InsideNDSports - Notre Dame men's basketball shoots past Virginia
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Notre Dame men's basketball shoots past Virginia

Notre Dame's Dane Goodwin, center, reacts after hitting a 3-pointer next to Virginia's Kody Stattmann, left, during a 69-65 Irish victory
Notre Dame's Dane Goodwin, center, reacts after hitting a 3-pointer next to Virginia's Kody Stattmann, left, during a 69-65 Irish victory (AP Photo/Robert Franklin)

Notre Dame almost let a good shooting night go to waste.

But the Irish made their last four free throws to secure a 69-65 home victory over Virginia.

Notre Dame only led by three points when Cormac Ryan heaved a desperate pass into the frontcourt that fellow senior guard Dane Goodwin tracked down before being fouled. Goodwin made both free throws only for Virginia's Kihei Clark to respond with a deep 3-pointer with eight seconds remaining.

Then senior guard Prentiss Hubb sealed the Irish victory with two more free throws after being fouled with 4.2 seconds left in the game.

Notre Dame (14-6, 7-2 ACC) won for the 10th time in its last 11 games by shooting well against a typically tough Virginia defense. The Cavaliers (12-9, 6-5) entered Saturday ranked No. 12 in Division I in scoring defense (59.4). Virginia has been vulnerable against the 3-pointer in allowing opponents to shoot 35.3%, which ranks No. 276 in the country.

Notre Dame took advantage of that Saturday night in Purcell Pavilion. The Irish finished 10-of-23 (43.5%) shooting from 3. Goodwin and senior forward Nate Laszewski, who tied for a team-high 16 points, combined for seven 3s. Goodwin hit a team-high four 3s.

"We've not been able to be that efficient offensively against their program, against their defense," Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey said after the win. "I'm really pleased with that. We have 16 assists and we shoot 46% and only turn it over eight times. We've had a hard time playing against that.

"It's a grind playing against that system. We were pretty mentally and physically tough to figure it out tonight."

Graduate forward Paul Atkinson Jr. and freshman guard Blake Wesley each added 14 points to the offensive effort. Atkinson led the Irish in rebounds with nine. Wesley recorded a game-high seven assists.

Notre Dame's accurate shooting allowed it to overcome a 39-26 deficit in rebounds. Virginia turned 12 offensive rebounds into 14 second-chance points. Notre Dame scored zero second-chance points.

The Irish led by as many as 15 with 11:50 remaining in the second half before Virginia closed the gap. Forward Jayden Gardner scored 12 of his game-high 22 points during Virginia's second-half comeback attempt. Clark scored 10 of his 12 points in the final nine minutes.

Notre Dame remained undefeated in nine home games this season by ending a six-game losing streak to Virginia. The Irish will host No. 9 Duke (17-3, 7-2) on Monday (7 p.m. EST on ESPN) just one conference win behind first-place Miami (16-5, 8-2).

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