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Notre Dame comes through in clutch, upsets No. 10 Kentucky

Dec 11, 2021; South Bend, Indiana, USA; Kentucky Wildcats forward Oscar Tshiebwe (34) drives to the basket as Notre Dame Fighting Irish forward Nate Laszewski (14) defends in the second half at the Purcell Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Blake Wesley made a go-ahead jumper with 12 seconds remaining Saturday as Notre Dame scored the last five points to upset No. 10 Kentucky 66-62 at South Bend, Ind.

The Fighting Irish (4-4) had trailed for most of the tightly contested game before they gained the lead in the last six minutes leading to the dramatic ending.

Dane Goodwin hit one of two free throws for Notre Dame to tie the score at 62 with 1:31 left.

Kentucky missed jumpers on its next two possessions, and once Wesley sank his pull-up jumper for a 64-62 Notre Dame lead, TyTy Washington missed at the other end and Dane Goodwin dunked in the last second for the final margin.

Wesley and Goodwin finished with 14 points apiece and combined for 10 rebounds for Notre Dame. Trey Wertz had 12 points and Paul Atkinson Jr. added 10 points and six rebounds.

Oscar Tshiebwe had a career-high 25 points for Kentucky (7-2). Keion Brooks Jr. contributed 12 points and seven rebounds.

Neither side had a lead of more than four points in the first half. It ended with Kentucky clinging to a 30-28 advantage despite missing all 10 of its 3-point shots.

Tshiebwe had 12 points, making all but one of his field-goal attempts. Only six fouls were called and no free throws were attempted by either team.

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In the second half, neither side had a lead of more than two points in the second half until Kellan Grady’s transition 3-pointer gave Kentucky a 43-39 lead with 13:29 left.

The Wildcats had four other four-point leads over the next five minutes, but the Irish answered each time until a Brooks free throw increased the Kentucky lead to 53-48.

Notre Dame then went on an 11-1 run to take a five-point lead of its own. Wertz started it off with a 3-pointer. The Irish then used a series of cuts to the basket to carve up the Wildcats’ defense. Goodwin made two layups and Atkinson and Wesley had one apiece during that span.

Kentucky recovered, and with 1:50 remaining and the shot clock about to expire, Grady sank a 3-pointer to grab a 62-61 advantage. Yet, the Wildcats came up empty on their remaining possessions.

–Field Level Media

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