Dance Card Punched?

A resilient Notre Dame team made a final, convincing case for an NCAA bid with an overtime upset victory at Marquette Saturday afternoon.

Carleton Scott hit a buzzer beater at the end of regulation and Tim Abromaitis hit five of six free throws in the final 13 seconds of overtime to give Notre Dame a 63 to 60 win over Marquette at the Bradley Center Saturday afternoon.

The victory moved the Irish to 10-8 in conference and a seventh-place finish in the Big East regular season due to a head-to-head tiebreaking win over like-record Georgetown.

After a Tyrone Nash layup to open the extra session, Notre Dame scored its final 10 points of overtime from the charity stripe (10-14).

Abromaitis led Notre Dame with 18 points but struggled for the third consecutive game from long range, hitting just 1 of 8 shots from beyond the arc. He's hit just 2 of his last 20 three-point attempts after peaking at a 49 percent clip on February 24 to lead the nation in qualifying three-point percentage.

Scott, who nearly transferred in early January, was the game's MVP. In addition to drilling the game-tying three-pointer, the redshirt-junior hit for 14 points and grabbed 13 boards; the second consecutive outing in which the team's former seventh-man has secured 13 rebounds.

Nash hit 7 of 10 free throw attempts en route to 13 points and 9 rebounds (5 offensive) in 37 minutes of action.

Lazar Hayward led the Golden Eagles in his final home game, finishing with 18 points on 8-14 shooting before fouling out in the opening-minute of overtime.

Junior forward Jimmy Butler added 16 points and 8 rebounds while Darius Johnson-Odom netted 12 for Marquette, who finish the season at 11-5 in Big East play with a fifth-place conference finish.

Marquette had won nine of its previous 10 Big East contests. It was Notre Dame's first win at the Bradley Center since 1994.

The Name of the Game: Defense

The matchup was a brutal defensive struggle, with the Irish holding the hosts without a bucket for a 7:35 stretch in the first half and again limiting the Golden Eagles midway through the second, as Marquette managed just one field goal and four points in an 11:08 span.

Notre Dame's 2-3 zone held the nation's No. 4 three-point shooting team to seven points in the final 10:49 of the opening half.

The Irish had scoring issues of their own vs. Marquette's sticky perimeter defense, failing to score for periods of 5:12 and 3:51 in the second half, and 4:18 and 4:11 (the latter with just two free throws) during the opening 20 minutes.

Notre Dame hit a season worst 3 of 21 three-point attempts while Marquette struggled to a 4 of 23 finish from long range.

The teams entered the contest ranked No. 5 nationally, both hitting at a 40.8 percent clip from beyond the arc.

The Irish out-rebounded the hosts, 36-26, including a 12-6 edge on the offensive glass. It was the second consecutive road upset (including Georgetown on February 27) in which the Irish out-rebounded a heavily-favored foe ahead of them in the conference standings.

Saturday afternoon wins by Louisville (11-7) and Georgetown (10-8) resulted in a seventh-place regular season-finish by the Irish on the strength of their aforementioned victory over the Hoyas in D.C.

Irish senior forward Luke Harangody made his first court appearance since injuring his right knee on February 11 at Seton Hall. Harangody played 11 minutes off the bench, hitting two of four shots from the floor while grabbing two rebounds. He was withheld from action for the final 12:42 of regulation and the entire overtime period.

Though he gave the Irish a boost with a three-point play inside at the tail end of a 10-0 run by the Irish late in the first half, he was less effective in the second stanza, as Notre Dame trailed 40-33 when Harangody left the floor for the final time.

Note: IrishEyes will have more on Saturday's victory and Harangody's assimilation into the team's new (and much more consistent) style of play in its player-by-player review to be published Sunday afternoon.


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