Men's Basketball

@NDmbb
Notre Dame Overcomes Slow Start, Upends No. 20 Pittsburgh, 51-42

Jack Cooley scored 13 points Monday night.

Feb. 18, 2013

Box Score |  Notes |  Photo Gallery  | Box Score Get Acrobat Reader

PITTSBURGH (AP) - A self-professed "raving lunatic" while watching his team score just three points over the first 13:54 of the game, Notre Dame coach Mike Brey wasn't considering the potential consequences when he gave referee John Gaffney an earful.

"I was just so frustrated," Brey said. "... He probably could have thrown me out because I stayed after him and he looked away, so I thank him for that."

The No. 25 Irish might want to thank Brey for the resulting dramatic swing of momentum after an atrocious shooting start.

Jerian Grant and Jack Cooley scored 13 points each and Irish rallied from down 16 to beat No. 20 Pittsburgh 51-42 on Monday night.

The Irish missed 18 of their first 19 shots and trailed 19-3 after two free throws by Tray Woodall - resulting from Brey's technical.

But Notre Dame closed out the first half on a 16-3 run and continued to ride the momentum in the second half to win going away.

"I don't know, how much is it premeditated? I thought on some of our drives, we were getting bumped a little bit," Brey said of drawing the technical. "Sometimes, that does change the vibe."

Eric Atkins added 10 points and seven assists for Notre Dame (21-6, 9-5 BIG EAST), which has won five in a row over Pittsburgh (20-7, 8-6) and snapped a tie with the Panthers for fourth place in the conference. The top four teams get a double-bye in next month's league tournament.

Woodall had 11 points to lead the Panthers, who lost for the second time in three days since winning seven of eight.

They appeared to be cruising - especially defensively - until the entire game swung following Brey's technical.

"I definitely think so - there were seven or eight straight fouls called after that," Woodall said. "I'm not sure if the refs eased up or put on binoculars or I don't know, but after that, the game just changed.

"We should have kept our composure and still played our same style, but I guess when you hear the whistle a couple times, you tend to back off a little bit. But that's just the way the game goes."

The Irish missed their first 12 shots and did not have a field goal until 9:14 had elapsed in the game and they were trailing 11-1.

Their spurt began five minutes later with Pat Connaughton's 3-pointer from the left corner with 6:06 left in the first half. Thirty-five seconds later on the Irish's next possession, Connaughton hit another 3, drawing a timeout from Pitt coach Jamie Dixon and an enthusiastic fist pump from Brey as he sprinted onto the court.

"I was just trying to keep our guys fired up because you know what? That felt like we tied it, quite frankly," Brey said. "And the climate changed in the building, the vibe changed, our body language changed."

Notre Dame made five of its final eight shots of the first half to trim the deficit to 22-19.

"(Brey's technical) was kind of a culmination of how our team was playing," said Cooley, who had nine rebounds to snap his streak of double-doubles at six. "We were all extremely frustrated, and then Coach Brey comes out with that and then gets the technical.

"It just showed how we were feeling and kind of let everything loose. If that happens, what are we going to do? We're going to go out and play - and that's just what we did. We went out and played and we came back and were down three at the half and just put it away in the second half."

Panthers forward Lamar Patterson - the team's scoring leader during BIG EAST play - had the first basket after halftime, his only points of the game. Steven Adams' layup followed to give Pitt a 26-19 lead.

But Brey called another timeout - and it again led to a momentum shift. The Irish scored 12 of the next 14 points to take their first lead since 1-0.

Grant's 3-pointer bounced on the rim twice and in to give Notre Dame a 29-28 lead, and the Irish went up by three when Cooley tipped in a rebound of a miss by Grant less than a minute later.

Baskets by Cameron Wright and James Robinson gave Pitt a 32-31 lead with 12 minutes remaining.

Robinson missed a 3 nearly a minute later, and Atkins' layup on the ensuing possession put Notre back ahead - and started a 12-2 run that put the Irish up 43-34 with 4:48 to go - and they never trailed again.

"Even when we were down early, we always knew we had a chance," Grant said. "If we still could play defense, we could get back in the game."

Notre Dame shot 60.7 percent (17 for 28) after missing 18 of its first 19 shots and limited Pitt to 30-percent shooting (9 for 30) over the final 27 minutes of the game. The Irish improved to 4-1 against ranked teams.

Cooley had three of Notre Dame's 13 offensive rebounds, and the Irish held a 40-25 advantage on the boards overall. The minus-15 was the worst rebounding margin of the season for Pitt, which entered as the BIG EAST's second-best team in rebounding margin but has been out-rebounded in each of its losses.

The Panthers, who held without a 3-pointer for the second time this season, have only once scored fewer points in Dixon's 10 seasons.

"We just never got in that rhythm here today," Dixon said.

Pitt was without freshman forward Durand Johnson, who had a stomach virus.

 

 

Event Calendar

Delta

December 4
W, 107-53
North Carolina A&T
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)
RECAP

ACC Network Extra
WatchND
ACC Network Extra

Box Score Get Acrobat Reader

December 6
W, 87-72
Fort Wayne
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)
RECAP

ESPNU
WatchND
Watch ESPN

Box ScoreGet Acrobat Reader

December 10
L, 74-66
Villanova
Newark, N.J. (Prudential Center)
RECAP

CBS
WatchND
CBS

Box Score Get Acrobat Reader

December 17
2:00 PM
Purdue
Indianapolis, Ind. (Bankers Life Fieldhouse)

ESPN 2
WatchND
ESPN2
December 19
7:00 PM
Colgate
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ACC Network Extra
WatchND
ACC Network Extra
December 28
7:00 PM
Saint Peters
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ACC Network Extra
WatchND
December 31
2:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, Pa. (Petersen Events Center)

ACC Network
WatchND
January 4
9:00 PM
Louisville
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ACC Network
January 7
3:00 PM
Clemson
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ACC Network
January 12
7:00 PM
Miami
Miami, Fla. (BankUnited Center)

ESPN/ESPN 2
January 14
2:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, Va. (Cassell Coliseum)

ACC Network
January 18
7:00 PM
Florida State
Tallahassee, Fla. (Tucker Center)

RSN
January 21
12:00 PM
Syracuse
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ESPN/ESPN 2
January 24
8:00 PM
Virginia
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ACC Network
January 28
12:00 PM
Georgia Tech
Atlanta, Ga. (McCamish Pavillion)

ESPNU
January 30
7:00 PM
Duke
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ESPN
February 4
TBA
North Carolina
Chapel Hill, N.C. (Smith Center)

ESPN/ESPN 2
February 7
7:00 PM
Wake Forest
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ESPNEWS
February 11
2:00 PM
Florida State
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ESPN/ESPN 2
February 14
7:00 PM
Boston College
Chestnut Hill, Mass. (Conte Forum)

ESPNU
February 18
12:00 PM
North Carolina State
Raleigh, N.C. (PNC Arena)

ESPN/ESPN 2
February 26
6:30 PM
Georgia Tech
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ESPNU
March 1
8:00 PM
Boston College
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ACC Network
March 4
2:00 PM
Louisville
Louisville, Ky. (KFC Yum! Center)

CBS
March 7
TBA
ACC Tournament
Brooklyn, N.Y. (Barclays Center)
March 16
TBA
NCAA Tournament
TBA

Shop Now

Nissan

Auctions

Official ND Online Auctions // Bid Now »

Gear Store

Get your Official ND Gear // Shop Now »

Photo Galleries

Canon

St. Joseph Health System Nissan Delta Canon Visit South Bend Mishawaka Vivid Seats