Jan. 6, 2014
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Two days after defeating Duke 79-77 on Saturday, Jan. 4, in a come-from-behind victory in the second half of its Atlantic Coast Conference opener, Notre Dame made a sweep of ACC awards. Senior point guard Eric Atkins (Columbia, Md.) was named the league’s player of the week for the second consecutive week, while freshman guard Steve Vasturia (Medford, N.J.) garnered rookie-of-the-week accolades for the first time in his career.
Atkins his first double-double of the season and fifth of his career on Saturday as he finished with 19 points and 11 rebounds as he played 38 minutes in the contest. He helped lead Notre Dame’s second-half comeback scoring 14 points and dishing off seven assists in the second half. Atkins connected on seven-of-13 shots from the field in the contest.
The Irish trailed by as many as 10 points (60-50) with 11:35 remaining in the second half, by Notre Dame countered with a 20-4 run to open up a six-point lead with 4:18 remaining in the contest.
Vasturia came off the bench and played 22 minutes for the second consecutive game (matching his personal best). He scored a career-high nine pointers (hitting three-of-five shots from behind the arc) and grabbed a personal-best four rebounds.
Both Atkins and Vasturia have played extremely well in Notre Dame’s last two outings. Atkins is averaging 24.5 points and nine rebounds while shooting 63.0 percent from the field (17-27) and 54.5 percent (6-11) from the three-point range. Vasturia is averaging 7.0 points and 3.0 rebounds in 22 minutes per game.
“These two guys have been playing extremely well for us the last two games,” Irish head coach Mike Brey says. “Eric’s numbers are off the charts. We need him to continue to be an aggressive scorer for us moving forward.
“I’m so proud of Steve, Brey continues. “He’s been aggressive for us on the offensive end, but what has impressed me most is his rock-solid defense. Steve has earned his minutes with his defensive play.”
Notre Dame (10-4, 1-0) returns to action at Purcell Pavilion on Tuesday evening, Jan. 7 when the Irish play host to the Wolfpack of North Carolina State (10-4, 0-1). The game can be seen on the ACC Digital Network.