CHICAGO (AP) — Matt Farrell hit a deep 3-pointer as the shot clock expired in the waning moments of the second half, completing Notre Dame’s late rally from a nine-point deficit to defeat Wake Forest, 76-71, on Saturday.
Farrell hit four 3-pointers as part of a game-high 21 point performance.
None was more significant than the shot he drained from just in front of his team’s bench with eight seconds remaining.
Wake Forest (11-18, 4-13 ACC) attempted to quickly move the ball up the court for a shot before the Irish could set their defense.
But the clock did not start when the ball was inbounded, and officials blew the play dead as the Deacons reached the midcourt stripe.
After a video review, officials gave Wake Forest possession at halfcourt with 3.6 seconds remaining.
But Brandon Childress’ inbound pass was intercepted by Notre Dame’s Martinas Geben, who hit a pair of foul shots to secure the victory.
Notre Dame: The Irish (17-12, 7-9) just held on to what little hopes they may have for an NCAA Tournament at-large bid.
Notre Dame could finish at 9-9 in ACC play with wins in its final two regular season games.
With at least some metrics, such as Ken Pomeroy’s rankings, relatively bullish on the Irish (No. 31 heading into Saturday’s games), the impending return of the injured Bonzie Colson could key a late surge toward the tournament bubble.
Wake Forest: The Deacons were denied what would have been their first consecutive ACC victories of the season in dramatic fashion, and their over-reliance on 3-point shooting may have been at least partially to blame.
Wake Forest attempted only one 2-point field goal after Bryant Crawford’s layup with 8:51 to play.
Notre Dame returns to South Bend to host Pittsburgh on Wednesday night.
It will be the regular season finale for the Panthers, who were still looking for their first conference win when they faced No. 1 Virginia in a game that began an hour after the Irish tipped off against Wake Forest.
Wake Forest concludes its regular season when it travels to Georgia Tech next Saturday.
The Deacons will be looking for a season sweep of the Yellow Jackets, as Wake Forest won 79-62 when the teams played in Winston-Salem on Feb. 14.
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