Down by 16 in the second half, Notre Dame rallied to comeback and win against Wichita State 67-66 in the Maui Invitational Championship. The Irish completed an ultimate comeback with two free throws in the final seconds to seal the deal.
First Half Summary
The opening half unlike every other win for Notre Dame was not their best performance only tallying 23 points at the break. The first half started out competitive for both sides, each making the first look they received in the opening minute. Right around 5 minutes in, the Irish offense and defense crumbled where the Shockers took over which a huge 28-17 scoring run which gave them a 37-23 halftime lead over the lost Irish team.
Second Half Summary
In the final half of action, Notre Dame completely flipped the switch with a huge scoring outburst and a great defense to hold Wichita State in check en route to a victory. The Irish started out the half on a 16-9 run which cut into the deficit, with a Shockers lead down to 46-39. Notre Dame would spend the rest of the half clawing their way back, within just a few points down the stretch. They would not find their first lead of the half until the final second where Martinas Geben was the hero, knocking down both free throw attempts to give Notre Dame a 1-point lead. Rex Pflueger stole the ball on Wichita State’s final possession which capped off the victory.
Top Individual Performances
Bonzie Colson: 25 Points (9/17 FG, 1/4 3P, 6/10 FT), 11 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals, 2 blocks, 35 minutes
Matt Farrell: 15 Points (6/14 FG, 2/4 3P, 1/1 FT), 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals, 39 minutes
Martinas Geben: 12 Points (5/5 FG, 2/2 FT), 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks, 25 minutes
The main reason Notre Dame won is that they put up yet again solid shooting numbers for the third consecutive game. Having to play three games in three days is a huge challenge for any team, and the Irish handled it well winning the Maui Invitational Championship. For the numbers, they shot 25-51 (49.0%) on field goals, 4-12 (33.3%) from deep, and 13-17 (76.5%) from the charity stripe.
Rebounding always comes hard, even for the winning team. This was one area where the Shockers slightly outplayed the Irish. Notre Dame had 29 total rebounds, with 7 on offense and 22 on defense. Wichita State recorded 32 total with 12 on offense and 20 on defense. Most times, the winning team wins the Battle for Boards and that was not the case for Notre Dame. Still, it was an exceptional performance, led by Bonzie Colson who had eleven.
Everywhere else on the board, Notre Dame assisted 13 times, stole the ball 6 times, blocked 5 shots, only committed 9 turnovers, and fouled 14 times. They were the better team in pretty much every area over Wichita State. The Shockers dished out 17 assists, swiped the ball only 3 times, only rejected 4 shots, committed 10 turnovers, and fouled 16 times.
Notre Dame will have a nice long break, not returning to action until next Thursday when they face a very talented Michigan State team in East Lansing. That game against the tough opponent will tipoff at 7:00 PM Eastern on ESPN.