Feb 2, 2013, 6:21 PM EDT
On Saturdays this past fall, the Notre Dame football team fought through it difficult schedule unscathed. But week after week, media members talked and wrote about how the Irish did not win with “style points.”
On this, a frigid Saturday in early February, it was the Notre Dame men’s basketball team that gutted out a tough 79-71 overtime road win against DePaul. The Irish led by as many as 12 points early in the second half, but the Blue Demons fought back to tie, and then take the lead, late in the game.
With the game knotted at 70, Notre Dame held for the last shot, but Jerian Grant missed just before the buzzer.
Fortunately, point guard Eric Atkins took control in overtime, hitting a three from the corner and making four free throws as the Irish outscored the Blue Demons, 9-1 during the period.
On paper, Notre Dame (18-4 overall, 6-3 BIG EAST) probably should have turned that 12-point second half lead into a 20-point victory against DePaul (10-11, 1-7). But I think it’s become obvious over the years in the BIG EAST, and especially this season, no game is going to come easy.
Louisville looked like a sure-thing #1 seed, and then lost three consecutive conference games. Likewise, Syracuse has now dropped games on back-to-back Saturdays. The BIG EAST race is wide open, and every night is going to be a battle for every team.
Playing less than 15 miles from his high school, Jack Cooley was a dominant force all afternoon. The senior forward scored 26 points and pulled down 16 rebounds, good for his 14th double-double of the season and the 27th of his career.
After the game, head coach Mike Brey spoke to his team’s toughness in finding a way to get the victory.
“That’s a great win for us,” Brey said. “DePaul played so hard and so well. What a great college atmosphere. Their fans, our fans were fabulous.”
With the victory, Brey moved into a tie with former St. John’s head coach Lou Carnesecca for fourth place on the BIG EAST all-time wins list. His conference record is now 139-92 (.602) and he is one of 10 coaches in BIG EAST history with 100 wins.
The Irish will stay in Rosemont, Ill. this evening, before heading to central New York tomorrow. They will take on #6 Syracuse (18-3, 6-2) on Monday night in the Carrier Dome, in a game that’s shaping up to a great one. Watch it live on ESPN at 7 pm ET.
About In The Paint
Women’s Basketball on YouTube
- Congrats to @NDSoccer's Liz Tucker on being named the 2014 NCAA Woman of the Year! Proud to have such a great representative of ND!🍀🍀🍀💚💚💚 2 hours ago
- 17 more days till our first exhibition game! 🍀 7 hours ago
- Good morning! Have a blessed day! Love Thee Notre Dame🍀🍃🍁🍂 http://t.co/23q35YCwE7 14 hours ago
- RT @camroberson15: We are ND. Still the best school there is. Proud of the way we fought. http://t.co/xqojoqy98y 14 hours ago
- RT @LA_Cruisen: Still so proud of my boys!!! 🍀🍀🍀 #NDFB #LoveTheeNotreDame 1 day ago
Men’s Basketball on YouTube
- Hey @NDFootball, hands up on defense! Keep up the pressure! #NDvsFSU http://t.co/fOP6jpyjcK 1 day ago
- We are all behind you @NDFootball! Even Florida State's AD is a @FightingIrish fan. It's 1981 alum Stan Wilcox! 1 day ago
- As our guys leave for Fall Break, take a few minutes to see @NDMikeBrey take a break in the summer @ @ChicagolndSpdwy: youtube.com/watch?v=2veDpv… 2 days ago
- While you watch 1993 #NDFBClassics vs FSU @ 8pm on WatchND.tv/classics - remember Monty averaged 22.4ppg that year http://t.co/rZAJi1WAT2 3 days ago
- Coach Brey's @Orioles may have lost in ALCS, but don't worry, @PConn_24 will help get them to the World Series soon! http://t.co/lCMSvxXZo6 4 days ago
- Football. Notre Dame vs. Florida State - Postgame Notes
- Football. No. 5 Irish Fall to No. 2 Florida State, 31-27
- M. Ice Hockey. Irish Hand Lake Superior State A 5-1 Loss To Sweep Weekend Series
- W. Tennis. Survive And Advance: Solid Irish Saturday At Midwest Regionals
- M. Tennis. Schnurrenberger Leads Strong Irish Day Three At USTA/ITA Midwest Regionals