Nov. 29, 2016
By Robby Hamman
NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- Notre Dame (7-0) used a 17-4 run early in the second half to open up an 11-point lead, which it would not relinquish, as the Irish defeated Iowa (3-4) by a final score of 92-78 in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge on Tuesday evening inside Purcell Pavilion. Notre Dame's 7-0 start is tied for the second best during the Mike Brey era.
Junior forward Bonzie Colson led the Irish to the victory, as he posted a huge 24-point, 17-rebound performance. Senior guard Steve Vasturia recorded his first 20-point game of the season, scoring 22 points. Senior guard V.J. Beachem and Matt Farrell each added 16 points in the winning effort.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Irish got off to a good start on Tuesday evening, building a 15-point lead at 41-26 off a three-point make from Beachem with 3:23 remaining in the half. However, the Hawkeyes answered with a strong close to the opening stanza, scoring the final 13 points to cut the Notre Dame lead to just two at 41-39. The Irish did a large portion of their damage from the free throw line, going 15-of-16 over the first 20 minutes of play.
The Hawkeyes came out of the halftime intermission and managed to take a 52-50 lead just five minutes into the second half. The Irish emphatically responded, outscoring the visitors 17-4 over the next four and a half minutes of play to take an 11-point lead at 67-56. Notre Dame increased its lead to as much as 17 points late in the game before the final score settled at 92-78.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Colson has been a double-double machine over the past two weeks of play, as the junior recorded his fourth straight against Iowa with a monster 24-point, 17-rebound performance. Colson's 17 rebounds mark a career high and his 24 points are the most he has scored in a game this season. The New Bedford, Massachusetts native has now scored 20-plus points three times this season.
NOTRE DAME STAT OF THE GAME
The Irish entered Tuesday's game ranked fourth in the country in free throw percentage (82.6) and did nothing but continue the trend of great shooting against the Hawkeyes. Notre Dame finished an impressive 30-of-33 from the charity stripe en route to the win. Colson led the team, finishing a perfect 12-for-12 from the line. Vasturia also had a flawless night, going 7-for-7.
NOTES OF THE GAME
- The Irish improve to 11-6 against Iowa in the all-time series and are now 3-1 in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
- Notre Dame is 8-1 in the last three seasons against Big Ten opponents.
- Notre Dame eclipsed the 90-point mark for the third time this season and second straight outing with 92 points, which tie the team's season high for points in a game.
- The Irish have scored 40-plus points in the first half of six of its seven games this season and have held the lead at the intermission in all seven outings.
- Notre Dame outrebounded the Hawkeyes 45-32 and have now outrebounded its opponent in five of seven games in 2016.
- Vasturia matched his career high in points with 22 on 6-of-12 shooting and posted a career-high nine rebounds in the victory.
- Colson's perfect 12-for-12 performance from the line was the most without a miss since Eric Atkins also finished 12-for-12 against Mississippi Valley State on Nov. 12, 2011.
- Beachem's 16 points, marks his 13th consecutive game with double-figure scoring.
The Irish host North Carolina A&T at 5 p.m. on Sunday, December 4 in Purcell Pavilion. 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.