Jan. 7, 2017
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — Leading by two with under 10 seconds to play, junior guard Matt Farrell buried a three-pointer to seal the 75-70 win for Notre Dame (14-2, 3-0 ACC) against Clemson (11-4, 1-2 ACC) on Saturday afternoon inside Purcell Pavilion. The win gives the Irish their second 3-0 start to ACC play in the past three seasons.
Notre Dame was led offensively by senior forward V.J. Beachem who matched his career-high in scoring with 22 points. Three other Irish players finished in double-figure scoring along with Beachem, as Farrell poured in 15 points, senior guard Steve Vasturia added 14 and junior forward Bonzie Colson completed his third straight double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds.
Saturday also marked the 700th game in head coach Mike Brey’s career, becoming the 35th active Division I coach to reach the 700-game mark. Brey is 469-231 over the 700 games in 22 seasons.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The opening 20 minutes featured a number of runs and momentum swings for both teams. Clemson began the game by scoring the opening 10 points before the Irish offense responded by outscoring the Tigers 17-2 to open a five-point lead at 17-12. The visitors reclaimed the lead at 21-20 and held a seven-point advantage going into the halftime break at 40-33. 24 of Notre Dame’s 33 first half points came off of eight three-point makes.
The Irish started strong in the second stanza, as Notre Dame took its first lead of the half at 46-45 with 15 minutes left in the game off a three-point make from Beachem. From that point on the game turned into a dogfight, featuring 11 lead changes and seven ties while remaining a one-possession game until Ferrell knocked down the clutch three-pointer to deliver the Irish the win.
NOTRE DAME PLAYER OF THE GAME
After back-to-back quiet performances, Beachem erupted on Saturday with 22 points on 8-of-14 shooting to lead the Irish in scoring. The 22-point performance is tied for his career high. The Fort Wayne, Indiana, native connected on six shots from beyond the arc, matching his career high, to do the majority of his damage on the offensive end. The forward also totaled two steals, a rebound and an assist in the victory.
STAT OF THE GAME
The Irish lit up the scoreboard from the outside against Clemson, connecting on 15-of-32 three-point attempts. The 15 makes from distance mark a program high for three-point makes in an ACC game, surpassing the previous high of 13, which came against Miami (2/19/14). Six different players knocked down at least one shot from beyond the arc, as Beachem led the team with six and Farrell added four, which matches his career high.
NOTES OF THE GAME
- The Irish improve to 5-0 against Clemson in the all-time series.
- Notre Dame is now 11-0 when playing in Purcell Pavilion this season.
- The Irish tied the program record for three-point makes in a half during an ACC game with eight in the first half against the Tigers. The Irish also set the program record for most three-point attempts in a half of an ACC game with 18 in the opening 20 minutes.
- For the third time since Notre Dame joined the ACC, the Irish did not give it’s opponent a single free-throw attempt in the first half on Saturday.
- Notre Dame has now made 10-plus three-pointers in eight games this season.
- Beachem scored 20-plus points for the fourth time this season and fifth time in his career.
- Farrell finished in double figures in points for the 12th time this season.
- Colson produced his ACC-best 10th double-double of the season, scoring 13 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. The junior has recorded a double-double in all three ACC games this season.
- Colson has scored double-digit points in every game during his junior campaign (16 games).
- Vasturia finished in double-figure scoring for his fourth consecutive outing and has scored 10-plus points in 13 games this season.
The Irish head to the Sunshine State to face Miami at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 12. The game will be broadcast on ESPN.
— 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.