NEW YORK — Matt Farrell's three-point play with 14 seconds to play gave Notre Dame the lead and his two free throws 11 seconds later sealed the Fighting Irish's 70-66 victory over Northwestern on Tuesday night in the championship game of the Legends Classic at Barclays Center.
Northwestern had a 66-65 lead with 39 seconds to play on a drive by Bryant McIntosh. Notre Dame's Steve Vasturia missed a jumper but Northwestern threw the ball away on an inbounds pass, setting the stage for Farrell.
He drove the lane and was knocked to the court as the ball went in. He sat on the court, looked at the photographers and stuck his tongue out before being mobbed by his teammates. The Wildcats still had a chance but McIntosh missed a drive with 4 seconds left and it was Farrell who grabbed the rebound and was fouled.
Farrell, the tournament MVP, and Vasturia both had 18 points for the Fighting Irish (5-0) while Bonzie Colson had 13 points and 11 rebounds.
Scottie Lindsey had 18 points for the Wildcats (3-2) and Vic Law added 14 with seven rebounds. McIntosh finished with seven points on 3-for-18 shooting from the field. Nathan Taphorn, who threw the ball away before Farrell's three-point play, had 12 points on 4-of-5 shooting from 3-point range.
Notre Dame, which beat Colorado 89-83 in the semifinals, led by 12 points early in the second half. Northwestern, which beat No. 22 Texas 77-58 in the semifinals, chipped away at the lead and was finally able to make some headway when the Fighting Irish went more than 4 minutes without scoring. During the drought Taphorn hit two 3s and Law added another to make it 55-54 with 11:04 to play.
Notre Dame: The Fighting Irish have plenty of experience back from last season's team that reached the Elite Eight and they will need that as they approach the Atlantic Coast Conference season. They were picked seventh in the preseason ACC poll.
Northwestern: The Wildcats have had two tough losses so far this season but for them nothing can compare to their run at a possible NCAA Tournament bid which would be their first ever.
Notre Dame: The Fighting Irish return home for games with Chicago State on Nov. 26 and Iowa on Nov. 29 in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge.
Northwestern: The Wildcats play Bryant at home on Nov. 25 and then play Wake Forest in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge on Nov. 28.