Stanford

Late Night Snacks: Stanford squeaks by Northwestern, No. 6 Indiana rolls

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UPDATED 22 December 2012, 12:44 a.m. ET

Game of the Night

Stanford 70, Northwestern 68

Stanford led by as many as eight points in the second half, but Northwestern was able to pull within two with possession in the final seconds. A drive by the Wildcats’ Tre Demps missed and Stanford was able to gain possession. A long lead pass helped the final seconds tick away and Stanford escaped with its biggest win of the season on the road.

Josh Huestis was big for Stanford as Dwight Powell battled foul trouble, putting up a double-double of 18 points and 12 rebounds. John Gage had 12 key points, including shooting 2-of-3 from three-point range.

Important Outcomes

Maryland 76, Stony Brook 69

Virginia Commonwealth 93, Longwood 56

Colorado 98, Northern Arizona 51

Wagner 63, Southern Methodist 53

UNC-Asheville 72, St. John’s 65

Starred

Brandon Davies, BYU: Though his Cougars lost to Baylor by double digits, Davies posted 26 points and 17 rebounds in perhaps the best individual performance of the night.

Jack Cooley, Notre Dame: 24 points, 15 rebounds. Cooley continues to be the centerpiece to another under-the-radar Irish team.

Ryan Boatright, Connecticut: 26 points, 9 assists. Boatright and backcourt mate Shabazz Napier combined for 45 points and 15 assists in a win over Fordham.

Baylor Frontcourt: Cory Jefferson had 13 points, 16 rebounds and Isaiah Austin had 14 points and 10 rebounds in a win over BYU Friday night.

Struggled

Pablo Bertone, FAU: 1-of-11 shooting, 3 pts

Dave Sobolewski, Northwestern: 0-of-6 from the floor, 1 point

The Rest of the Top 25

No. 6 Indiana 88, Florida Atlantic 52

No. 22 Notre Dame 89, Niagara 67

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

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Notre Dame’s Steve Vasturia sparks come-from-behind win over No. 13 Louisville

Notre Dame’s Steve Vasturia (32) goes up for a shot over Boston College’s Idy Diallo (4) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016, in South Bend, Ind. (AP Photo/Robert Franklin)
(AP Photo/Robert Franklin)
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Demetrius Jackson scored 20 of his 25 points in the first half and Steve Vasturia scored 15 of his 20 points in the final 20 minutes as Notre Dame landed a 71-66 win over No. 13 Louisville on Saturday afternoon.

The Fighting Irish trailed by as many as 11 points early in the second half, but Vasturia’s hot shooting combined with Notre Dame holding Louisville to just 15 points in the final 15 minutes made all the difference.

The Fighting Irish are not as good as they were last season, but they are built in a similar mold. Jackson, as we expected, as become one of the nation’s most dynamic point guards, impossible to slow-down in isolation and ball-screen actions. Steve Vasturia emerging as a legitimate secondary option offensively and Zach Auguste is one of the nation’s most underrated big men and one of the most dangerous as the roll-man in ball-screens.

Combine all of that with a handful of shooters creating space and Bonzie Colson’s emergence as a force on the offensive glass, and Mike Brey once again has one of the nation’s most lethal offensive attacks.

Where they struggle is on the defensive end of the floor, which is what makes the end of Saturday’s win so meaningful. The Irish entered the day ranked 232nd in KenPom’s adjusted defensive efficiency metric, which more or less means they’re as good as a bad mid-major program at keeping their opponents from scoring.

But they don’t have to be great to be able to win games.

They have to be good enough and they have to get important stops.

That’s precisely what happened on Saturday.

Whether or not that actually becomes a trend for this group will be something to monitor — it happened for Duke during last year’s NCAA tournament — but the bottom-line is this: Notre Dame does something better than just about anyone else in college basketball, and that’s score the ball.

On the nights they are able to gets some stops, they are going to be able to win some games. In the last eight days, they’ve proven that, beating North Carolina, Clemson on the road and Louisville.

And that makes them dangerous in March.