The Duke Blue Devils withstood a furious comeback by Notre Dame in the fourth quarter and then won it in overtime 14-13 thanks to an unassisted goal by Joe Robertson. This was a back and forth game throughout the second half, but Duke was able to hold off Notre Dame’s fourth quarter push and control their emotions after seeing freshman defender Wilson Stephenson being carted off the field with a leg injury to pull off the dramatic overtime win over the Fighting Irish.
The win gives Duke their eleventh Final Four since 2005 and their second straight Memorial Day Weekend. A level of success that is unmatched in this century. Earlier today Maryland was going for their sixth straight trip to the Final Four and eighth since 2011. If they had won today, Tillman and his boys would have to run it back next year and do it again in 2021 to tie Duke’s run of eight straight Final Fours from 2007-2014. John Danowski’s run at Duke has been amazing and if the Blue Devils win another title in Philly next weekend, it would be coach Danowski’s fourth title at the school.
Duke was led in scoring by Nakeie Montgomery’s five points (1G, 4As). Montgomery’s ability to find the open man was critical to Duke’s success today and his 10 points in the last two games has energized this Duke offense. Right behind Montgomery in points was CJ Carpenter with four (3Gs, 1A). Joe Robertson (3Gs) & Jake Seau (1G, 2As) also had strong games with three points each.
Notre Dame was almost able to exorcise the Blue Devils from the dance, but just weren’t able to close it out. The Fighting Irish had a 12-11 lead with seven minutes to play in the fourth quarter and despite the fact that Duke retook the lead, Notre Dame was able to tie it up with over a minute to play in the final quarter and even had two shots in the final minute to win it in regulation. Nevertheless, Duke held on in the final minute and then got game-winner in overtime. Notre Dame left it all on the field today, but fell just short this afternoon.
Notre Dame was led in scoring by Ryder Garnsey who finished the game with six points (4Gs, 2As), including another highlight reel goal that got the Irish faithful fired up. Bryan Costabile finished with four points this afternoon (2 Gs, 2As), while Brian Willets had a hat-trick on the day as well.
Duke now moves on to play Virginia in the Final Four in Philadelphia next weekend. The Blue Devils have won 11 games in a row against the Cavs and 18 of the last 19 games since 2010.