National Basketball Association
Notre Dame 71, Louisville 66
When: 4:00 PM ET, Saturday, February 13, 2016
Where: Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center, South Bend, Indiana
# Tim Clougherty, # Tim Comer, # Lamont Simpson
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Notre Dame found a way to turn the tables Saturday on No. 13 Louisville.
The Irish came in as the best offensive team in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Cardinals had the league's best defense.
"I told our guys I'd like the story (from the game) to be about our defense," Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said.
Irish players penned quite a piece in the second half.
Notre Dame limited Louisville to 23 second-half points and the Irish (18-7, 9-4 ACC) came back from a double-digit deficit for a 71-66 victory over the Cardinals (19-6, 8-4).
"It was a tale of two halves," Louisville coach Rick Pitino said. "You have to give Notre Dame a lot of credit. They played a great second half, and we played a great first half. I thought defense was really good the first half and then not good in the second half.
"One of the problems with young players is that when your shot's not going down, you don't play great defense. We had a few bad breaks in the game and they took advantage of it. I give them a lot of credit."
Notre Dame junior guard Demetrius Jackson scored 20 of his 27 points in the first half. Irish junior guard Steve Vasturia had 15 of his 20 points in the final 20 minutes and senior center Zach Auguste had 11 points and 12 rebounds as Notre Dame won the battle of the boards 41-29.
Senior guard Damion Lee led Louisville with 13 points. He was backed up by 12 points from sophomore guard Quentin Snider and 11 from senior guard by Trey Lewis.
Louisville led by as many as 11 points with 15:43 left to play, but the Cardinals went through a stretch of more than six minutes late in the game without scoring.
"I think in the first half we played good basketball, had good ball movement," Snider said. "I thought in the second half when we went in the zone, we couldn't score. We missed shots."
A 3-pointer by V.J. Beachem with 5:16 left gave Notre Dame the lead it never relinquished. Up 65-63, the Irish used defense and their methodical but effective approach to offense to seal the deal.
"We were just attacking and going downhill, trying to create for ourselves and for others," Jackson said. "With that zone and with their defense, we had a lot of opportunities to attack. We just wanted to take advantage of that and not be passive; we just stayed within ourselves and played a hard game with getting to the bucket and attacking."
Louisville came at the Notre Dame with four big bodies, but the Irish refused to back down.
"We weren't in a great position in the first half," Auguste said. "We were a little bit lackadaisical offensively and defensively. Bonzie (Colson, who had 10 rebounds) and I had to take responsibility in the second half to make sure that we had second opportunities and that we were aggressive on both ends of the floor. We love to go out and compete on the highest level."
Louisville had an opportunity to tie the score with five seconds to play. Trailing by three, Lee hurried his shot and took an off-balance 3-pointer from the left side that didn't come close.
NOTES: The last time Louisville paid a visit to Notre Dame's Purcell Pavilion, it took a little longer than normal for an outcome to be determined. The game, played on Feb. 9, 2013, lasted five overtimes - the longest game in Notre Dame history - and the Irish escaped with a 104-101 victory. ... Louisville started this week with a 72-65 loss at Duke. The Cardinals hadn't lost back-to-back games all season. ... Cardinals F Damion Lee came into the game needing 78 points to reach 2,000. That included three years at Drexel for the graduate transfer. ... With the NBA on hiatus for its All-Star break, former Irish players Jerian Grant (New York) and Pat Connaughton (Portland) were back to see their alma mater. ... Before the game, there was a moment of silence remembering Ingrid Williams, a Notre Dame grad and wife of former Irish All-American Monty Williams, who was killed in an auto accident in Oklahoma City Tuesday, as well as Johnny Lattner, Notre Dame's 1953 Heisman Trophy winner, who died Saturday.
Top Game Performances
Damion Lee 13
Demetrius Jackson 27
Quentin Snider 4
Demetrius Jackson 5
Raymond Spalding 5
Zach Auguste 12
Quentin Snider 5
||Free Throws Made
Demetrius Jackson 7
Damion Lee 2
V.J. Beachem 2
Chinanu Onuaku 4
Bonzie Colson 2
Team Stats Summary