SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Notre Dame dug in during the second half, which enabled their coach to tie Digger Phelps.
Bonzie Colson scored 22 points and matched his career high with 17 rebounds as the Fighting Irish bounced back from a five-point halftime deficit to defeat Georgia Tech 68-59 in the Atlantic Coast Conference opener for both teams Saturday afternoon at Purcell Pavilion.
Mike Brey earned his 393rd win as Notre Dame’s coach, matching Digger Phelps’ program standard.
Brey is 393-190 in his 18th season with the Irish. Phelps went 393-197 over 20 seasons from 1971-1991.
The Irish (11-3) scored the first eight points of the second half to take a 31-28 lead.
The Yellow Jackets (6-7) had only one more lead, 32-31, as Notre Dame steadily pulled away.
A 10-1 run gave ND its largest lead at 55-41 with six minutes to go.
Also scoring in double figures for the Irish was Martinas Geben with 12 points, Rex Pflueger 11, and Matt Farrell and T.J. Gibbs 10 apiece.
Pflueger also dealt a game-high six assists, while Geben flushed home three slams over the final nine minutes of the game.
Josh Okogie paced Tech with 16 points. Tadric Jackson added 15 points, while Jose Alvarado and Ben Lammers each scored11. Lammers also collected 12 rebounds.
Each team finished just 23 of 60 from the field (ND with seven 3-pointers and Tech with six), but the Irish were 15 of 18 from the free-throw compared to the Yellow Jackets’ 7-of-18 effort.
In a first half littered with ice-cold shooting by both sides, Tech took a 28-23 lead despite going just 10 of 26 from the field with three 3-pointers and 5 of 11 at the foul line.
The Irish were 9 of 27 from the field with a trio of 3s in the first half.
Notre Dame: The Irish have won three straight since their overtime loss to Indiana as they try to scale their way back into the national rankings. They’ll have that opportunity playing in the ACC.
Georgia Tech: The Yellow Jackets have lost six of their last eight, with all eight games being played against unranked teams.
Notre Dame: The Irish play a second straight home game to start the ACC season when North Carolina State visits Wednesday.
Georgia Tech: The Jackets play their ACC home opener Wednesday against No. 15 Miami.