Bonzie Colson, a 6-foot-5 power forward for Notre Dame, went up against college basketball’s biggest front lines on Saturday and dominated, finishing with 33 points and 13 boards as the Irish got redemption for a loss in Tallahassee last month with an 84-72 win over the Seminoles.
That loss started a pretty nasty skid for the Irish, as they lost five out of six and four straight heading into this week. Three of those losses came against Virginia, Duke and North Carolina. The fourth was at Georgia Tech, who beat Florida State and UNC in that same building. Was Notre Dame really overrated or did they just run into the meat grinder portion of their schedule?
Saturday would seem to suggest that it was the latter.
Matt Farrell chipped in with 15 points, nine assists and five boards and Steve Vasturia added 15 points as well, but this game was about Colson, who was the best player on the floor from the opening tip. Florida State trots out a pair of seven-footers and pairs them with guys like Jonathan Isaac, Jarquez Smith and Phil Cofer, and it didn’t bother Colson in the least.
Perhaps the most impressive part of this win is the fact that it came in a game where the Irish shot just 7-for-22 from three. Notre Dame is not a big team. There are often times where the tallest player on the floor for them is 6-foot-8 V.J. Beachem, who is a spot-up jump-shooter through and through. They shoot 40 percent from three as a team and rank 278th in defensive rebounding, yet they still were able to easily handle the Seminoles.
Dwayne Bacon and Isaac did not have good nights. They combined for just 16 points on 7-for-19 shooting. The loss drops Florida State out of a tie for first place in the league. They now sit a game behind North Carolina and Virginia, who both have just three losses in ACC play, with the same four-loss ACC record as Duke and Louisville. The Irish are a game behind Florida State.