Notre Dame collected what it hopes will be a quality win at season's end today with a 68-62 victory over Iowa in Orlando. (The Irish lost last night to Monmouth, 70-68).
Junior forward VJ Beachem led Mike Brey's squad with 16 points and keyed a 22-10 run near the conclusion of the first half though it was the efforts of the Irish bench that could prove relevant duinr ghat stretch. Matt Ryan, Matt Farrell, and Austin Torres contributed an aggregate 11 points and three assists during the run, with the freshman Ryan hitting a pair of three point shots and Farrell nailing a triple late in the first to give the Irish a 17-point lead.
Notre Dame relinquished its lead midway through the second stanza, falling behind 47-46 but pulled away late with a 9-2 run tin the final four minutes, one that included a trio of layups, each either scored or assisted (2) by Demetrius Jackson.
Junior Steve Vasturia delivered the dagger, nailing a triple behind the arc to give the Irish breathing room, 57-53 at the 3:28 mark. Bonzie Colson scored six of the next eight (including the pair of aforementioned layups on feeds from Jackson) to put the contest on ice.
Colson, Vasturia and Ryan each added 11 points to Beachem's 16-point team high while Jackson pitched in 12 points despite foul trouble. THe Irish won despite an 8 for 25 shooting effort from beyond the arc. (Iowa missed 18 of its 24 long range offerings.) Zach Auguste was limited to four points but collected a game-high 11 boards.
Notre Dame will take on Alabama Sunday in the tournament's loser's bracket.