Feb. 28, 2018
By Robby Hamman
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — Notre Dame (18-12, 8-9 ACC) sent its seniors out in fashion on Wednesday evening in Purcell Pavilion, downing Pittsburgh (8-23, 0-18 ACC) in a 73-56 victory.
The story of the evening was the return of Preseason ACC Player of the Year Bonzie Colson, who had missed the previous 15 games due to a foot injury. Colson impressed in his first game in two months, scoring 12 points and grabbing nine rebounds in just 21 minutes of play.
Fellow seniors Matt Farrell and Martinas Geben had strong performances in their final home game. Farrell finished with 14 points and Geben nearly had a double-double, scoring nine points and grabbing a team-high 13 rebounds.
Sophomore T.J. Gibbs also had a noteworthy evening, finishing with 14 points.
In the win, Glenn and Stacey Murphy Head Men’s Basketball Coach Mike Brey recorded his 400th victory at Notre Dame. Brey becomes the 11th active Division I coach to win 400 wins at his current school and the fourth active in the Atlantic Coast Conference to achieve the feat.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Colson didn’t miss a beat after his long layoff, scoring eight of Notre Dame’s first 10 points and grabbing five rebounds in just under seven minutes of action. The Irish offense exploded midway through the first frame, reeling off 16 straight points to take a commanding 17-point lead at 30-13. Notre Dame went on to take a 39-23 lead into the half.
The Irish controlled play the entire second half, never letting the lead dip below 12 points at any point of the final 20 minutes. Notre Dame went on to win by a final score of 73-56.
NOTRE DAME PLAYER OF THE GAME
Colson showed no rust on Wednesday evening, scoring his 12 points on 6-of-10 shooting. The senior nearly picked up a double-double in his first game back, hauling down nine rebounds. Colson also picked up where he left on the defensive end as well, tallying a team-high three blocks.
NOTRE DAME STAT OF THE GAME
The Irish dominated Pitt on the glass, outrebounding the Panthers 51-35. The 51 rebounds are the most Notre Dame has recorded in a game this season. Geben led the way with 13 rebounds. Colson pulled down nine boards and Djogo added seven. The 51 rebounds led to 19 second-chance points.
NOTES OF THE GAME
- Notre Dame improves to 33-30 against Pitt in the all-time series.
- The senior class became the first team in program history to reach triple figures in the win column over its four years at Notre Dame, notching the 100th win.
- The 16-0 run in the first half marked the most consecutive points the Irish have scored in a game this season.
- Colson returned after missing the last 15 games with a foot injury and posted his 15th double-digit scoring performance of the year. The senior has finished with 10-plus points in every game he has played this season.
- Farrell has now scored 10-plus points in 22 games this season.
- Gibbs has reached double figures in 18 straight and 24 times this season.
- Geben recorded his ninth double-digit rebounding performance of the season and 10th of his career.
The Irish wrap up the regular season on the road this weekend, traveling east to take on No. 1 Virginia at 4 p.m. ET on Saturday, March 3 in Charlottesville, Virginia. The game will air live on ACC Network Extra via the WatchESPN app.
— ND —
Robby Hamman joined Fighting Irish Media as athletics communications assistant director in September 2016, coordinating efforts for the volleyball and men’s lacrosse program. Hamman is a 2010 graduate of Bethel College, where he earned bachelor’s degrees in sport management and business administration, and earned his master’s degree in business administration from Defiance College in 2013.