HomeBasketballIrish Sweep Yellow Jackets, Start First ACC Win Streak Since 2022

Irish Sweep Yellow Jackets, Start First ACC Win Streak Since 2022


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Notre Dame men’s basketball notched their first back-to-back conference wins of the season with a 58-55 win over the Georgia Tech Yellow Jckets. Following Saturday’s victory over Virginia Tech, Wednesday night’s win over the Yellow Jackets (10-15, 3-11 ACC) marked the first time the Irish (9-16, 4-10 ACC) have defeated consecutive ACC opponents since beating Syracuse and Georgia Tech on Feb. 23 and 26, 2022, respectively.

It was a back-and-forth game throughout, featuring five ties and nine lead changes. As per usual, Notre Dame’s offense was a collective effort — in the sense that freshman point guard Markus Burton can’t possibly score every point for an offense that seemingly wants him to do so. So, like scavengers, the rest of the roster found buckets where they could in another low scoring affair.

Fortunately for Burton and the Irish, sophomore forward Tae Davis bounced back from two games in which he went a combined 2-8 from the field. He had nine points in the first half, including a banked-in three-pointer, as Burton chipped in seven to help the Irish build a 31-28 lead at intermission.

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The second half unfolded similarly. Burton and Davis continued to pace Notre Dame as Northwestern transfer Julian Roper II, Penn State transfer Kebba Njie and redshirt sophomore JR Konieczny also got in on the action. But after the score was tied at 49-49 with 7:28 left in the contest, the Irish packed in their defense and played the game in a pressure cooker.

A timely jumper from Konieczny gave the Irish the lead at 54-53. A couple of minutes later, with no change in score, the Irish ran a beautiful out of bounds play from half-court with 3.5 seconds left on the shot clock: Davis inbounded to Njie and immediately got the ball back before driving the lane and finishing over his defender for a 56-53 Notre Dame lead.

After an agonizingly long official delay to deal with a shot clock issue, the Irish got a stop. but immediately turned the ball back over as Davis stepped out of bounds while under pressure. One Georgia Tech screen-and-roll later and it was a one-point game with an eight-second difference between the shot clock and game clock.

Burton dribbled down the clock before pulling up for a mid-range jumper that bounced off the rim, but Njie managed to tap the ball out to freshman guard Logan Imes. Notre Dame played hot potato until Burton was fouled with 1.2 seconds left. He converted both free throws to rebuild a three-point advantage.

Georgia Tech’s half-court heave bounced off to seal Notre Dame’s second consecutive win. The Irish finished with a season-high 20 second chance points and out-shot the Yellowjackets 22-11 at the free throw line, converting 17 compared to Tech’s 6 makes at the stripe. The gritty offensive approach made up for a 5-26 (19%) performance from three by Notre Dame.

This win completes the season sweep of the Yellow Jackets and marks one more conference victory than the Irish managed last season. It’s an objectively low bar to clear, but also a sign of progress in head coach Micah Shrewsberry’s first year rebuilding the program.

Notre Dame has a legitimate chance to stretch the winning streak to three with a trip to play Louisville Wednesday, Feb. 21. The matchup with the Cardinals (8-17, 3-11 ACC) tips off at 7 p.m. EST on ESPNU.

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