It did not seem like the Irish came to play last night against Villanova, at least not until the second half. The first half was all Villanova, leading for fourteen out of the twenty minutes. Notre Dame was even down by twenty with less than two minutes left in the first half! Lead by JayVaughn Pinkston the Wildcats kept up the lead throughout the second half, it was until 1:45 left in the game when Eric Atkins made a free throw to put the Irish ahead 57-56. In overtime the Irish finally took advantage of the game leading the entire five minutes. Notre Dame ended up winning the game 74-70, giving the Irish their eighth straight victory. Pat Connaughton lead the Irish with 21 points and Cooley was once again had a double double with 18 points and 13 rebounds. The Irish are still third in the Big East Standings with an 11-3 conference record and 19-8 overall record, with four conference games left the Irish hope to secure their double bye for the conference tournament
Notre Dame could have easily thrown in the towel at any point of this game, but that was not the case not for this Irish Basketball Team. This was not unfamiliar territory for the Irish, they had been down before against West Virginia earlier this season, both times they proved what they were capable of. As the season comes winding down to an end, Irish fans can only hope that this “never give up” mentality sticks with this team going into the Big East Tournament as well as March.