SOUTH BEND, Ind. — No. 12-ranked Notre Dame, the nation’s top field-goal shooting team, flipped the switch from frigid to torrid and sprinted past Miami (Fla.), 75-70, on Saturday in an Atlantic Coast Conference basketball game.
Notre Dame trailed, 43-31, with 15:06 left in the second half, and had hit only 2-of-16 shots from 3-point range. The Fighting Irish then hit four consecutive 3-pointers to trigger a 21-7 run.
Notre Dame is 17-2 for the first time since the 1978-79 season, and at 5-1, the Irish are off to their best conference start (Big East or ACC) since 2002-2003.
The Irish play at Virginia Tech on Thursday.
Miami, which upset No 4 Duke, 90-74, on Tuesday, is 12-5, 2-2. The Hurricanes host North Carolina State on Thursday.
Senior guard Jerian Grant paced the Irish with 23 points, and junior guard Sheldon McClellan led Miami with 16 points.
Notre Dame torched the Miami 12-point lead in 4:44. The Irish hit 7-of-12 from behind the arc after the 2-of-16 start from 3-point range.
Irish sophomore guard Demetrius Jackson blasted off in the lane for a stunning airborne putback to tie the score, 50-50, with 10:22 left in the game.
Sophomore guard Steve Vasturia’s one-handed jumper in the lane gave Notre Dame its first lead, 52-50, at the 9:30 mark of the second half, and stretched the run to 21-7.
Zach Auguste, a 6-foot-10 junior forward, who missed Wednesday’s 62-59 victory at Georgia Tech because of an academic issue, returned on Saturday with 15:53 left in the first half.
Freshman forward Bonzie Colson, who scored 10 points and four rebounds, started for Notre Dame in Auguste’s place.
Miami led by eight points, with 7:31 left in the first half, but the Irish closed to a 30-29 halftime score.
Miami shot only 11-of-31 (36 percent) in the first half, but the Hurricanes limited Notre Dame to 11-of-27 shooting (41 percent), including 2-of-13 from 3-point range.
NOTES: Tommy Hawkins, Notre Dame legend and former Lakers star, was inducted into the Notre Dame basketball Ring of Honor at halftime. … Hawkins played at Notre Dame from 1956-59, and his achievement of 1,318 career rebounds is the longest standing record in 109 years of Fighting Irish basketball. … Notre Dame has had nine different players score in double figures this season. … Notre Dame took a 9-8 leads in the all-time series against Miami. … Miami coach Jim Larranaga is one of five ACC coaches with a Final Four appearance. … Larranaga coached George Mason to the 2006 Final Four, the first mid-major to reach in the Final Four in 27 years. … Notre Dame is the third top 15 team Miami has played in its last four games.
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