Sweet 16 Bid Bogs Down In Buffalo

The Irish turn it over 10 times in the first half and shoot just 40.7 percent from the field in 83-71 season-ending loss.

BUFFALO, N.Y. – Notre Dame was down by 10 before the first media timeout.

They never fully recovered.

Trailing for the final 38:52, Notre Dame’s bid for its third straight Sweet 16/Elite Eight appearance fizzled on another snowy day in Buffalo as No. 3 seed West Virginia claimed a 83-71 victory in Buffalo’s KeyBank Center.

West Virginia (27-8) advances to the Sweet 16 in San Jose, Calif. to take on the winner of No. 1 seed Gonzaga vs. No. 8 seed Northwestern.

Notre Dame’s season ends with a 26-10 record.

With the Irish down by seven at half, Bonzie Colson picked up his third foul less than a minute-and-a-half into the second half, and his fourth with 9:47 remaining. He stayed in the game and finished with a game-high 27 points on 10-of-15 shooting.

Notre Dame – averaging just 9.3 turnovers per game -- turned it over 10 times in the first half after avoiding double-digit turnovers in each of the previous nine games. The Irish finished with 14 turnovers

West Virginia’s Jevon Carter scored 13 of his team-high 24 points in the first half as the Mountaineers built a 42-35 lead. Four West Virginia players finished in double figures, including Daxter Miles Jr. with 18 points.

West Virginia, a 68 percent free-throw shooting team on the year, converted all seven of their first-half attempts and finished 21-of-26 (80.8 percent). The Mountaineers made 8-of-14 three-pointers. The Irish converted just 10-of-28 from beyond the arc.

Notre Dame missed its first five shots, West Virginia hit four of its first seven, including a pair of three-pointers, and by the 16:50 mark of the first half, the Mountaineers had a 10-0 lead.

The Irish countered with an 11-4 run, including seven straight on a pair of Martin Geben free throws, a three-pointer by Farrell, and a pull-up, drifting jumper by Farrell.

West Virginia extended its lead to 11 points, but the Irish kept chipping away. A three-pointer by Vasturia and two free throws by Gibbs – despite his dribbling problems – pulled the Irish to within three at the final TV timeout of the first half, the closest the Irish had been since the first two minutes of the game.

Notre Dame’s only basket of the final five minutes of the first half was a Rex Pflueger two-pointer on a West Virginia goal tend.

Vasturia finishes his Notre Dame career with 1,400 points, good for 22nd on the all-time Notre Dame list. Beachem’s stint with the Irish closes with 1,215 points for 40th on the Irish all-time list. Beachem shot just 3-of-23 in the NCAA tournament.


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