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Notre Dame vs. Northeastern-Round of 64

Notre Dame and all-american guard Jerian Grant walked into the gym and without even knowing it had stepped into a boxing ring. Number 3 seed Notre Dame took on the #14 seed Northeastern Huskies and fought tooth and nail to avoid another early tournament exit and eventually held on in the end. Notre Dame avoided the upset, winning 69-65 in the round of 64 match-up by doing exactly what Northeastern couldn’t do…hold onto the ball. Northeastern started the game off with a 3 from Junior guard David Walker and Notre Dame started off attacking the basket early and often. Stand out guard Jerian Grant ended the first half with 9 points while Junior forward Zach Auguste seemed to be the inside motor for his team while Sophomore guard Demetrius Jackson served as the spark plug. As well as Notre Dame was playing, Northeastern Senior forward Scott Eatherton kept the Huskies in the game early and often with his inside play along with his solid rebounding effort. As it turns out, it wouldn’t be enough. The Fighting Irish played a suffocating brand of defense for the majority of the game, spear headed by Jackson. It was Jackson in fact, who had a crazy highlight play, showing off his impressive handles and ball control in transition right before making a no look bounce pass to Auguste for a dunk. The Huskies never gave in though and Eatherton put back a missed 3 with 32.5 seconds left to cut Norte Dames lead down to 67-65 and keep the HUskies hope of a tremendous upset alive. The game really never was secure for the Fighting Irish until with about 8.5 seconds left, Junior guard Quincy Ford, a St. Petersburg, Florida native, coughed the ball up and committed Northeastern’s 16th turnover and subsequent final nail in the coffin while Junior guard Zach Stahl stood open under the basket waving his arms. The Huskies now will only be able to wonder if only with one extra timeout would things be different. “It would have helped if we would have had one more timeout” said Eatherton. “I think we could have really got a play in. I’m not really sure what happened at the very end.” Notre Dames Auguste and Grant finished with 25 and 17 points with Auguste shooting 10-14 from the field and hitting two clutch free throws to seal the game. Northeastern’s Eatherton and Walker finished with 18 and 15 respectively.  The Fighting Irish will move on to face a Butler team coming off of a hard fought 56-48 win over Texas, in the round of 32 on Saturday. Northeastern will return next season without Eatherton to try and make it back to consecutive tournament appearances for only the second time in school history and for the first time since the 86′ and 87′ seasons.

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