NOTRE DAME, Ind. - When it's Notre Dame and Louisville it can mean only one thing - overtime. Just when it seemed like Notre Dame was done and just when it seemed like Jerian Grant would go home with an oh-for the night, Grant put the Irish on his back with a late flurry for yet another heart-stopping finish between the two Big East foes as the Fighting Irish fought to a 104-101 victory in five overtimes Saturday night.
Grant was 0-for-6 from the floor with 44 seconds remaining and his team down 56-51, but he proceeded to rattle-off 12 points in a 22 second span to send the Irish (19-5, 7-4 Big East) and Cardinals (19-5, 7-4) to overtime for the seventh time in the last 11 meetings between the two teams since Louisville joined the Big East in 2005.
Grant hit three consecutive three-pointers, which were all followed by fouls by teammate Zach Auguste to stop the clock and force Louisville free throws. The Cardinals were 4-of-6 on those charity shots and then Grant drove to the basket, hit a layup and a free throw after being fouled to tie the game at 60 and force the extra session.
It was the first tie in the game since the 11:27 mark of the second half. Grant then hit one of free throws to start the overtime scoring to give Notre Dame a 61-60 advantage and its first lead since a 29-28 lead early in the second half. Grant would foul out with 1:57 remaining in the first extra session after scoring a team-high 19 points.
Each team scored eight points in the first overtime period. Louisville's leading scorer, Russ Smith, missed from the top of the key at the end of the period to force the third double-overtime game in the last six Irish-Cardinal clashes. Smith finished with 21 points after being held to just two points in the first half.
Cameron Biedscheid's second three-pointer of the night tied the game75-75 with 16 seconds left in the second OT. Louisville again had the last shot and a chance to finish it, but came up short as the team's headed for the third extra period.
Garrick Sherman did not enter the game until three minutes into the first overtime, but ended-up with 17 points, including six points in both the third and fourth OTs. His spinning layup with 33 seconds left gave the Irish an 83-82 lead. He fouled Chane Behanan 17 seconds later. Behanan made 1-of-2 free throws for another tie and another overtime after an Irish turnover and another missed Louisville missed shot as another five minutes ticked off the clock. Behanan's game-high 30 points (with 15 rebounds) made him the first Irish opponent to top 25 points this season.
Louisville's Gorgui Dieng fouled out with 4:14 on the clock in the fifth overtime when he sent Sherman to the free throw line. Sherman hit 1-of-2 and the Irish trailed 95-94. Notre Dame would outscore Louisville 11-8 over the last five minutes of the battle of attrition that saw four players from each team foul out to finally prevail.
Pat Connaughton finished with his second career double-double with 16 points and 14 rebounds. Jack Cooley had his 16th career double-double with 11 points and four boards. Biedscheid and Eric Atkins each scored 14 points.