Atkins, Irish pull off upset in LouisvilleJan 8, 2012 - 1:28 AM Louisville, KY (Sports Network) - Eric Atkins hit a pull-up jumper and knocked down a pair of free throws in the final minute of the second overtime to lift Notre Dame to a 67-65 win over 11th-ranked Louisville.
With the game tied at 63-63 Atkins shook a defender and drove towards the basket but pulled up 15 feet away and buried a jumper with just 15 seconds left to give the Irish (10-6, 2-1 Big East) the lead.
The Cardinals' (13-3. 1-2) Peyton Siva then took the ball up the court and drove to the basket before he had his shot swatted away by Scott Martin. Atkins corralled the loose ball and was fouled. He hit both free throws to put the Irish up 67-63 with just three seconds left.
"We got great team defense. We had active hands. We got some turnovers. The lane was clogged and that helped us," Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said.
Louisville's Russ Smith attempted a three in a last second effort but his shot fell short. It was tipped in by Rakeem Buckles, but it wasn't enough as the Irish held on to win by two.
Jack Cooley led the Irish in scoring with 18 points and also pulled down 10 rebound. Jerian Grant finished with 17 and Atkins tallied 15, including the final six points of the game.
Chane Behanan and Kuric each had 17 points and 10 rebounds and Gorgui Dieng poured in 11 points and pulled down seven boards for the Cardinals.
"They average nine turnovers a game. Nobody turns them over because they are an excellent passing team," Louisville coach Rick Pitino said. "We didn't mind that. Where we broke down was on the pick and rolls they beat us on the switch."
Down by one, 57-56, with 11 seconds left in the first overtime, Kuric was fouled as he attempted a three. After knocking down the first two free throws, Kuric's final shot fell off the rim. Atkins grabbed the rebound and went the length of the court before he was fouled with just 3.7 seconds remaining.
Atkins missed the first free throw before knocking down the second to knot it up at 58. The Cardinals had one more chance to win the game, but the Irish pressure was too much and the buzzer sounded before Louisville could even get a shot off.
Louisville had 28-24 lead at halftime, but an 11-4 Notre Dame run put the visitors ahead by three, 35-32.
The Cardinals responded with a 10-1 burst to take a 42-36 edge with 8:10 left in regulation.
A Behanan free throw with 4:23 left put the Cardinals up 48-42, but a free throw from both Atkins and Joey Brooks pulled the Irish within four.
Grant then buried a trey with 1:23 left to cut the deficit to one. Grant had the ball on the wing took one step towards the basket before crossing over and pulling up for three.
Notre Dame fouled Behanan and he knocked down a pair of free throws to go up 50-47.
Atkins then came down the court and drilled a three with a hand in his face to tie the game with 27 seconds to play.
Following a Cardinals timeout, Siva held out for one final shot. He drove to the hoop and went up with a layup but was called for an offensive foul after knocking over a stationary Martin, forcing the game to overtime.
Notre Dame picked up its first win in the state of Kentucky since 1980...Notre Dame has won three of its last four...Louisville has dropped three of four.
- NOTRE DAME: 67
Final - 2OT
Jan 7 6:35 PM
- NOTRE DAME: 58
End of OT
Jan 7 6:17 PM
- NOTRE DAME: 50
End of Regulation
Jan 7 6:00 PM
- NOTRE DAME: 24
Jan 7 4:50 PM
- NOTRE DAME: 0
1st Half - 20:00
Jan 7 4:06 PM
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