PHILADELPHIA - Pick a word to describe what transpired inside the Wells Fargo Center late Saturday and it likely still falls way short.
No words might be able to adequately describe what the Notre Dame
men’s basketball team did in an overtime victory against Villanova.
Down by as many as 20 points in the first half, in which it could do
little right, No. 23 Notre Dame did enough to force overtime, stay
patient with the plan and find a way to win 74-70.
“It is one of the most fun things I’ve ever been around,” said Irish
coach Mike Brey. “This group really believes, but I got on their
(backsides) at halftime and we really found a way.”
Pat Connaughton connected on seven 3-pointers for 21 points and Jack
Cooley added his fourth consecutive double-double with 18 points and
13 rebounds. It was his 10th of his career — all this season. Eric
Atkins added 17 points and five assists.
“Never a doubt,” Atkins said. “Never a doubt.”
I watched the 1st half in despair and thought the Irish lads had regressed to their bad habits. I guess I didn't have the faith that Eric Atkins had. But I'm so thrilled that the ND MBB team rebounded in the 2nd half and OT to win this game on the road. They are now still tied with Marquette for 2nd place in the Big East.