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The Upsetter Has Been Upsetted: Notre Dame Beats Wake Forest 70-65

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

Photo by The Irish Tribune

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish got back on track this past Tuesday in a win over Wake Forest, 70-65. After losing seven games in a row less than three weeks ago, the Irish have now won four of their last five games and are sitting at 11-17 (6-11 in ACC play) with three games to go.

It was a less-than-desirable game for freshman Braden Shrewsberry, who finished the game 2-9 from the three-point line, and only 11 points. While he was averaging just over 20 points per game over his previous two games, Shrewsberry hit a wall early. Unlike the second-half comeback against Syracuse, he never found his jump shot. However, he hit a massive three with 1:28 left to put the Irish up four.

Markus Burton picked up the slack for Notre Dame, as he finished with a career-high 31 points on 9-15 shooting, four steals, three assists, and a big-time block late in the second half that led to an Irish bucket. He also turned the ball over just one time, as the Irish turned the ball over just six times in the game. The game was taken over by Burton early, scoring 19 points in the first half. He notched his seventh 20+ point game of the season not long after in the second. Burton also finished a perfect 11-11 from the free-throw line, which was a key factor for the Notre Dame victory. As a team, they finished 15-18 from the charity stripe.

“He’s just so tough,” said Notre Dame Head Coach Micah Shrewsberry when asked about Markus Burton. “He just wills us to some wins sometimes. He wills himself to buckets. His total floor game as the season has gone on has really risen, and he’s making guys better.” In his last five games, Burton is averaging 5.4 assists per game.

Carey Booth appeared to find comfortability from the field tonight, as he finished with 15 points on 13 shots from the field, including three threes on nine attempts. He also added two blocks, five rebounds, and a couple of assists. One of those assists was the big-time three to Shrewsberry late in the game. While the shooting numbers can improve, Booth played a pivotal role in the victory, something that all parties involved can enjoy.

There was one player on the roster who had my attention going into this one, and it was sophomore Tae Davis. He has been playing at a high level for the Irish, and it is one of the reasons they have now won four of their last five. Davis finished with 11 points, and six rebounds, and knocked down a bucket with 25 seconds remaining that put Notre Dame back up two possessions.

The defensive presence from the Irish was on full display in this one, as the Irish held the Deacon’s best player Hunter Sallis to single digits for the first time this season. He finished with just seven points and shot an unusual 2-10 from the field. It was Boopie Miller and Cam Hildreth who picked it up for Wake Forest, as they finished with 14 and 15 points respectively. Despite this, Notre Dame held the Demon Deacons to just 27% shooting from beyond the arc, a team that shoots 37% from that area. It was a slower start however for the Notre Dame defense, giving up 43 points on 61% shooting.

 “We were a little bit late in our rotations,” said Coach Shrewsberry, “which caused us to be late on getting to their three-point shooters.” In the second half, Wake Forest shot just 25% from the field and scored only 22 points. “We just stayed with it and challenged shots.”

The Irish have now tied their win total from last season with 11 and have doubled their ACC win total with six. They have come alive since the seven-game losing streak and have now won four of their last five games.

“You want to be playing your best basketball at the end of the year,” said Coach Shrewsberry. “This is a young team, and it took a little bit of time for us to really gel.”

With Miami being on a seven-game losing streak of their own, the Irish have now moved into 12th place in the ACC and can be tied for 11th should Boston College lose to Virginia on Wednesday.

The Fighting Irish will play their final home game of the season against Clemson this Saturday before traveling to North Carolina and Virginia Tech to close out the season.

1 Comment

Feb 28

I think Coach Micah Shrewsberry, is doing great job of coaching the basketball team. He is very concern about the team and players that great in my book. Let all be thankful that ND has good person takeover our Basketball team. Thanks again Coach Shewsberry glad you are here to stay.

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