No. 22 Notre Dame outlasts No. 21 Mountaineers
South Bend, IN (Sports Network) – Russell Carter scored 19 points, as 22nd-
ranked Notre Dame built a double-digit lead in the second half before holding
on for a 61-58 victory over No. 21 West Virginia.
Colin Falls added 14 points and Rob Kurz pulled down 11 rebounds for the
Fighting Irish (14-2, 2-1 Big East), who rebounded from a 66-48 setback at
Georgetown on Saturday. That defeat snapped a 12-game winning streak.
Luke Harangody tallied 11 points for Notre Dame, which has beaten West
Virginia in 12 of the last 13 matchups.
“It’s huge, but I think this team is different because we expect to win these
games,” Falls said. “There’s no hangover from last year. We’re expecting to
win these games. We were up by 10 most of the second half and then they threw
some shots in, but we weren’t going to let that faze us. We made a good
defensive stop at the end to win the game.”
Alex Ruoff had 14 points for the Mountaineers (13-2, 3-1), who had their
eight-game winning streak broken.
Frank Young scored 13 for West Virginia, but he failed to get off a potential
tying three-pointer before the final buzzer sounded.
“I’m not one to really force my shots,” Young said. “I try to get my shots in
the flow of the offense, but Russell Carter did a real good job of pressuring
me and not letting me get any open looks. It was hard to get shots off because
even when I would try to basket they would cut me off.”
A pair of free throws by Kurz extended Notre Dame’s lead to 61-55 with 20.1
seconds left, but Young hit a three-pointer with 5.1 seconds remaining.
Kurz then missed the front end of a 1-and-1 with 3.9 seconds to go, and Young
dribbled up the court, but facing a double team on the right side, couldn’t
release the ball before time expired.
Da’Sean Butler finished with 10 rebounds for West Virginia, which fell behind
42-31 with under 14 minutes left before rallying.
A three-pointer by Ryan Ayers moved the Irish to a 16-10 lead midway through
the opening half, but WVU rallied to grab a 19-18 edge.
Notre Dame though responded to end the half with a 13-2 spurt. A dunk by
Carter represented the final points of the half, as the Irish led 31-21.
Notre Dame owns a commanding 23-8 advantage in the all-time series…Falls
went 4-of-7 from three-point range…The Irish shot 53.5 percent from the
field, compared to 37.7 for WVU.