March 17, 2018
By Robby Hamman
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — Notre Dame (21-15) was unable to mount a fourth quarter comeback on Saturday afternoon inside Purcell Pavilion, falling to Penn State (23-13) by a final score of 73-63 in the second round of the National Invitation Tournament.
Sophomore guard T.J. Gibbs led Notre Dame in scoring with 17 points. Despite playing less than three quarters due to injury, senior Bonzie Colson scored 16 points and grabbed nine rebounds. Colson also grabbed nine rebounds to finish with 900 for his career. Senior forward Martinas Geben also reached double figures in points, finishing with 10 in the game.
How It Happened
The Irish and Nittany Lions struggled to find any type of rhythm on the offensive end of the floor in the first half, as Penn State took a 28-23 lead into the halftime break. Notre Dame did a good job of getting to the free-throw line in the opening 20 minutes, converting 9-of-12 attempts.
Notre Dame cut the Nittany Lion lead to three points early in the third quarter but Penn State outscored the Irish 15-6 over a five-minute span to go on top by 12 at 45-33. The visitors managed to extend their lead to 14 points by the end of the quarter, holding a 50-36 advantage with 10 minutes to play.
The biggest blow of the afternoon came near the end of the third quarter, as Colson left with an injury and returned in the game’s final seconds.
The Notre Dame offense woke up in the fourth quarter, scoring the first seven points of the quarter to cut the Penn State lead in half at 50-43 with just over eight minutes to go in the game. However, the Irish were unable to get any closer than seven points for the remainder of the game, as Penn State made enough plays down the stretch to come away with the 73-63 win.
Notre Dame Player Of The Game
In less than three quarters of action, Colson nearly recorded a double-double. The senior finished with 16 points and nine rebounds in the game. Colson finishes his illustrious collegiate career with 1,632 points and 900 rebounds. The senior is just the fifth player in program history to record 1,600-plus points and 900-plus rebounds in his career.
Notre Dame Stat Of The Game
The Notre Dame senior class of Colson, Geben, Matt Farrell, Austin Torres and Matt Gregory finishes as the all-time winningest four-year class in program history, recording 103 victories at Notre Dame.
- Colson posted his 21st double-digit scoring performance of the year. The senior has finished with 10-plus points in every game he has played this season.
- With 10 points, Geben finished in double figures for the 22nd time this season.
- Gibbs has finished with 10-plus points in 29 games this season.
- Farrell ends his Notre Dame career with 1,097 points and 417 assists.
— 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.