Notre Dame Comeback Falls Short In Loss To Louisville

Bryan Driskell

Notre Dame (10-6) put up a valiant effort against the No. 13 Louisville Cardinals (13-3), but in the end the Irish came up short once again.

Behind its veterans, Notre Dame jumped out to an early lead, with senior captain Rex Pflueger hitting an early three-pointer, senior big man Juwan Durham knocking down a jumper and senior big man John Mooney scoring six early points.

A cold streak that lasted over ten minutes saw an 11-11 tie turn into a 30-16 deficit for the Irish, but a 6-2 finish going into the half kept Notre Dame within striking distance.

Notre Dame shot just 11-35 from the floor in the first twenty minutes, including just 2-13 from deep.

The shots started to fall in the second half, and behind senior guard TJ Gibbs the Irish went on an 11-1 run to start the half, cutting the Louisville lead to just two. Louisville tried to pull away, but Notre Dame was able to answer every mini-Cardinal run, until the end.

Louisville forward Jordan Nwora knocked down a three to put Louisville up 52-47, but Notre Dame went on an 8-2 run to take its first lead since early in the first half. That run ended with sophomore guard Dane Goodwin knocking down a triple as the Irish ball movement got the offense rolling.

The Cardinals answered and retook the lead 60-59, but a deep triple from sophomore guard Prentiss Hubb put the Irish back up 62-60. Louisville quickly scored seven straight points, and Notre Dame could not recover.

Notre Dame’s final possession ended with Hubb missing a contested layup and Mooney then missing an off-balance three at the buzzer. Once again Notre Dame battled hard, and once again the Irish were in it until the end, but one again Notre Dame came up short in the end.

Notre Dame shot 48.4-percent from the floor in the second half and knocked down eight triples, which fueled the comeback attempt.

This marks Notre Dame’s third loss by three points or less and its fourth loss by fives points or less.

Mooney had 15 points and 19 rebounds, and Gibbs added 15 points on 6-8 shooting. Goodwin chipped in with 14 points and Hubb dished out eight assists, but he struggled with his shot, making just 3-14 from the floor for eight points.

Notre Dame goes back on the road for a road contest against Georgia Tech (7-9) on Wednesday.

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