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Notre Dame vs Ohio State

No. 3 Ohio State comes back to beat Notre Dame

CBSSports.com wire reports
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NEW YORK -- It looked like Ohio State's winning streak to start the season was over.

The third-ranked Buckeyes were down eight points to Notre Dame with less than 2 minutes to play and their offense was nowhere to be found.

They still had their tough defense and somehow they were able to turn the game completely around and beat the Fighting Irish 64-61 on Saturday night in the BlackRock Gotham Classic at Madison Square Garden.

"I don't really know what happened. It was a big blur," Ohio State senior guard Aaron Craft said. "We never stopped. We never gave up. Guys were running around getting tips and guys made big free throws."

While a few players did come up with big defensive plays, it was mostly one guy who made the free throws for the Buckeyes (12-0).

Lenzelle Smith Jr. scored seven of his nine points in the final 33 seconds -- including going 5 of 5 at the line -- to lead the rally.

"I'm still trying to figure out what happened," Ohio State coach Thad Matta said. "My mind was fixated on if we wanted to foul with the time situation or do we play it out defensively and all of a sudden it was closer and closer and closer and we get the lead. It happened quick, It was a great win."

The Buckeyes went 9:10 without a field goal and at one point were 6 of 21 from the field as Notre Dame (8-4) opened what seemed to be a comfortable lead late.

Jerian Grant hit a 3-pointer as the shot clock was expiring to give the Fighting Irish a 58-50 advantage with 1:54 to play.

"I am so thoroughly disappointed," Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said. "We had such a good chance at such a great win."

The Buckeyes turned up the defensive intensity and they converted consecutive steals into a 58-56 deficit with 40 seconds to go.

Demetrius Jackson made two free throws for Notre Dame a second later.

Smith was fouled taking a 3-pointer and he made all three free throws to bring Ohio State within 60-59 with 32 seconds left.

Steve Vasturia, who was in the game because point guard Eric Atkins had fouled out, missed the front end of a 1-and-1 with 31 seconds left, his first free throw attempt of the season.

Smith scored down low on a nice pass by Craft to give the Buckeyes a 61-60 lead with 16 seconds to go. After a Notre Dame turnover, Smith made two free throws for a 63-60 lead with 9.8 seconds left.

Grant made one free throw with 6.7 seconds left and Craft made one free throw with 3.3 seconds left.

Jackson missed a potential tying 3 as the buzzer sounded.

"They really turned the heat up on us and flustered us. We had a hard time doing anything right," Brey said. "We didn't have Atkins but the other guys should have handled it better."

LaQuinton Ross had 16 points and 11 rebounds for Ohio State while Amir Williams had 13 points and Shannon Scott and Craft both added 10.

Grant had 18 points for Notre Dame, which committed five of its 13 turnovers in the final 2 minutes, while Garrick Sherman had 14 and Pat Connaughton 13.

"I'm a senior and I have to find a way to not turn the ball over when we didn't have our point guard in there," Grant said.

The Buckeyes shot 34.5 percent in the second half (10 of 29, including missing all nine 3-point attempts). They went 9:10 without a field goal in the second half, and that's when Notre Dame opened a 52-44 lead with 5:33 to play.

Williams dunked on the next possession to end Ohio State's long drought.

"They packed that zone in and I don't think we were trusting the system as much as we needed to," Craft said. "We took some bad shots and didn't attack. We were letting the missing offensively affect us defensively and let that get tied together and that's not what good teams do."

Notre Dame opened the second half on a 9-2 run that tied the game at 35. The run was started by a 3-pointer by Atkins, the Fighting Irish's first in seven attempts from beyond the arc.

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Eric Atkins and the Fighting Irish can't believe they let a late eight-point lead slip away at the Garden. (USATSI)
Eric Atkins and the Fighting Irish can't believe they let a late eight-point lead slip away at the Garden. (USATSI)

 
Scoreboard
Notre Dame (8-4)263561
Ohio State #3 (12-0) «333164
ND:J. Grant 18 Pts
ND:P. Connaughton 8 Reb
ND:J. Grant 4 Ast
OHIOST:L. Ross 16 Pts
OHIOST:L. Ross 11 Reb
OHIOST:S. Scott 6 Ast
 
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
Notre DameOhio State
ND
Jerian Grant
OHIOST
LaQuinton Ross
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
183416111
Notre Dame Fighting Irish
J. Grant, G387-113-534418
P. Connaughton, G-F376-110-081213
E. Atkins, G363-63-421510
D. Jackson, G341-62-23135
G. Sherman, C336-122-461414
T. Knight, F120-21-32001
Z. Auguste, F80-30-05000
S. Vasturia, G20-00-10000
P. Crowley, GDid Not Play
C. Biedscheid, FDid Not Play
A. Burgett, FDid Not Play
E. Katenda, FDid Not Play
V. Beachem, FDid Not Play
A. Torres, FDid Not Play
Totals 23-5111-192981861
 45.1%57.9% 
Ohio State Buckeyes
A. Craft, G373-54-633310
L. Ross, F357-161-3111316
S. Scott, G323-82-236210
L. Smith Jr., G292-65-53129
A. Williams, C286-101-260213
S. Thompson, F212-62-23026
T. McDonald, C70-00-00130
A. Della Valle, G70-30-02010
M. Loving, F40-10-01000
A. Goldstein, GDid Not Play
J. Lorbach, FDid Not Play
K. Williams, GDid Not Play
Totals 23-5515-2032121864
 41.8%75.0% 
ACC
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-L
Virginia16-230-7
Syracuse14-428-6
Duke13-526-9
N. Carolina13-524-10
Pittsburgh11-726-10
Clemson10-823-13
Florida St.9-922-14
N.C. State9-922-14
Maryland9-917-15
Miami (Fla.)8-1117-16
Wake Forest7-1217-16
Georgia Tech7-1216-17
Notre Dame6-1315-17
Boston College4-158-24
Va. Tech2-179-22

Big Ten
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-L
Michigan15-328-9
Wisconsin12-630-8
Michigan St.12-629-9
Nebraska11-719-13
Ohio St.10-825-10
Iowa9-920-13
Minnesota8-1025-13
Illinois7-1120-15
Indiana7-1117-15
Penn St.6-1216-18
Northwestern6-1214-19
Purdue5-1315-17
 
Other games
GTOWN 64 Final
KANSAS 86
BELMONT 80 Final
UK 93
UMASS 55 Final
FSU 60
GONZAG 62 Final
KSU 72
MIST 92 Final
TEXAS 78
RIDER 67 Final
NOVA 88
FRESNO 49 Final
FLA 66
DAVID 85 Final
UNC 97
ILL 65 Final
MIZZOU 64
LOU 85 Final
FIU 56
SEMO 65 Final
MEMP 77
MCNSE 36 Final
SDSU 65
BYU 96 Final
ORE 100
OKLAST 78 Final
COLO 73