DePaul Blue Demons (10-13, 1-9) vs. No. 21 Notre Dame (19-5, 7-4) – Wednesday, February 13th, 6:00 p.m. Central – Notre Dame, Indiana
Television – WCUU – The U Too Chicago, Big East TV Network
Radio – WSCR AM 670
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Notre Dame endured a five-overtime epic thriller to win its last contest.
It only needed one overtime earlier this month to continue its recent success versus Big East foe DePaul.
Having had some time to catch their collective breath, the No. 21 Fighting Irish look for a ninth consecutive victory over the reeling Blue Demons on Wednesday night at South Bend.
Notre Dame (19-5, 7-4) appeared headed for its second straight loss Saturday versus No. 12 Louisville until junior guard Jerian Grant led a 12-4 run in the last 45 seconds of regulation by hitting three straight 3-pointers and converting a 3-point play with 16 seconds left to force overtime. Five overtimes later, the Irish left the Joyce Center with a 104-101 victory.
"It's really something to build on because a lot of guys were part of this," coach Mike Brey said. "I'm very proud of our guys showing a lot of character, a lot of fight.
"Something like this you can build on and we're going to use that to hopefully build our confidence and our toughness."
The longest regular-season game in Big East history featured 26 lead changes and 16 ties. Though the Irish shot 41.6 percent, including 7 of 25 from 3-point range (28.0), they used a total team effort to clamp down and prevail.
"Unbelievable. I'm really proud of my team because many times we were down in the overtimes and kept fighting back," Brey said. "It's one of those magical nights."
It was the second overtime contest in three games for Notre Dame, which needed extra time to pull out a 79-71 win at DePaul (10-13, 1-9) on Feb. 2. The Irish have won eight straight overall against the Blue Demons and five in a row at home.
However, the last thing Notre Dame needs is to come down from such an emotional high and take a step back against a DePaul squad that's trying to avoid losing at least nine straight overall for a fifth consecutive season.
The Irish have won four of five, but are shooting 40.7 percent in the last four. Their 43.5 percent effort against the Blue Demons was the highest of those four games.
Senior Jack Cooley had a season-high 26 points and matched another with 16 rebounds at DePaul, but has scored 21 in two games since. He had 11 and 11 rebounds before fouling out in regulation of Saturday's marathon.
Cooley and Grant, who scored 19 against Louisville, each had 22 points as the Irish shot 59.6 percent in an 84-76 home win over DePaul last season.
Despite its best shooting performance in Big East play (49.2 percent) Saturday, DePaul lost for the 10th time in 11 games, 89-78 at No. 18 Marquette. The Blue Demons have not won since an 83-73 victory at Providence on Jan. 5, but continue to play hard while trying to find what's needed to end their eight-game slide.
"We all have to do a little more," coach Oliver Purnell said. "Everyone has to look in the mirror and do a little more. It's that simple. We have to come back and prepare and fight."
DePaul's Brandon Young (16.6 points per game) had 21 points, six assists and four steals at Marquette. Young scored 15 and Cleveland Melvin (16.3 ppg) added 13 with 10 boards against the Irish this month.
The Last Time
On February 2, 2013 at Allstate Arena, DePaul took Notre Dame to overtime, but couldn’t prevail in the end as the Fighting Irish walked out of Allstate Arena with a 79-71 victory.
DePaul came up short during the overtime period by only managing to score one point during the extra stanza.
Notre Dame was led by a double-double effort from big man Jack Cooley. Cooley racked up 26 points and 16 rebounds to lead all scorers in both categories.
Eric Atkins added 16 points and Jerian Grant chipped in with 10 points for the Irish.
The Blue Demons had some balanced scoring with all five of their starters in double-figures. DePaul junior Brandon Young led the way with 15 points and five assists.
Junior forward Cleveland Melvin recorded a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds. Sophomore Jamee Crockett got off to a great start in the first half and finished with 13 points. Donnavan Kirk added 11 points and seven rebounds, while Charles McKinney chipped in with 10 points including two from three-point range.
Notre Dame Roster
No. Name Ht./Wt. Pos. Yr. Hometown/High School/Last College
0 Atkins, Eric 6-2/182 Guard JR Columbia, MD/Mount Saint Joseph
1 Biedscheid, Cameron 6-7/186 Forward FR St. Louis, MO/Cardinal Ritter College Prep
2 Auguste, Zach 6-10/230 Forward FR Marlborough, MA/New Hampton School
4 Crowley, Patrick 6-3/195 Guard JR Los Gatos, CA/St. Francis
11 Sherman, Garrick 6-10/246 Center SR Kenton, OH/Kenton/Michigan State
14 Martin, Scott 6-8/218 Guard GS Valparaiso, IN/Valparaiso/Purdue
15 Katenda, Eric 6-9/222 Forward FR Paris, France/Sunrise Christian Academy (KS)
20 Burgett, Austin 6-9/214 Forward FR Avon, IN/Avon
22 Grant, Jerian 6-5/202 Guard JR Bowie, MD/DeMatha
24 Connaughton, Pat 6-5/212 Guard/Forward SO Arlington, MA/St. John's Prep
25 Knight, Tom 6-10/258 Forward SR Dixfield, ME/Dirigo
32 Brooks, Joey 6-6/223 Guard SR Houston, TX/Strake Jesuit College Prep
33 Broghammer, Mike 6-9/243 Forward SR Orono, MN/Hopkins
45 Cooley, Jack 6-9/246 Forward SR Glenview, IL/Glenbrook South