Dec. 5, 2017
By Robby Hamman
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — No. 9/8 Notre Dame suffered its second loss of the season on Tuesday evening inside Purcell Pavilion, as Ball State escaped with an 80-77 win. With the score tied 77-77, the Cardinals’ Tayler Persons hit a contested three-pointer with 1.7 seconds remaining to deliver the visitors the win.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Irish trailed the Cardinals at the half by a score of 34-29. Notre Dame struggled to get into a flow on the offensive end over the first 20 minutes of action but the defense held Ball State to 12-of-31 shooting (38.7 percent). Bonzie Colson and Martinas Geben led the offense with a combined 17 points and nine rebounds in the first frame.
Notre Dame began the second half locked in on both sides of the floor, opening the stanza by outscoring the Cardinals 15-6 to take a 44-40 lead with 16 minutes left to play. Ball State refused to go away, as the lead switched hands a number of times over the next six minutes of play. The Cardinals then managed to build a nine-point advantage at 67-58, their largest of the game, with 6:45 left in the game.
The Irish fought back and cut the lead to one off a layup from Colson with 1:13 remaining on the clock. After Ball State sunk two free throws to push the lead back to three, senior Matt Farrell, as he has done many times already in his career, came through in the clutch by knocking down a three to tie the game at 77-77 with 21 ticks left. However, it wasn’t to be for the Irish, as Persons hit the game-winner with time winding down to give the Cardinals the win.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Colson did all he could for the Irish, scoring a game-high 26 points on 10-of-19 shooting. The preseason first team All-American was nearly unguardable for stretches in the second half, pouring in 17 points while going 7-for-11 from the floor.
NOTES OF THE GAME
- With 26 points, Colson has now finished in double figures in the scoring column in all nine games this season and extended his active streak to 26 consecutive games.
- Colson has now scored 20-plus points four times this season and 18 times in his career.
- After scoring 14 points against Ball State, Farrell has finished with 10-plus points in all nine games during his senior campaign.
- Geben has scored 56 points over his last five outings, marking the best stretch of his career. The senior finished with 12 points on Tuesday.
- Pflueger logged his third double-figure scoring game of the season and sixth of his career after scoring 11 points versus the Cardinals.
- Sophomore John Mooney tied his career-high for minutes played in a game with 19 and pulled down a career-best seven rebounds against Ball State.
The Irish hit the road this weekend to face Delaware at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 9. The game will be broadcast live on CBS Sports Net.
— 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.