New York • Lenzelle Smith Jr. scored seven of his nine points in the final 33 seconds and No. 3 Ohio State rallied from an eight-point deficit with 1:54 to play to beat Notre Dame 64-61 on Saturday night in the BlackRock Gotham Classic at Madison Square Garden.
The Buckeyes (12-0), who had a woeful second half from the field, closed the game on a 14-3 run and Smith was the key to the closing spurt.
Top 25 scores
» No. 3 Ohio State 64, Notre Dame 61
» No. 5 Michigan State 92, Texas 78
» No. 6 Louisville 85, Florida International 56
» No. 7 Oklahoma State vs. No. 20 Colorado, late
» No. 8 Villanova 88, Rider 67
» No. 13 Oregon vs. BYU, late
» No. 14 North Carolina 97, Davidson 85, OT
» No. 15 Memphis 77, Southeast Missouri State 65
» No. 16 Florida 66, Fresno State 49
» No. 18 Kansas 86, Georgetown 64
» No. 19 Kentucky 93, Belmont 80
» Kansas State 72, No. 21. Gonzaga 62
» Florida State 60, No. 22 UMass 55
» Illinois 65, No. 23 Missouri 64
» No. 24 San Diego State 65, McNeese State 36
Jerian Grant hit a 3-pointer as the shot clock was expiring to give the Fighting Irish (8-4) a seemingly comfortable 58-50 lead with 1:54 to play.
But the Buckeyes turned up the defensive intensity and they converted consecutive steals into a 58-56 deficit with 40 seconds to go.
Demetrius Jackson made two free throws for Notre Dame a second later.
Smith was fouled taking a 3-pointer and he made all three free throws to bring Ohio State within 60-59 with 32 seconds left.
Steve Vasturia, who was in the game because Eric Atkins had fouled out, missed the front end of a 1-and-1 with 31 seconds left, his first free throw attempt of the season.
Smith scored down low on a pass from Aaron Craft to give the Buckeyes a 61-60 lead with 16 seconds to go. After a Notre Dame turnover, Smith made two free throws for a 63-60 lead with 9.8 seconds left.
Grant made one free throw with 6.7 seconds left and Craft made one free throw with 3.3 seconds left.
Jackson missed a potential tying 3 as the buzzer sounded.
No. 14 North Carolina 97, Davidson 85, OT • In Chapel Hill, N.C., Marcus Paige scored 11 of his 17 points in overtime to help North Carolina beat Davidson. Paige missed his first six shots and didn’t score until the 8:17 mark of the second half, but took over late to help the Tar Heels (8-3) bounce back from Wednesday’s loss to Texas and avoid another surprising home defeat.
Kansas State 72, No. 21 Gonzaga 62 • In Wichita, Kan., Thomas Gipson scored eight of his 14 points in the game’s decisive minutes and freshman Marcus Foster also had 14 points as Kansas State outlasted Gonzaga at Intrust Bank Arena.
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