Jan. 30, 2017
By: Robby Hamman
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Down 13 points midway through the second half, Notre Dame (17-6, 6-4 ACC) scored 12 straight points to cut the Duke (17-5, 5-4 ACC) lead to one point at 63-62 with over six minutes left in the game. However it was as close as the Irish would get, as the Blue Devils pulled away in the closing minutes to win by a final of 84-74.
Senior forward V.J. Beachem scored a team-high 20 points on 7-of-14 shooting and added three rebounds. Junior forward Bonzie Colson added 17 points, finishing 8-of-12 from the field, and finished one rebound shy of a double-double with nine. The other two Irish players to finish in double figures were freshman guard T.J. Gibbs, who scored 12, and junior guard Matt Farrell, who totaled 11.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Notre Dame and Duke traded baskets in the opening 13 minutes of the contest, as the score was knotted up at 21-21 with less than seven minutes to play in first frame. The Blue Devils managed to control the remainder of the half, as Duke took a 37-25 lead into the halftime intermission. Beachem paced the Irish with nine points in the opening 20 minutes of action.
The Irish had a great start to the second stanza, scoring nine of the first 11 points to cut the Blue Devil lead to five points at 39-34. Duke pushed its lead back up to double digits, holding a 63-50 advantage with 9:31 left in the game. However, Notre Dame continued to battle and ripped off a 12-0 run to send the raucaus sell-out crowd into a frenzy and cut the visitors lead to one at 63-62 with 6:24 to play.
NOTRE DAME PLAYER OF THE GAME
Colson was the most efficient Notre Dame player on Monday, scoring 17 points on 8-of-12 shooting from the floor, with 11 coming in the second half. The forward led the Irish in rebounding, pulling down nine boards. Colson also added two blocks and an assist.
STAT OF THE GAME
The Irish scored 22 points off Duke's 15 turnovers, while only allowing four points on eight turnovers.
NOTES OF THE GAME
- Beachem scored 20 points and has now scored 20-plus points seven times this season and eight times in his career.
- With 17 points against the Blue Devils, Colson has now reached double figures in scoring in a team-high 21 outings this season.
- For the fifth time this season Gibbs finished in double digits with 12 points, all coming in the second half.
- Farrell surpassed the 10-point mark for the 18th time this season with 11 points.
The Irish hit the road, as the team heads to Chapel Hill, North Carolina to face the Tar Heels at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 4. The game will be broadcast 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.