With the regular season winding down, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish are on pace to get another double bye in the ACC tournament after a close win against an always tough Georgia Tech team.
The Irish routed the Yellow Jackets 64-60, avenging their two point loss earlier in the season during the time when Notre Dame went through their rough four game losing streak.
This is Notre Dame’s 5th consecutive win, with analysts predicting the Irish to be a 5th seed in the NCAA Tournament.
When asked if whether he was starting to prepare for the up coming tournaments, Coach Mike Brey had this to say:
“Nothing with NCAA tournament stuff right now, I think we’re more focused on positioning ourselves for the ACC tournament…we control our own destiny to finish in the top four”.
If the Irish can manage to win one out of their two remaining games, they should be in good shape to get a double bye even with the Duke Blue Devils hot on their trail.
Notre Dame was led by none other than Bonzie Colson, who is the only ACC player in the conference to be ranked in the top ten for points, rebounds and free throw shooting.
Colson showed his great athleticism, long wing span and range in the opening half, knocking down a pair of threes and tipping in some crucial baskets. Colson had 12 points and six rebounds in the opening 13 minutes of the game. Colson went on to finish the game with 20 points and 11 rebounds.
Steve Vasturia, Matt Ryan, VJ Beachem and Rex Pflueger all found their stroke, knocking down key threes to put the Irish ahead or within one.
Notre Dame went into the locker room ahead 34-28, after shooting 41.4% from the field, 38.9% from the three point line and 75% from the foul line.
Georgia Tech made it very hard for the Irish to put them away in the second half as it came down to the wire.
Georgia Tech’s Tadric Jackson nailed a clutch three pointer to bring the Yellow Jackets within three with 46 seconds remaining. But a block from Colson and good free throw shooting would give the Irish the win as they defeated Georgia Tech 64-60.
Coach Brey praised Georgia Tech for their ability to give the Irish some fits following the game:
“They are hard to play against, because they are good defensively and they got the big guy back there blocking shots”.
Notre Dame won the turnover battle, committing four less turnovers and out shot the Yellow Jackets from both the free throw and three point line.
Steve Vasturia finished with seven points, five rebounds and five assists while Rex Pflueger recorded six points and VJ Beachem had eight.
Matt Farrell had himself a game, scoring 17 points and recording one steal and two assists regardless of his foul trouble.
Notre Dame is back in action on March 1st for their final home game of the season and will watch Steve Vasturia and VJ Beachem suit up one last time against Boston College.
“We’d love to send Steve and VJ out the right way. Steve and VJ are two of the greatest winners in the history of this basketball program. Given what they been part of; total wins, and especially what they have done in the NCAA tournament. It’ll be hard for me to watch them go out one last time” said Coach Brey.
– R. Scarfone