Senior wing V.J. Beachem scored 27 points to lead Notre Dame to an 81-72 win at NC State on Saturday in Raleigh, N.C.
The Irish improved to 21-7 overall and 10-5 in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Head coach Mike Brey’s team now has a week off before their final three games of the regular season.
Notre Dame led by as many as 23 points early in the second half against the Wolfpack (14-14, 3-12). NC State shot 64.3 percent from the field after halftime, though, to cut the Irish lead to seven. The gap was closed with poor shooting by the Irish — they went the final four minutes without a field goal — and NC State making 12 of its final 13 field goals.
"I felt they’d make a run," Brey told ESPN after the game. "It’s a great win for us because we had to hold them off."
The Irish shot 59.3 percent from the field in the first half en route to 41 points while holding NC State to 28 points.
Beachem shot 10-of-16 from the field, making 7-of-12 3-pointers. It’s the most 3-pointers made in an ACC game by a Notre Dame player.
"He has continued to play well down the stretch for us," Brey said. "The closer it gets to March the better he plays."
The Irish shot 13-of-30 from 3-point range Saturday. NC State was just 3-of-14.
Notre Dame junior forward Bonzie Colson added 13 points and seven rebounds. Junior guard Matt Farrell had 11 points and eight assists.
Notre Dame held NC State star freshman point guard Dennis Smith Jr. to 16 points, under his season average of 19.0 a game.
NC State was playing two days after the school announced the firing of head coach Mark Gottfried, who is finishing out the season.