NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Junior forward John Mooney had one of the best performances of any Irish player this season on Wednesday evening inside Purcell Pavilion, scoring 18 points and grabbing 20 rebounds. Notre Dame (13-17) fell to Clemson (18-12) by a final score of 64-62.
Junior T.J. Gibbs and freshman Dane Goodwin also finished in double figures in the points column. Gibbs recorded 14 points while Goodwin chipped in 12.
Wednesday night’s game also marked the final home game of the season for the Irish, as the team honored senior Liam Nelligan, who made the first start of his career.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Irish and Tigers played to a standstill over the first 20 minutes of play, as the teams were knotted up at 32-32 at the halftime break. Mooney led Notre Dame with 10 points and nine rebounds at the break. The Irish also took advantage of getting to the free-throw line, connecting on 11-of-12 attempts.
Clemson controlled the opening stages of the second stanza, building a 47-41 lead with under 14 minutes left on the clock. Notre Dame quickly erased the deficit, scoring the next six points to level the score at 47-47. The two teams traded blows for much of the second half before the Irish scored six straight off two made threes to go on top 58-54 with four minutes to go.
The Tigers responded with an 8-1 run over the next three and a half minutes to take a 62-59 lead with 26 seconds remaining in the game. The Irish cut the lead to one off a layup from Hubb with 19 seconds left. After the Tigers hit 1-of-2 free throws to push their lead two, Notre Dame’s Nate Laszewski was fouled with three seconds left. The freshman hit the first free throw but missed the second, as Clemson went on to win by a final score of 64-62.
NOTRE DAME PLAYER OF THE GAME
Mooney did everything for the Irish on Wednesday, leading the team in points (18), rebounds (18) and assists (5). The junior nearly turned in Notre Dame’s first 20-point, 20-rebound performance in 18 years, as Troy Murphy accomplished the feat in January of the 2000-01 season.
NOTRE DAME STAT OF THE GAME
Mooney finished with a career-high 20 rebounds, becoming the first Notre Dame player to accomplish the feat since Zach Auguste pulled down 22 against Duke on March 10, 2016.
NOTES OF THE GAME
- Mooney scored 10 or more points for the 26th time during his junior campaign, finishing with 18 points against Clemson.
- For the 21st time this season, Gibbs finished in double figures in the points column, scoring 14 points against Clemson.
- Goodwin finished with 12 points, marking the sixth time he has finished in double figures this season.
The Irish close out the regular season at Pittsburgh at noon ET on Saturday, March 9. The game will be broadcast on Raycom.
— ND —