No. 24 Notre Dame sneaks out of Pittsburgh with a win thanks to senior guard Steve Vasturia.
Trailing 78-77, Vasturia knocked down a three-pointer from the left wing with 2.5 seconds left in overtime to give the Fighting Irish a 78-77 victory over the Panthers. Vasturia, who received a pass from a driving Matt Farrell, pumped faked Pitt’s Sheldon Jeter off his feet and then took a dribble to the right to create some space before launching the game winner in front of the Irish bench. It was Vasturia’s second big triple during the overtime period as he also drained a trey to knot the game at 75-75 with a little more than a minute left.
Vasturia, who struggled with his shot most of the afternoon, finished with 15 points — on 4-of-12 shooting — and five assists. Junior Bonzie Colson led the way for the Irish with 21 points and 14 rebounds, including six on the offensive end, for his conference-leading eight double-double of the season. Farrell added 16 points and 6-foot-10 junior Matt Geben added a season-high 10 points along with nine caroms.
Notre Dame (12-2, 1-0 ACC) has won three of their four ACC openers since joining the conference. But it wasn’t easy. Pittsburgh (11-3, 0-1) led or the game was tied for over 37 minutes of the game.
Pitt opened the game up hot from three-point range, connecting on six of their first nine shots from long-distance as the hosts led 22-11 in the early going. The Panthers pushed their lead 29-19 on a Shelton Jeter jumper with 6:20 remaining in the half. The Irish finally got going on the offensive end, outscoring the Panthers 15-4 over the next 2:58 to take their first lead of the game (32-31) on Vasturia’s first of three-pointers of the game. The Panthers went into halftime with a 36-34 advantage following a bucket by Jeter on an inbounds play.
Pitt tallied 10 of the second half’s first 16 points to extend its lead to 46-40 on a Michael Young layup. Notre Dame responded with another run, this time a 14-6 run to take their first lead of the half (54-52) with 9:35 to go in the game. After the Irish pushed their lead to a game-high eight points (60-52), Pitt answered back with a 15-2 run to re-take the lead (67-62) with under three minutes remaining.
With 26 seconds left, Vasturia stepped to the lane and sunk a pair of free throws to tie the game at 68. Pitt then ran the clock down to four seconds before setting up senior Chris Jones for a clean look at a would be game-winning three-point attempt. However, the Irish’s V.J. Beechum came out of virtually nowhere to knock the shot into the Panthers’ bench with the clock showing 1.2 seconds. Following a timeout, the Panthers had one more chance, but Young’s three-point attempt came up short.
The Panthers scored the first five points of overtime though the Irish battled back once again to tie the game. Jamel Artis’ running leaner gave Pitt a two edge with 43 ticks left overtime. The Panthers got the stop they needed as Vasturia missed with 21 seconds remaining though he was to secure his own rebound. Vasturia scored eight of Notre Dame’s 10 points in overtime.
Pitt’s last second baseball pass was picked of by Beechum, who subsequently missed the front end of a 1-1 foul shot.
Young and Artis combined for 50 points as each had 25 points apiece. Johnson was the only other Panther in double figures with 14. Senior forward Sheldon Jeter tied his season-high with 13 boards.
Notre Dame outshot Pitt 44.9 to 39.5 percent and outscored the Panthers 40-19 in the paint. But the Panthers had the edge in three-pointers (12-9) and rebounds (45-39), including 16-9 on the offensive end. Both teams committed turnovers.
Notre Dame now leads the all-time series against Pittsburgh 32-30.
While an unranked Pitt couldn’t pull off the upset, two other unranked ACC teams did. Virginia Tech took out No. 5 Duke 89-75 in Blacksburg, and Georgia Tech downed North Carolina 75-63 in Atlanta. No. 12 Virginia also lost, falling to No. 20 Florida State (60-58) making it the first time three top-15-ranked ACC teams lost on the same day since Jan. 31, 2015.
Virginia Tech 89, Duke 75
Junior guard Justin Bibbs led six Hokies in double-figures as Virginia Tech (12-1, 1-0) snapped a nine-game losing streak to Duke (12-2 0-1). Bibbs, who entered the contest shooting 36.8 percent from the field, made 6-of-9 shots from the floor– including 4-of-5 from beyond arc.
The Hokies dominated from start to finish, jumping out to a 47-31 halftime lead. The Blue Devils got as close to 52-41 in the second half after a three-pointer by Luke Kennard with 15:29 remaining.
Sophomore guard Luke Kennard led Duke with 34 points, marking the 14th straight game he has reached double-figures and second time he topped the 30-point plateau. Kennard made 11 field goals for the third time this season.
Duke played its first game since suspending star guard Grayson Allen. And it didn’t go well for the Blue Devils. The Blue Devils gave up season highs in points, shooting percentage and three-point shooting percentage. The Hokies shot 61.5 percent (8 of 13) from beyond the three-point arc per ESPN.
Georgia Tech 75, UNC 63
Josh Okogie scored a game-high 26 points in Georgia Tech’s 75-63 win over ninth-ranked UNC. The Yellow Jackets (9-4, 1-0) limited the Tar Heals (12-3, 0-1) to 33.3 percent shooting while also forcing 17 turnovers with a season-high 14 coming off of steals.
Justin Jackson had a team-high 16 points for UNC, which lost for the first time at Georgia Tech in four years.
No. 20 Florida State 60, No. 12 Virginia 58
Sophomore Dwyane Bacon scored a career-high 29 points by converting 6-of-9 three-pointers — including the game-winner with four seconds left — as 20th-ranked Florida State posted a 60-58 victory over 11th-ranked Virginia on Saturday afternoon. The Seminoles (14-1, 2-0) have won 13 straight and are off to the best start in school history.
Kyle Guy, who gave the Cavaliers a one-point lead with 8.8 seconds remaining, led Virginia (11-2, 1-1) with 14 points. Three other Cavs had 10 points.
No. 16 Louisville 77, No. 16 Indiana 62
Donovan Mitchell scored a career-high 25 points and Deng Adel had 17 as sixth-ranked Louisville (12-2) bounced back its loss to Virginia with a convincing 77-62 victory over 16th-ranked Indiana (10-4). Donovan Mitchell scored a career-high 25 points and Deng Adel chipped in with 17.
Clemson 73, Wake Forest 68
Clemson closed the game on a 15-0 run to overcome a five-point in the final five minutes to beat Wake Forest 73-68 on Saturday. Marcquise Reed tallied 21 points to lead the way for the Tigers (11-2, 1-0).
Clemson shot 50 percent and made 6 of 10 three-pointers after halftime, winning at Wake Forest’s Joel Coliseum for only the fourth time since the facility opened in 1989.
John Collins scored 20 points for the Demon Deacons (9-5, 0-2).
Miami 81, North Carolina State 63
Ja’Quan Newton scored 21 points as the Miami defeated North Carolina State 81-63 Saturday.
Davon Reed scored 20 points and Bruce Brown finished with 17 points for the Hurricanes (11-2, 1-0). Kamari Murphy added 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Dennis Smith, Jr. had 21 points to lead the Wolfpack (11-3, 0-1).
[Featured Image by Fred Vuich/ AP Images]