Notre Dame Survives, Moves Onto ACC Second Round
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Notre Dame (19-13, 8-10 ACC) survived a late comeback attempt from Pittsburgh (8-24, 0-18 ACC) to win its first round game of the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament by a final score of 67-64. With the victory, the Irish move on to face Virginia Tech in the second round at 7 p.m. ET tomorrow on ESPN2.
Senior Bonzie Colson continued his impressive run of play since returning from injury, leading the team on the offensive end with 19 points. Fellow senior Matt Farrell scored 18 in the win, while junior Rex Pflueger added 13 points and sophomore T.J. Gibbs finished with 11.
In the victory, Glenn and Stacey Murphy Head Men's Basketball Coach Mike Brey recorded the 500th win of his coaching career. Brey is now the 23rd active Division I coach to reach the 500-win milestone in his career.
The Irish used a strong performance on the defensive end of the floor in the opening half to build a 12-point lead at the break with the score 36-24. Notre Dame held Pittsburgh to a 9-of-32 (28.1 percent) shooting effort from the field over the first 20 minutes while the Irish connected on 14-of-29 (48.3 percent) attempts.
Farrell, Pflueger and Colson carried the offense in the first frame, combining to score 28 points.
The shooting touch escaped Notre Dame in the first 11 minutes of the second half, allowing Pitt to get back into the game. The Panthers pulled within three with nine minutes to go, making the score 48-45. The Irish responded by outscoring the Panthers 13-5 over the next six minutes to extend their lead to 11.
The Panthers made one last run, cutting Notre Dame's lead to just two points with 49 ticks left. However, Colson and Farrell each knocked down two free throws down the stretch to come away with the 67-64 victory and advance to the second round of the ACC Tournament.