Jan. 30, 2013
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - The Notre Dame Fighting Irish got timely second half offense from Cameron Biedscheid and defeated the Villanova Wildcats tonight at the Purcell Pavilion by the final count of 65-60. Villanova drops to 13-8 overall, 4-4 in the BIG EAST while the Fighting Irish improve to 17-4 overall, 5-3 in the conference.
Mouphtaou Yarou set the scoring pace for Villanova with 16 points and six rebounds. Jack Cooley scored the game's first basket as Notre Dame jumped out to a 5-0 lead 90 seconds into the contest before Mouphtaou Yarou dropped in a jumper and added a free throw at 18:25 to shave the gap to 5-3. But the Fighting Irish scored the next four points and built a 9-3 lead before the contest was three minutes old.
The Wildcats, though, peeled off a 13-6 run capped by a nifty post move score by Daniel Ochefu to grab their first lead of the night at 16-15 with 10:54 on the first half clock.
It was Notre Dame's turn to move back in front on the strength of the work of Cooley near the basket. He helped the Fighting Irish craft a 24-21 lead with more than seven minutes to play in the period.
Villanova, though, responded with an 8-0 of its own to re-take the lead at 29-24 with 3:09 left before the half. It took a 31-29 lead at halftime into the locker room.
The Wildcats were paced in scoring by Yarou's nine points and Darrun Hillird, who added seven points. Seven of the eight Villanova players who saw action in the first half collected at least carom, helping VU grab a 15-14 edge in that category over the first 20 minutes.
Cooley set the tempo for Notre Dame with 12 points and five rebounds in the period.
In the second half the Wildcats got three consecutive stops at the defensive end and inched their lead up to 34-29. But the Fighting Irish came right back on a 6-0 run after a 3-point goal by Cameron Biedscheid to reclaim the advantage at 35-34.
Biedscheid scored nine of the Irish's first 12 points of the second half to push Notre Dame out to a 41-39 lead with 13:04 left in the period.
The inside-outside tandem of Cooley and Biedscheid helped Notre Dame ignite the home crowd as it built a 52-46 lead at the 7:26 mark of the second half.
The Wildcats drew back to within 54-51 after an old-school three point play by Yarou but the Irish scored the next five points, with a step-back triple from Eric Atkins near the end of the shot clock giving Notre Dame its largest lead of the night at 59-51 with 3:57 to go.