NCAAB: Notre Dame uses game-ending flourish to down Bowling Green
JJ Starling scored 14 of his 23 game-high points in the second half while Nate Laszewski added 22 as Notre Dame remained unbeaten with an 82-66 win over visiting Bowling Green on Tuesday night in South Bend, Ind.
The Fighting Irish, with a late game-clinching 17-0 run, are off to a 5-0 start for the first time since the 2017-18 season, when they opened 6-0.
Samari Curtis led Bowling Green (2-3) with 14 points while Rashaun Agee added 13 points and nine rebounds. Leon Ayers III also posted 13 points.
The Falcons were held scoreless for over eight minutes down the stretch, with the drought finally ending when Jackson Watson scored with 11.2 seconds remaining.
The game featured 11 lead changes before Notre Dame took command in the final eight minutes.
Late in the first half, after a powerful block by Agee on Trey Wertz with 1.1 seconds remaining, Bowling Green called a 30-second timeout to set its defense.
But it was Notre Dame that took advantage as Wertz found Laszewski with an inbounds pass for a 25-foot 3-pointer at the buzzer to give Notre Dame a 42-40 halftime lead, marking the ninth lead change of the first half.
Laszewski finished the first half with 17 points for the Irish, aided by a 3-for-5 effort from 3-point range while Agee had 13 points at the half to pace the Falcons.
With the game tied, 46-46, Notre Dame scored the next seven points, with Wertz connecting on a 3 sandwiched around a pair of Starling baskets.
The Falcons answered later with a 7-0 run of their own to take their first lead of the second half, 61-59.
But Notre Dame outscored Bowling Green 23-5 to finish the game. Starling’s driving layup with 9:28 left gave the Irish the lead for good, 63-61.
–Field Level Media