Wesley’s late shot lifts Notre Dame over Kentucky No. 10 | Sports News

By ANTHONY ANDERSON, Associated Press

SOUTH BEND, Indiana (AP) – Freshman rider and hometown hero Blake Wesley in the lane with 11.7 seconds left put Notre Dame in the lead as the Irish stunned No.10 Kentucky 66- 62 Saturday.

Dane Goodwin added a dunk when time ran out and fans stormed the Purcell Pavilion court.

Wesley – the first public high school student from South Bend to sign to Notre Dame in 36 years – was among those beset after hitting the winner on his first home start to college.

“It gave me chills when he was introduced as South Bend,” said Irish coach Mike Brey.

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“He’s really special,” Brey said of the 6-foot-5 guard, who is already averaging 13.0 points to finish second for the Irish. “You throw him into a road league (game during ND’s last outing at Boston College, Wesley’s first career start). I don’t even know if it’s fair. Is this child abuse?

“And then he’s playing against some old folks tonight,” Brey said. “He’s a puppy compared to some of the guys he plays against, but he’s got a special quirk.”

Notre Dame (4-4) ended a three-game losing streak in its first game of the season against a ranked team, while also ending the Wildcats’ seven-game winning streak (7-2).

Wesley and Goodwin scored 14 points apiece for the Irish, who erased a 53-48 lead over Kentucky at 8:07 with an 11-1 push, then scored the game’s final five points over the close. of 1:31.

Trey Wertz added 12 points and Paul Atkinson 10 for the Irish.

Oscar Tshiebwe of the Wildcats led all players with 25 points. He was 11 of 14 on the field with seven rebounds and highs of three interceptions and two blocks.

Fort Wayne native Keion Brooks added 12 points and seven rebounds in his first game in his home country.

“Hopefully it’s a fluke,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said of his team missing 17 of 19 shots from outside the arc while ND made 7 of the shots. 22 long distance.

Calipari, however, said the loss was more about defensive breakdowns in the last eight minutes, and he cited several examples.

“When you turn 2 of 19 you can’t afford to do that too,” Calipari said, “and that’s what happened.”

Kentucky: The Wildcats had enjoyed a loose schedule since their 79-71 season opener loss to No.3 Duke in New York, and until Saturday they hadn’t played a real game on the road. It has caught up with them and is getting more difficult now. Next Saturday’s game against No. 21 from Ohio State will be followed by the hosting of his rival Louisville (6-3).

Notre Dame: ND’s pursuit to regain national relevance has received a boost. The Irish, trying to avoid a losing third season in four years, have only beaten a ranked club for the second time in their last 30 tries, dating back to November 2017.

A dark Calipari opened its post-game press conference by addressing the tornadoes that hit parts of Kentucky on Friday night, killing at least 70 people and destroying hundreds of homes and businesses, according to updates from Saturday night.

“The Commonwealth has truly taken an incredible blow,” Calipari said. “It’s going to take decades to fix. “

Wildcat players followed updates all day, according to their coach.

“We went to the Grotto this morning before we filmed, and we talked about it after the game,” Calipari said. “We’re playing basketball. It’s someone who loses their mom, works in the warehouse, works for Amazon, and all of a sudden it happens.

The Wildcats are hosting a telethon, possibly for Tuesday, according to their coach.

“It’s all over the bridge,” Calipari said.

Marcus Freeman and a few of his Irish soccer players gave an enthusiastic standing ovation on the pitch in a first-half time-out in ND’s first home game since being appointed head coach on December 3.

Freeman expressed his gratitude for the reception and said his team had “one goal” at the moment, to beat Oklahoma State in the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 1.

“Last but not least,” said Freeman, “let’s root like crazy for this Irish basketball team to beat Kentucky. Let’s go! “

Notre Dame inducted LaPhonso Ellis into her Ring of Honor at halftime.

He became the 10th individual in Notre Dame’s men’s program to receive the salute, and the Irish have improved to 10-0 in matches in which these individuals have been honored.

Ellis averaged 15.5 points, 11.1 rebounds, 2.1 blocks and shot 60.7% from the field during his ND career from 1988 to 1992, and is the only Irish player in the over the past 53 years to achieve an average of a double-double three consecutive seasons.

Kentucky: The Wildcats face the 21st Ohio State on Saturday night in Las Vegas in their first game against a ranked opponent since the start of the season.

Notre Dame: The Irish face Indiana in the 11th annual Crossroads Classic and final scheduled for Indianapolis next Saturday afternoon. The event also includes the No. 1 Purdue and Butler.

More AP College Basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https: // twitter. com / AP_Top25

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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