WASHINGTON – What looked like a lost cause turned a loss into one of the most clutch comebacks in Notre Dame basketball history.
Trailing by 16 points with 11 minutes remaining, Notre Dame went on a 14-0 run and eventually took the lead on a three-pointer by V.J. Beachem with 2:34 remaining.
Beachem would hit three key three-pointers, including one in overtime as Notre Dame advanced to the semifinals of the ACC tournament with a 84-79 victory over Duke.
The Irish play No. 1 seed North Carolina Friday at 7:00 p.m. ET.
Four Irish players scored in double figures, led by Zach Auguste’s and V.J. Beachem’s 19 points. Demetrius Jackson scored 13 points while Steve Vasturia and Bonzie Colson each tallied 12.
Duke’s Grayson Allen led all scorers with 27. Matt Jones, not normally one of Duke’s top scorers, aided the cause with 13. Brandon Ingram finished with 16 points.
The No. 4 seeded Irish (20-11) coughed it up 10 times in the first half, including a barrage during a 13-0 Duke run. Notre Dame then turned it over four more times in the first 3:01 of the second half as the No. 5 seeded Duke Blue Devils pulled away to a 16-point lead.
A 14-0 run by Notre Dame turned a 64-48 deficit into a two-point game. Beachem’s three-pointer with 1:05 left in regulation sent the game into overtime.
Leading 35-32 with less than five minutes to go in the first half, the Irish failed to score over the next four-and-a-half minutes as Duke tallied 13 of the final 15 points of the half.
Notre Dame finished with 18 turnovers, but offset it by shooting 50 percent from the field.
To protect their thin lineup from foul trouble, the Blue Devils played a 2-3 from start to finish. Plumlee still picked up his third foul with 8:30 left in the first half. The Blue Devils were trailing by five at the time and eventually took a 10-point lead with Plumlee sitting out the rest of the half.
The Blue Devils managed to keep the Irish at bay despite Plumlee, Chase Jeter and Brandon Ingram all saddled with four fouls midway through the second half. Plumlee eventually fouled out with 3:12 remaining.