beachem layup made it a one possession game with just under six minutes remaining, cutting the Notre Dame deficit to 58-55. Tadric Jackson answered at the other end with two of his career-high 25 points to extend the Georgia Tech advantage to 60-55.
Notre Dame would not go quietly, as Farrell stole an outlet pass from Ben Lammers and drained a wide open three with under four minutes remaining to bring the Irish within two at 60-58. Beachem then drained a jumper of his own to tie the game at 60-all with 2:45 to play.
After Farrell was unable to connect on the go-ahead jumper with under 10 seconds left in regulation, Jackson gathered the rebound and fired a strike to Okogie, who laid the ball off the glass and in at the buzzer to seal the Georgia Tech 62-60 victory.
NOTRE DAME PLAYER OF THE GAME
Beachem's 23-point performance pushed him past the 1,000 point mark for his career, becoming the 60th player in program history to accomplish the feat. The senior added four rebounds against the Yellow Jackets. Beachem has now scored 20 or more points in six games this season.
STAT OF THE GAME
Colson's double-double is his 13th of the season, which is the most by any player in the ACC. The junior has finished in double figures for points in 20-of-22 games this season and has added 10 or more rebounds in 14 outings.
NOTES OF THE GAME
- Beachem became the second player on the 2016-17 roste to reach the 1,000-point milestone, joining fellow senior Steve Vasturia.
- Farrell finished in double figures in points for the 17th time this season and matched his career high in steals with three.
- Beachem scored a career-high 30 points. The senior has now finished with 10-plus points in 17 games this season.
The Irish return home to take on Duke at 7 p.m. on Monday, January 30 in Purcell Pavilion. The game will air on ESPN.
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.