Syracuse Stops Late Notre Dame Run As Irish Fall
Notre Dame has been a scrappy team all season, but once again the Irish fight was not quite enough as Syracuse pulled out an 84-82 victory. It was a rematch of a January 4 game in the Carrier Dome that Notre Dame won 88-87.
The first half was an up-tempo, back-and-forth affair that had more than ten lead changes, but Notre Dame made the first run of the game. A 12-12 game turned into a 30-19 Notre Dame advantage after an 18-7 run by the Irish. The run was fueled by a pair of triples from sophomore forward Nate Laszewski and five straight points from senior forward John Mooney.
Syracuse answered with a 12-0 run of its own to take a 32-30 lead, but sophomore guard Dane Goodwin put the Irish back up with a triple on the opposite end. That began a stretch in which there were six more led changes before a Brycen Goodine triple hit a three that put Syracuse up at the half.
The Orange went on a 12-0 run that carried over from the first half and into the second half, which was part of a 16-2 push that extended their lead to 57-44. Junior guard Elijah Hughes fueled the Syracuse run, dropping nine points during the stretch.
Notre Dame answered with a quick 7-0 run of its own to cut the lead to double digits, but it didn’t last, as Syracuse again extended the lead to 13 points.
As it has done all season, Notre Dame would not quit, fighting all the way back to take a 69-68 lead, as Mooney hit Goodwin on a backdoor cut for an easy lane in to cap an 18-4 Irish run.
But as has also been the case for the Irish this season, as hard as they fought, they could not finish. Syracuse answered the Irish surge with a 10-1 run that was too much for Notre Dame to overcome.
Both teams knocked down 31 shots, but the Irish made more from deep, hitting 13 triples to Syracuse’s eight. Syracuse made seven more free throws, including nine more in the second half, which turned out to be the difference.
Mooney led the Irish went 21 points and 13 rebounds, which was a school record 12th straight double-double. He also dished out a career-high six assists. Goodwin scored 15 points but made just 6-of-15 shots. Senior guard TJ Gibbs scored eight points early in the game but faded down the stretch as he struggled to play through a bout of the flu that caused him to head to the locker room at one point in the first half.
Hughes led Syracuse with 26 points and freshman guard Joseph Girard III had 15 points and nine rebounds.
Notre Dame next plays on Saturday in Tallahassee as the Irish take on 5th-ranked Florida State.