March 9, 2017
By: Robby Hamman
BROOKLYN - Notre Dame (24-8) is heading to the ACC Tournament Semifinals for the third consecutive year after defeating Virginia (22-10) by a final score of 71-58 on Thursday night inside the Barclays Center. The Irish will face Florida State on Friday evening at a tenative time of 9 p.m. ET (following the first semifinal game of the night). The game will air on ESPN.
Junior forward Bonzie Colson led the Irish to the victory, notching his ACC-best 19th double-double of the season with 21 points and 10 rebounds. Three other Notre Dame players finished with 10-plus points as sophomore guard Matt Farrell poured in 14 points, and seniors V.J. Beachem and Steve Vasturia each added 12 points in the victory.
How It Happened
The Irish were ready to go out of the gates on Thursday evening, as the team built an early 10-point advantage in the opening minutes. After Virginia scored on its opening possession, Notre Dame scored 14 of the next 16 points to go on top 14-4 just six minutes into the game. The two teams battled for the remainder of the opening half, as Notre Dame took a six-point lead at 32-26 into the intermission.
As good as Notre Dame was to begin the first half, the Irish were even better in the early stages of the second stanza. Notre Dame opened the final 20 minutes of action by scoring the first 11 points to build a 17-point lead at 43-26 with 15 minutes left in the game. Notre Dame completely controlled the remainder of the game, as its lead never dipped below 10 points and the Irish went on to win by a final score of 71-58.
Notre Dame Player Of The Game
Colson notched his ACC-best 19th double-double of the season against the Cavaliers, finishing with 21 points and 10 rebounds. The New Bedford, Massachusetts, native went 6-for-14 from the floor and 8-of-11 from the charity stripe while adding two blocks in the win. The First Team All-ACC selection notched his eighth 20-point, 10-rebound performance of the season.
Stat Of The Game
Facing one of the toughest defenses in the nation, the Irish shot 24-for-46 from the floor for a percentage of .522. Notre Dame was consistent throughout, finishing 12-for-23 from the field in both the first and second halves.
Notre Dame Notes
- Notre Dame is 5-2 all-time in the ACC Tournament
- The Irish are 6-1 in program history when playing in the Barclays Center and have now won six straight games in the venue.
- With the win the Irish advance to the ACC Tournament semifinal round for the thir consecutive season.
- Notre Dame recorded just eight turnovers, marking the 18th time this season they have finished with fewer than 10 in a game.
- With a made three-point shot in the first half, Farrell extended his streak of consecutive games with a make from distance to 22 games.
- Colson scored 21 points, marking the 12th time this season the junior has finished with 20-plus points.
- Thursday evening marked Steve Vasturia's 133rd career game in which he played, moving him into a tie for third in program history for most games played in a career. Vasturia is tied with Eric Atkins and Matt Carroll.
- Beachem has now scored in double figures 25 times this season and 59 times in his career.
- Wednesday marked Colson's ACC-best 18th double-double of the season and 22nd of his career.
- Farrell surpassed the 10-point mark for the 27th time this season with 14 points.
- Vasturia finished with double-digit scoring for the 24th time this season and 74th time of his Irish tenure.
The Irish will face No. 2 seed Florida State in the second semifinal game of the ACC Tournament on Friday, March 10. The game will start 20 minutes after the conclusion of the first game between Duke and North Carolina which starts at 7 p.m. Notre Dame's 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.