Elmont, NY—-The Fighting Irish lived up to its moniker, Notre Dame went to the wire with St. Bonaventure but came up a little short.
Kyrell Luc poured in 16 points, Chad Venning (14) and Yann Farell chipped in 11 points and St. Bonaventure (4-2) led throughout the game handing Notre Dame (5-1) its first loss, 63-51, on Friday in the Gotham Classic at the UBS Arena in Elmont, New York.
The Bonnies won their third straight and drained 10 shots beyond the arc which the Irish couldn’t recover from.
ND faced its largest deficit of the season, going down 13 points early, but continued to fight back. There were three times in the second half in which Notre Dame trimmed the lead to either seven or eight points and each time St. Bonaventure responded with a trey.
Freshman Ven-Allen Lubin was real impressive in his first collegiate double-double, garnering 10 points and a season high 13 boards. Nate Laszewski was the lone other Irish player joining Lubin in double figures with 11 points. The grad student also grabbed in eight boards.
Cormac Ryan drained a three-pointer at 5:09, ND cut the deficit to eight points. But, the Bonnies remained calm and stuck to their plan. They built the lead back to 13, at 31-18 with 1:15 on the clock.
Notre Dame would add a basket to make it 31-20 at the half. Irish shot 9-of-29 compared to 12-for-26 for St. Bonaventure. The Bonnies also enjoyed a 21-14 rebounding advantage.
Notre Dame made a run midway through the second in which they hit on six of nine to trim the Bonnies’ lead to seven at 41-34. Lubin made two of those baskets and was all over the glass during that stretch.
Every time the Irish cut it to eight points, St. Bonaventure would push back to double-digits, usually with a three. It happened again at the 5:04 mark, ND used four straight free throws to trim the gap to 51-44, but the Bonnies responded on the other end with a quick three.
With 2:02 remaining in the game, Lubin recorded his double-double in probably the most unique way possible, blocking the in-bound pass as the deflected ball soared up and into the hoop – making it once again a seven-point game, down 57-50.
St. Bonaventure drained a three again, their 10th of the game, which was the immediate answer to make it 60-50 with 1:17 left in the game.
The Irish shot just 35 percent from the field and were a miserable 12 percent (2-of-17) from three-point range. That was the difference in the contest.
The Irish return to Purcell Pavilion where they’ll host the 2022 ACC/B1G Challenge. The opponent – a familiar foe – and a ranked one in No. 12 Michigan State. Tip is set for 9:15 p.m. ET on ESPN2 on Wednesday, Nov. 30.