News Local/State

Another Comeback Falls Short At The Buzzer For Illini Men

Giorgi Bezhanishvili attempts a hook shot versus Notre Dame, Tuesday in South Bend.

Giorgi Bezhanishvili attempts a hook shot versus Notre Dame, Tuesday in South Bend. Rob McColley/for Illinois Public Media

Notre Dame beat the Fighting Illini men's basketball team 76-74 last night in South Bend. For the second time in as many weeks, Trent Frazier had a chance to hit the game-winning shot. This time the ball went halfway through the basket before rolling off the rim.

Three Illini fouled out in a game that saw the Irish attempt 39 free-throws. But the Irish missed 15 of those attempts, allowing Illinois to rebound from a 13 point deficit.

Coach Brad Underwood was pleased about the rebounding, but less happy about the game's dominant player, Juwan Durham, who blocked five Illini shot attempts.

"Durham was a huge, huge factor in the game," Underwood said. "Give that young man credit, and I think Notre Dame was eighth in the country in rebounding. It was nice to outrebound them."

Aaron Jordan and Giorgi Bezhanishvili both fouled out of the game, but not before scoring career-highs of 23 and 22 points respectively. Bezhanishvili said the team got better for the experience. 

"We became more of a team tonight," he said. "We lost, yes, but I felt it, Coach (Underwood) felt it, the other guys felt it. We became more close."

Illiini Aaron Jordan looks for teammate Ayo Dosunmu, while Irish guard TJ Gibbs attempts to draw a charging foul.

Photo Credit: Rob McColley/for Illinois Public Media

TJ Gibbs and DJ Harvey each scored 19 points for the Fighting Irish.

The Illini drop to 2-5 for the season. Notre Dame is now 6-1 on the year. Next for Illinois is the Big Ten conference opener at Nebraska Sunday afternoon.