No. 10 FSU holds on in 83-80 win over No. 15 Notre Dame
With the shot clock winding down, Xavier Rathan-Mayes found Jonathan Isaac and the slender freshmen hit a 3-pointer off the wing.
Like that, the No. 10 Florida State men's basketball team held an eight-point lead with three minutes left. This is where it got interesting. No. 15 Notre Dame entered Wednesday at 5-0 in the ACC.
Every time the Fighting Irish reached the three-minute mark in those games, they found a way to go on a run and close the game out en route to victory. Notre Dame made the shots, but so did FSU. Especially Jonathan Isaac and fellow freshman C.J. Walker. The two first-year players made important late free throws Wednesday to send FSU (17-2, 5-1 ACC) to an 83-80 win at the Tucker Center.
Isaac, who had a double-double this past Saturday at North Carolina, delivered an even bigger performance Wednesday. He finished with 23 points, 10 rebounds and seven blocked shots -- his final two blocks preserved the win.
The victory puts FSU back atop the ACC standings at a 5-1 tie with Notre Dame (16-3, 5-1 ACC).
Isaac's 3-pointer gave FSU a 73-65 lead, but the Fighting Irish would hit two straight shots - including a three - to trim the Seminoles' lead to 75-70 with 1:17 left.
Rathan-Mayes would hold onto possession and once the shot clock got within 10 seconds, he'd take a mid-range jumper. He did it with less than a minute left to give FSU a 77-70 lead inside a minute.
Notre Dame, after a block from Terance Mann, cut the lead to 77-72 with 44.3 seconds left with FSU calling a timeout. Sophomore swingman Dwyane Bacon got the ball on the inbounds and was immediately fouled. Bacon shot the one-and-one with his attempt rimming out with less than 40 seconds left.
Fighting Irish guard Matt Farrell drove inside, got contact and went to the free-throw line, where he sank both shots and brought the margin to 77-74 with 27.5 seconds remaining.
Isaac was fouled and hit both free throws for a 79-74 lead with 25.9 seconds on the clock.
Notre Dame searched for a shot with Isaac only to come up with a block. The loose ball made its way to Notre Dame's Rex Pflueger, who as the shot clock diminished, hit an off-balance 3-pointer with two defenders draped on him to make it 79-77 with 16.6 seconds left.
Again, it led to the 'Noles sending someone to the free-throw line. This time it was C.J. Walker. The Indianapolis native sank both shots with 16.6 left for a 81-77 lead.
Notre Dame would hit another 3-pointer on the next possession and recovered possession off an errant inbound pass. The Fighting Irish's following attempts were both blocked by Isaac just before time expired.