3-pointer lifts Ball State to 80-77 upset over No. 9 Notre Dame
SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Tayler Persons hit 3-pointer from the left wing with 1.7 seconds remaining and Ball State shocked No. 9 Notre Dame 80-77 on Tuesday night at Purcell Pavilion.
Persons scored 24 points, Tahjai Teague added 13 and Sean Sellers had 11 as Ball State knocked off a nationally ranked opponent for the first time since downing No. 4 UCLA 91-73 more than 16 years ago.
Notre Dame (7-2) lost a nonconference home game for the first time since falling to North Dakota State four years ago.
The Cardinals (5-4) led by a high of 67-58 with 6:45 to go, but the Irish charged all the way back to a 77-77 tie on Matt Farrell’s 3-pointer with 20 seconds to go.
Persons then drained his 3-pointer off the dribble for the victory.
Ball State had lost each of nine previous meetings to its in-state rival, the most recent being almost 32 years ago by a 119-78 count. The closest the Cardinals had come against the Irish was 14 points, and ND’s average margin of victory was 29.
Bonzie Colson had 26 points for the Irish. Farrell added 14 points and eight assists, while Martinas Geben finished with 12 points.
Ball State: The Cardinals won their fourth straight game, all four coming against in-state opponents. Ball State’s early season schedule has included road or neutral-site contests against Oklahoma, Oregon and Dayton.
Notre Dame: The Irish continued to struggle on the heels of winning the Maui Invitational, dropping their second loss in three games. They were whipped 81-63 at Michigan State, then downed St. Francis Brooklyn 71-53 in a rugged contest Sunday that saw coach Mike Brey ejected for the first time in his 23-year head coaching career.
Ball State completes its swing of five straight in-state opponents, and plays the first of six straight home games, when Valparaiso visits Muncie on Saturday.
In a homecoming for Brey, Notre Dame visits Delaware on Saturday. Brey began his head coaching career with the Blue Hens, going 99-52 over five seasons, before landing at ND in 2000.