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Colson, Notre Dame cruise past Virginia

Virginia forward Isaiah Wilkins (21) drives against Notre Dame forward Bonzie Colson during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game during the quarterfinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament, Thursday, March 9, 2017, in New York. (Photo by the Associated Press)
Virginia forward Isaiah Wilkins (21) drives against Notre Dame forward Bonzie Colson during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game during the quarterfinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament, Thursday, March 9, 2017, in New York. (Photo by the Associated Press)
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press
Thursday, March 09, 2017 09:01 pm
NEW YORK — Bonzie Colson had 21 points and 10 rebounds and No. 22 Notre Dame beat No. 21 Virginia for the first time since joining the Atlantic Coast Conference, topping the Cavaliers 71-58 on Thursday night to reach the tournament semifinals. The third-seeded Fighting Irish (24-8) will face second-seeded and No. 16 Florida State on Friday in the late semifinal at Barclays Center. North Carolina-Duke will be both the main event and opening act.

The Fighting Irish were 0-5 against the Cavaliers (22-10) since entering the ACC, never breaking 66 points in the process. For once, Notre Dame's offense ran smoothly against Virginia's active defense and the Irish even managed to push the pace some against the methodical Cavaliers.

Notre Dame used an 11-0 run, highlighted by a steal and reverse slam by Rex Pflueger, to build a 17-point lead five minutes into the second half. The Cavaliers never made a serious push back.

Devon Hall and Darius Thompson led Virginia with 12 points each.

Colson had his ACC-best 19th double-double for the Irish. They have won seven of eight.

BIG PICTURE

Virginia: The Cavaliers are not going to win many games in which their opponent shoots over 45 percent. Notre Dame shot 52.2. Virginia is not built to trade baskets, especially if leading scorer London Perrantes goes 1 for 9 from the field as he did against the Irish. The Cavaliers will go as far as their defense takes them in the NCAA Tournament.

Notre Dame:  The Irish got efficient contributions from up and down the starting lineup. Matt Farrell scored 14 points and VJ Beachem and Steve Vasturia each added 12. And the Irish did it without much help from the 3-pointer. They shot 65.5 percent from 2-point range and 29.4 from 3.

UP NEXT

Virginia: The Cavaliers will be making their fourth straight NCAA Tournament appearance, probably as about a five or six seed.

Notre Dame: The Fighting Irish split two games with Florida State during the regular season.



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