Notre Dame coach Mike Brey earns No. 300 in win over Georgia Tech
BY LAMOND POPE Sun-Times Media February 26, 2014 9:20PM
Notre Dame coach Mike Brey watches his team during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014 in South Bend, Ind. Notre Dame won 65-62. The win was Brey's 300th at Notre Dame (AP Photo/Joe Raymond)
Updated: February 26, 2014 9:48PM
SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Little has come easy for Notre Dame this season.
Why should a milestone victory for coach Mike Brey be any different?
Pat Connaughton made two free throws with 23.8 seconds to go and Robert Carter Jr. missed a three-pointer at the buzzer as the Irish defeated Georgia Tech 65-62 Wednesday at Purcell Pavilion.
With the victory, Brey earned his 300th win as Notre Dame’s coach. It’s his 399th victory as a college coach overall.
“It means a lot,” Brey said. “To be able to be at a place as long as I’ve been and have the support that I’ve had, coaching the kind of kids that I get here, the fan base that’s been amazingly supportive, of course we’ve been pretty darn good, too. It means a lot.”
Brey joined Digger Phelps and George Keogan as coaches with at least 300 wins at Notre Dame.
“Coach Brey deserves that,” center Garrick Sherman said. “He’s a great coach. I’m happy for him.”
Sherman played a major role in helping Brey reach the mark, scoring a game-high 21 points. Sherman had failed to reach double figures in scoring in the Irish’s four previous games. He’s been dealing with an injury to a finger on his right hand.
“I wasn’t shooting the ball as well as I usually do. It was nice to break out of that today and play a little better,” he said.
Eric Atkins added 17 points for the Irish (15-14, 6-10 ACC).
Robert Carter Jr. led Georgia Tech (13-15, 4-11) with 19 points and 10 rebounds.
“We made some winning plays,” Georgia Tech coach Brian Gregory said. “We just didn’t make enough of them.”
Carter made consecutive three-pointers to get the Yellow Jackets within 63-62 with 1:09 remaining. Connaughton missed a three-pointer, but the Irish got the ball back and Connaughton was fouled. He made both free throws with 23.8 seconds left.
Carter missed a three-pointer, but teammate Chris Bolden got the rebound. Carter put up another three-pointer at the buzzer.
“When we didn’t rebound the first one and he got another one, I’m thinking ‘we may deserve to get stuck here,’” Brey said.
It didn’t go in, and Brey was allowed to reflect on what it took to join rare company.
“Have more good ones than tough ones,” Brey said, referring to seasons. “We’re having a tough one right now, but our body of work has been pretty darn good.”