Dane Goodwin's furious rally falls short for Notre Dame at Duke
It wasn’t a win.
But it was memorable in so many ways.
Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey won’t forget what his scuffling team, his somewhat snake-bitten team, gave him in his last visit to Duke’s Cameron Indoor Stadium — one of college basketball’s shrines and where his college coaching career began — before falling, 68-64, in Durham, N.C. on Tuesday night.
The guy who hired him, legendary Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, was in the arena for the first time since his retirement, and saw his former pupil nearly pull off a shocker that would have ranked right up there with every big win Brey has had in 23 years at Notre Dame.
A 10-16 Notre Dame team (2-13 in the Atlantic Coast Conference), had no business making the “Cameron Crazies” sweat one out.
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It had lost three in a row and was 0-6 away from home.
It hasn’t been a typically dominant Duke season (18-8, 9-6) under first-year coach Jon Scheyer, except when it comes to playing in Cameron where the Blue Devils are now 13-0.
And yet, the Irish had a chance in the final seconds, like it has had so often in this season that has produced 10 league losses by single digits, including two by one point, another by two points and one by three points.
“Their record doesn’t show how good they actually are,” said Kyle Filipowski, Duke’s star 7-foot freshman.
You’d think a little luck would kick in at some point.
But it didn’t surface when Duke’s unguarded 6-8 freshman Mark Mitchell lined up a 3-point attempt from the corner with 12 seconds to play and the Blue Devils up a point, 63-62.
He was open because Notre Dame needed some help defense to prevent a driving Jeremy Roach from getting to the basket. When Roach was cut off, he flipped to Mitchell in the corner.
The 36% 3-point shooter averaging 8.6 points a game, and who finished with eight for the night, drilled it to take the air out of ND’s unlikely upset shot.
“We've put ourselves in position (to win) a number of times, especially on the road, but we haven't been able to get over the hump,” Brey said. “I gotta tip my cap to the young man (Mitchell) who made the 3 in the corner, because that's kind of what we wanted to give up. And he made it, so I tip my cap.”
A Ven-Allen Lubin putback of a JJ Starling miss with three seconds left made it 66-64, but after an ND foul on the inbounds play, Tyrese Proctor, a 6-5 freshman, made both free throws to end it.
Notre Dame trailed for 33:06, was down by 14 at 42-28 with 15:31 to play and couldn’t locate any offense.
Then, on a day Dane Goodwin didn’t start for the first time this season, the 6-6 grad student had a stretch to remember.
Starting with a 3-pointer with 12:35 to play to get the Irish to within 44-38, Goodwin, averaging 11.6 points a game, went on a personal 17-point run.
The points came on a variety of shots, mostly creative maneuvers and fadeaway short jumpers in the lane against the taller Blue Devils. Because of his work, Duke led only 34-32 in points in the paint.
“The way that thing was clicking off, I'm thinking like, ‘We may just get this back and throw it in at the buzzer,’” Brey said. “And I've been on both ends of those. It was just a weird game.
“We were on the verge of getting throttled. And, of course, Dane — I guess I should have brought him off the bench earlier in the season. That was unbelievable from him. He was amazing. And what a great atmosphere my last time in here coaching. I mean, just an awesome, great atmosphere.”
Goodwin’s last points of the night, a fadeaway in the lane at the 4:27 mark to keep the Irish close at 56-52, was his season-high 24th and 25th.
There were some other late clutch shots, including back-to-back 3s by Cormac Ryan and Starling, the latter with 1:27 to go that put the score at 62-20.
A free throw by Roach at the 55-second mark was followed by Starling’s drive to set up the final 36 seconds of the game.
Duke is not a gifted offensive team. It came in ranked 224th in the country at 43.8% from the field and 255th in 3-point percentage at 32.6.
But the potential is there and developing freshman Filipowski is the key. He didn’t score in the loss against Virginia, but the Irish couldn’t stop him.
Averaging almost 15 points a game, he slammed the Irish with 22 points on 9-for-16 shooting from the field and ruined the day for 6-10 Nate Laszewski who was in foul trouble throughout trying to guard him.
Coming off a 33-point performance in Saturday’s loss to Virginia Tech, the grad student managed just five points, 10 under his average, and played just 26 minutes before fouling out with 2:17 to play.
For the fourth straight game, Lubin was in double figures with 10 points. He had half of Notre Dame’s eight offensive rebounds.
In fact, Notre Dame held its own on the boards surprisingly well, with Duke collecting 37 — nine on the offensive end — to 34 for ND.
Goodwin went 11-for-13 from the field to make up for a lot of others who struggled most of the night. Starling, Ryan, Marcus Hammond, Laszewski and Trey Wertz went a combined 11-for-41 against a man-to-man Duke defense ranked 42nd in the country in scoring defense (64.3 points per game) and 64th in field goal defense (41.5%). The Irish finished at 42.6%.
Both teams took care of the ball well. Notre Dame had 10 turnovers to Duke’s eight, about five under its average.
Notre Dame’s offense will be greatly tested again when it visits defensive-minded, co-league leader Virginia at noon EST on Saturday.
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