Feb. 18, 2017
By Alan Wasielewski
The University of Notre Dame men’s basketball team (21-7, 10-5 ACC) won its fifth road game in the Atlantic Coast Conference with an 81-72 victory over NC State (14-14, 3-12) at PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina on Saturday afternoon. The victory give the Irish at least 10 ACC victories over the past three conference seasons and provides the team some momentum entering their bye week.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
The Irish set the offensive pace in the first half, shooting 59.3 from the floor and 5-10 from three-point range. Senior V.J. Beachem and junior Bonzie Colson led the way over the first 20 minutes, both scoring 10 points while shooting a combined 9-11 from the field.
While the Irish offense found its groove in the first half, the Notre Dame defense held the Wolfpack to 1-10 shooting from three-point range and 28 points.
Beachem continued his stellar play in the second half, eventually finishing with 27 points on 10-of-16 shooting and hitting seven three-point field goals.
NC State hit seven consecutive shots to cut the lead to 10 points in the second half, but a Colson three point play with 4:20 remaining and another key Beachem three pointer at 3:42 effectively ended the Wolfpack threat.
NOTRE DAME PLAYER OF THE GAME:
Senior Forward V.J. Beachem
Beachem posted a career-high seven three-point field goals in the game on the way to 27 points – his ninth 20-point scoring game of the season. His seven three-point field goals also set a Notre Dame record for an ACC game.
Beachem has now scored over 20 points in five of the last nine games for the Irish.
STAT OF THE GAME:
Notre Dame finished the game 13-30 from three-point range, while the Wolfpack would end up just 3-of-14 from behind the arc. The 43.3 percent for the Irish enabled Notre Dame to outscore NC State 39-9 from three-point range.
NOTRE DAME NOTES:
- The Irish have now won 10 or more conference games 12 times in the 17 seasons Mike Brey has been on the sidelines for Notre Dame. That includes 10 or more conference wins in three of the four seasons Notre Dame has been in the ACC.
- Notre Dame has now hit 10 or more three-point field goals in six of 15 ACC games this season.
- The three fouls committed by the Irish in the first half matched the team’s low for an ACC game.
- V.J. Beachem blocked three shots in the game and continues to move up the career blocked shot list at Notre Dame. With 74 in his four years, he moves past former teammate Pat Connaughton into 14th place in the Irish record book.
- Since being limited to 25 points in the first half against Duke on Jan. 30, 2017, Notre Dame has posted 40 or more points in the second half of all six games, including the 49-point second half against the Blue Devils. The Irish scored 40 points in the second half at NC State.
The Irish enter their designated bye week and will not return to the court until they play host to Georgia Tech on Feb. 26, 2017, at Purcell Pavilion (6:30 p.m. ET).
Alan Wasielewski is an Associate Athletics Communication Director in Fighting Irish Media and works with the men’s basketball and rowing teams.