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Notre Dame Surpasses Last Season Win Total Against Clemson, 69-62

Written by: Jhett Garrett | Writer | Twitter/X: @JhettGarrett

Photo by The Irish Tribune


The Notre Dame Fighting Irish played their final home game of the season this past Saturday in Purcell Pavilion and finished with a win, 69-62. It’s the fifth win in the last six games for the Irish, and they have officially surpassed last season’s win total sitting at 12-17 (7-11).



Markus Burton once again led the way for the Irish with 21 points on 8-16 shooting, while also picking up six rebounds, four assists, and a steal. Burton scored 11 of the first 14 points for Notre Dame before going to the bench with 12:17 left in the first. The Irish scored just three points while he was on the bench in the first half. This is also Burton’s third consecutive game with two or more threes made.


You cannot talk about three-point shooting in this one without talking about Carey Booth who was huge for Notre Dame, knocking down four threes. The 6’10 freshman finished with 11 points while also grabbing five rebounds in 23 minutes of play. It was Booth’s third game this season where he hit two or more threes and the second time he has done it in as many games.


Tae Davis was second on the team in scoring, collecting all 18 of his points in the second half, including a physical finish with 2:09 left in the game. After starting the game 0-2 from the field, Davis knocked down his last five shots.


“Tae’s been unbelievable,” said senior Matt Zona, “We don’t win that game without him.”

The sophomore from Indianapolis also collected five rebounds and a steal. He also finished 8-8 from the free throw line, which was a pivotal part in the Irish win.



In his final home game of his career, senior Matt Zona finished with six points and hit two big threes for the Irish. “It was kind of surreal for me,” said Zona. “Just seeing this place packed was a lot of fun.” Zona is not worried about the direction of the Notre Dame program.


“I think this place is in a really good spot and we’re going to get it going real soon,” Zona said.


Despite not having the most production in this one in the scoring category, Braden Shrewsberry hit a massive three with 1:29 remaining in the game, which put the Irish back up seven. The freshman hit just one shot in the first half and finished 3-10 from the field, and 2-6 from beyond the ark.


Defensively, Notre Dame was elite once again. On the year, Clemson is averaging 78.4 points per game, and shooting 47% from the field. The Irish held them to just 57 points on 39% shooting. The Tiger's second-leading scorer Joe Girard scored for the first time at 13:41 in the second half before scoring eight straight points and finishing with 11 points.


Potential ACC Player of the Year PJ Hall scored nine of the first 11 points for the Tigers on his way to 21 points, and seven rebounds. However, Hall only scored five points in the second half and shot 2-8 from the field. The Irish seemed to disrupt Hall from three-point land, as he finished just 2-9 after hitting two of his first three.


Hall and teammate Chauncey Wiggins scored 22 of the first 30 points for Clemson. Wiggins stepped in for Jack Clark in the starting lineup and came into the game averaging just 6.3 points per game. He finished with 10, scoring eight of those 10 in the first half.


The box scores are very similar for both sides outside of the three-point shooting. Both sides shot 28 threes, however, Notre Dame knocked down 10 to Clemson’s five.



“That’s the difference in the game,” said Clemson Head Coach Brad Brownell, who is from Evansville, Indiana. When asked about coming home, Brownell spoke highly of Indiana and their “genuine love of basketball.” He also mentioned sectional time being a special time of the year in the state.


With this win, the Irish now hold onto sole possession of the 11th seed in the ACC Tournament, which would have them playing Georgia Tech in the first round, whom Notre Dame has already beaten twice this season. They would have to get up to the nine seed to get a bye in the tournament.


“Leave with this feeling right here and know that we’re not going backwards. We’re only going forward from here,” said Head Coach Micah Shrewsberry.


The Fighting Irish will travel to number seven North Carolina on Tuesday before closing out the regular season against Virginia Tech on Saturday in Blacksburg.

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