NOTRE DAME, IN — The Notre Dame Fighting Irish rallied from a seven-point deficit with 4:04 left in the second half to knock off the Toledo Rockets 64-62 in overtime at Purcell Pavilion Thursday evening. With Notre Dame down three points with 1.5 seconds remaining in regulation, sophomore Nate Laszewski connected on a three-point field goal at the buzzer off an out-of-bounds play to force the extra period. The victory moved Notre Dame’s overall record to 5-1 and earned the Irish the Men Against Breast Cancer Invitational title.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Notre Dame kept it close in the first period, but entered halftime down 27-24. The Irish came out of halftime clicking on all cylinders, going on a 7-0 run, finished off by T.J. Gibbs’ three, to seize a 31-27 lead with 18:39 to go in the contest. Toledo responded with an 8-0 run of their own, eventually building a seven-point lead with 4:04 remaining. That lead was bolstered by two technical free throws, with the technical called against the Notre Dame bench for a controversial offensive foul at the top of the key. The Notre Dame defense stepped up late in the game, forcing defensive stops on 22 of Toledo’s final 26 possessions.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
The Fighting Irish had three players score in double figures, led by Dane Goodwin, who had 16 points. Gibbs tacked on 11 points and three steals and Nate Laszewski chipped in as well with 10 points and six rebounds off the bench.
STAT OF THE GAME
The Notre Dame defense held Toledo shooters to just 34.8% from the field, including 22.2% from three-point range.
- Rex Pflueger played 39 minutes, posting eight points, five rebounds, five assists and a career-high six steals. The six steals were the most for a Notre Dame player since Demetrius Jackson stole six possessions away against Wake Forest in 2016.
- John Mooney returned from missing the previous game with Presbyterian with an illness. He collected a team-high 15 rebounds, posting his third consecutive game with at least 15 rebounds – the first player of the Mike Brey era to grab 15 or more rebounds in three consecutive games since Luke Harangody in 2008-09.
- Notre Dame improves to 23-12 in overtime in the Mike Brey era (since 2000-01) and have won 13 of their last 16 overtime games.