Associated Press Notre Dame forward Martinas Geben is pressured by Virginia defenders De'Andre Hunter and Isaiah Wilkins during the first half Saturday.
Sunday, March 04, 2018 1:00 am
Virginia 62 Notre Dame 57
Notre Dame comes up short
Colson gives Irish 24 points, 14 rebounds
HANK KURZ Jr. | Associated Press
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia has known for a while it had the top seed in the ACC Tournament locked up.
Now that the tournament is the top-ranked Cavaliers' next stop, Isaiah Wilkins thinks it's time to knuckle down even more.
“I think we have to have like a full reset,” the senior forward said Saturday after celebrating his final home game at John Paul Jones Arena with a 62-57 victory over Notre Dame. “It's a chapter, and it closed. Now we just have to be extra prepared and play free.
“It's just time to lock in and just go out there and you can't be tight. You have to play free, but you've got to give a little more.”
The Cavaliers had to do that against the Irish, who came in looking to enhance their NCAA Tournament résumé, but Devon Hall scored 17 points in his final game at John Paul Jones Arena and the Cavaliers won their second nail-biter in three days.
Ty Jerome added 13 points for the Cavaliers (28-2, 17-1), who won their fifth in a row.
Bonzie Colson, playing in just his second game since missing 15 with a broken foot, had 24 points and 14 rebounds for the Irish (18-13, 8-10). Martinas Geben added 14 points and 10 rebounds, but only three other Notre Dame players scored. They shot 19 of 53 (35.8 percent).
Still, with Colson back in the lineup, coach Mike Brey was encouraged.
“In the midst of trying to put ourselves back together, I told them, 'I think we're back' with Bonzie and playing like we were before the injury,” he said. “Even though we didn't win, I really like what we got out of that today.”
Trailing 59-57,the Irish had a chance to tie, or take the lead, in the final minute, but Colson couldn't get free from Wilkins' defense and, in his bid to pass the ball out, the Irish committed a 30-second shot clock violation with 23 seconds to play.
De'Andre Hunter hit 3 of 4 free throws to finish it.
Notre Dame: The Irish are not a middle-of-the-pack ACC team with Colson healthy. He dominated the first half with 18 points and nine rebounds in 18 minutes. Conditioning may have been a factor for him in the second half as he picked up three personal fouls in the first 111/2 minutes. “He was cramping a little bit, but you know what, even before the injury, we've always had a little bit of a cramping issue in the skinniest calves in the history of a power forward,” Brey joked. “No one has skinnier calves. They're non-existent.”