Louisville comes back to top Irish in OTMar 12, 2011 - 7:14 AM New York, NY (Sports Network) - Preston Knowles scored eight of his 20 points in the final three minutes of regulation, and No. 14 Louisville shut Notre Dame down in overtime to complete a huge comeback, 83-77, over the fourth- ranked Fighting Irish in the Big East Conference Tournament semifinals.
Louisville (25-8) erased a 14-point halftime deficit to win for the sixth time in seven games and earn a meeting with Connecticut in Saturday's tourney final. The Huskies won their fourth game in four days Friday with an overtime decision against Syracuse.
Peyton Siva had 15 points, seven assists and five rebounds before fouling out late in regulation, while Terrence Jennings chipped in 16 points for the Cardinals, who held Ben Hansbrough to 13 points on 3-of-16 shooting.
"The one weakness [Notre Dame] may have is if you can wear 'em out, if you can go to the body for 11, 12 rounds maybe you'll get 'em at the end. That's our only strategy because we couldn't defend them," Louisville head coach Rick Pitino said.
Scott Martin led the Irish with 21 points and eight rebounds. Notre Dame (26-6), having won 12 of 13 games coming in, was looking to solidify a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament but failed to put the game away.
"We wanted to try and get Saturday night here. We've never been to Saturday night," Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said. "Take our hat off to Louisville, they played well especially in the second half, get the pressure on us, second shots hurt us. Tried some man, tried some zone, and we probably couldn't get into a very good offensive rhythm, their defense was very good."
Louisville took its first lead of the game when Siva's three-point play capped an 8-0 run to give the No. 3 seed a 21-20 lead.
Notre Dame, the second seed, scored 10 of the next 12 points to go up 30-23 on a Martin jumper with just under seven minutes remaining in the half.
Siva stopped the run with a bucket, but Tim Abromaitis hit one from long range and converted a three-point play to spark a 16-7 spurt to end the half.
The Cardinals' press defense helped cut the 46-32 halftime deficit to four, 52-48, via Knowles' three-pointer six minutes into second half.
The Irish stayed in front until a five-minute stretch without a field goal opened the door for the Cardinals, whose late 12-2 burst gave them the lead. Knowles' tip-in put Louisville on top 70-68 with 1:49 to play.
Martin got a tough bucket in the lane to fall, only to be countered by Knowles' jumper from the top of the key. Abromaitis was trapped in the backcourt following the basket before finding a streaking Carleton Scott for a tying layup in transition.
Knowles and Hansbrough each missed in the final seconds to send the game to OT.
A pair of free throws from Knowles and Chris Smith put the Cardinals in front for good early in the extra session.
Martin brought the Irish within 78-77 with a layup, but Jennings cleaned up a Knowles miss and Notre Dame missed its final four shots to end any chance at capturing its first tourney title.
Six of the last 10 meetings between these teams have gone to overtime... Louisville won this event in 2009...Abromaitis scored 16 points for the Irish, who shot 27 percent after halftime...Kyle Kuric tallied 14 points for the Cardinals, who owned a 49-35 rebounding advantage.
- LOUISVILLE: 83
NOTRE DAME: 77
Final - OT
Mar 12 12:06 AM
- LOUISVILLE: 72
NOTRE DAME: 72
End of Regulation
Mar 11 11:54 PM
- LOUISVILLE: 32
NOTRE DAME: 46
Mar 11 10:37 PM
- LOUISVILLE: 0
NOTRE DAME: 0
1st Half - 20:00
Mar 11 9:49 PM
- Louisville sophomore Onuaku to undergo heart procedure May 17
- Louisville students' lawsuit against escort is dismissed May 3
- Beachem says he'll be back at Notre Dame for senior season May 1
- Notre Dame's Beachem enters NBA draft, won't hire an agent Apr 12
- Louisville announces more sanctions for men's basketball Apr 6
- Jackson: Meeting with Brey, NCAA play led him to opt for NBA Mar 30
- Notre Dame's Jackson decides to enter NBA draft Mar 29
- Brey: Notre Dame's Jackson has to explore entering NBA draft Mar 28
- Notre Dame can't find one last run to beat North Carolina Mar 28
- North Carolina and Notre Dame know each other well Mar 26
- Wisconsin's road to 3rd straight Final 4 runs through Irish Mar 25
- Notre Dame finally finding March success under Brey Mar 23