LEXINGTON, Ky. – Notre Dame recorded its first win in program history against Kentucky when playing in Rupp Arena, defeating the Wildcats 64-63 on Saturday afternoon.
The game was defined by two halves, as the Irish held a 22-point lead at the half (48-26), marking the largest deficit Kentucky had faced in a home game in program history. The hosts mounted a major comeback but the Irish did just enough down the stretch to hold on to the one-point victory.
Junior Nate Laszewski paced the Irish on offense, scoring a season-high 21 points. Junior Prentiss Hubb was the other Notre Dame player that finished in double figures in the scoring column, posting 18 points in the road win.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Irish offense was nearly flawless in the opening 20 minutes against Kentucky, pouring in 48 points in the first frame. Notre Dame used a 19-0 run in a stretch that spanned just under five minutes to take control of the game, going on top 33-9 with a little over nine minutes left in the half. The Irish took a 48-26 lead into the halftime break.
Laszewski led the way in the first half, scoring 19 points and grabbed six boards to help the Irish open up the big lead. Hubb and Goodwin each added nine in the first frame.
Kentucky responded with a frantic comeback over the final 20 minutes of play, using a 16-0 run over an eight-minute stretch to cut the Irish lead to four at 53-49 with seven minutes to play.
Hubb made enough plays on offense down the stretch, scoring nine of the team’s final 11 points, to stave off the Kentucky comeback bid and help the Irish escape with the 64-63 victory.
NOTRE DAME PLAYER OF THE GAME
Laszewski notched his first 20-point performance of the season, leading the team with 21 points on 6-of-10 shooting from the floor and an impressive 7-for-7 effort from the free-throw line. The stretch four nearly picked up his second double-double, grabbing a team-high nine boards in the win.
NOTRE DAME STAT OF THE GAME
The Irish scored 48 points in the first half on 16-of-27 shooting (59.3 percent) from the floor and 6-of-11 from three-point range while holding Kentucky to 26 points on 11-of-27 shooting, including a mark of 1-for-13 from the three-point line.
NOTES OF THE GAME
- Saturday’s win is Notre Dame’s first ever against Kentucky in Lexington.
- Since the beginning of the 2015-16 season, the Irish have earned their first program wins at UNC, at Duke and at Kentucky.
- With the win, Mike Brey levels his career record when facing a John Calipari coached team at 2-2.
- The 22-point deficit (48-26) for Kentucky is the largest in program history for a home game.
- The Irish led the game for 37:13 of game play and never trailed after the opening three minutes of the game.
- Laszewski scored a season-high 21 points and finished just two points shy of matching his career high.
- Hubb has now scored 18 or more points in all four games this season.
The Fighting Irish return to Purcell Pavilion to open up ACC play by hosting No. 10/11 Duke at 9 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Dec. 16. The game will air on ESPN.