The University of Notre Dame men’s basketball team (13-17, 3-14) rallied in the final minutes behind 12 consecutive points from freshman Nate Laszewski, but could not get off a shot at the end of the game to fall to Pittsburgh (12-18, 2-15) 56-53 at the Petersen Events Center Saturday afternoon.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Irish built a 7-2 lead at the first media break behind a mid-range jumper from Prentiss Hubb, a corner three from Laszewski and a driving layup from T.J. Gibbs.
Pitt cut the lead to four, but Laszewski answered with two corner three pointers to give the Irish a 20-10 lead and force a Panther timeout. The home team answered with a 10-0 run to cut Notre Dame’s lead to one, 26-25, at halftime.
Both teams traded offensive plays back and forth to reach the first media timeout of the second half tied at 33. Pitt then ripped off another run, 12-2, to build a 42-35 lead and force a Notre Dame timeout with 12:31 remaining.
Goodwin stepped up to score six straight points to cut into the Pitt lead and the Irish went into the under eight minute timeout down five at 47-42. The Panthers answered right back with five straight points to seize back control of the contest with a 50-42 lead.
Laszewski put the Irish back into the game, hitting back-to-back three pointers to cut the Panther lead to four points at 52-48 with 2:31 remaining.
With Pitt clinging to a one point lead, Xavier Johnson hit a running jump shot in the lane to put his team up three. Laszewski answered with two free throws, then Johnson missed the front of a one-and-one.
On the next possession, Notre Dame missed two shots, pulled down two offensive rebounds and Gibbs was eventually fouled with 32 seconds remaining. He missed the front end of the one and one, PItt hit one of their next two free throws and a desperation heave at the end of the game fell short for the Irish.
Johnson at 2 minutes – 54-51 Pitt 114 – Nate at the line for 1 and 1
NOTRE DAME PLAYER OF THE GAME
Nate Laszewski scored a career-high 23 points (the first 20-point game of his career), shooting seven-for-11 from the floor, six-for-nine from three point range and pulled down seven rebounds.
Notre Dame will be back to campus briefly for Saturday night and Sunday morning before heading to Charlotte, NC, for the 2019 ACC Championship. The Irish will be the No. 15 seed in the tournament and play No. 10 Georgia Tech at 2:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday, March 12.