Feb 2, 2013, 6:21 PM EST
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
- Here's the recap, stats and notes from our OT win over UCLA today in the Bahamas … GO IRISH! und.com/sports/w-baskb… https://t.co/1jrS69vPjQ 1 day ago
- In other news, check out our victory dinner! https://t.co/pcLEijr08O 1 day ago
- And sorry for the delay... We got kicked off the Internet at the gym. Now back at the hotel. Here are stats https://t.co/iTSDJtndom 1 day ago
- Freeport division Champs!!!! https://t.co/1jgV0P21mP 1 day ago
- Freeport MVP @mcable22 !! https://t.co/RkuZZJEvPi 1 day ago
Men’s Basketball on YouTube
- Our final shot comes up short. We bounce back on Wednesday at Illinois at 9:15pm. https://t.co/0YC1h17nKW 11 hours ago
- DJ (@D_Jay24) starting to assert himself - 9pts, 4asts & 2stls in the 2nd half. #17 ND 71 | BAMA 70 2H | 3:11 https://t.co/crpA19O8tY 11 hours ago
- DJ & Steve all over the court right now - combining for 25pts, 9asts & 7rebs so far. #17 ND 64 | BAMA 63 2H | ESPNU https://t.co/9L6BheedaD 11 hours ago
- HERE COME THE IRISH. We were down by 13 & now lead by 1 due to picking up defensive pressure. #17 ND 51 | BAMA 50 https://t.co/jjs4b7WH87 12 hours ago
- After a slow start we've worked our way back in this one. Steve w/12pts, 3rebs VJ w/11pts, 3rebs ZA w/5pts, 6rebs https://t.co/kSCRXpqN7r 12 hours ago