CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The Irish had a look to win the game in the final seconds at North Carolina but the jumper from Juwan Durham wouldn’t fall and the Tar Heels escaped with a 66-65 win over Notre Dame inside the Smith Center on Saturday.
For the second time this week, junior Nate Laszewski was the star for the Irish, leading the team with 25 points and nine rebounds. Junior Prentiss Hubb also had a notable afternoon, scoring 14 points and dishing out five assists.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The opening 20 minutes was a highly contested affair, as the Irish clawed its way to a one-point lead at 30-29 heading into the halftime break. Notre Dame led by as many as seven points (26-19) with five minutes to go but a 10-point UNC run erased the lead before the Irish scored the final four points of the half.
The Irish started strong in the second stanza, building a seven-point advantage at 57-50 with 7:39 left in the game thanks to 11 straight points from Laszewski. However, the Tar Heels responded with a 9-0 run to go back on top with just over four minutes to play.
The lead switched hands six times in the final four minutes with Notre Dame taking a 65-64 lead with 36 seconds remaining. The hosts answered with a jumper from Leaky Black with nine seconds left to go on top 66-65.
The Irish had one last chance at the buzzer but a mid-range jumper from Juwan Durham just wouldn’t fall giving North Carolina the victory.
NOTRE DAME PLAYER OF THE GAME
For the second straight outing, Laszewski had a career day. The junior connected on a career-high seven shots from three-point range on his way to a team-high 25 points. The forward finished 9-of-14 from the floor, including a 7-for-11 effort from beyond the arc to continue his ultra-efficient shooting this season.
NOTES OF THE GAME
- The Irish knocked down 11 shots from three-point range, marking the fourth time this season the team has made double-digit shots from range.
- Laszewski has turned in 20-plus point performances for the first time in his career, totaling 53 points on the week (28 vs. Virginia on 12/30).
- Laszewski now has three games of 20 or more points this season and four in his career.
Notre Dame returns to Purcell Pavilion to host Georgia Tech at 7 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Jan. 6. The game will air on RSN and will be available in the Northern Indiana market on Marquee Sports Network.