Joe Mooney’s late three propels Notre Dame past Benet

SHARE Joe Mooney’s late three propels Notre Dame past Benet

Joe Mooney is the leader of Notre Dame. The senior guard doesn’t put up overwhelming numbers or impress with freakish athleticism, but he seems to always make the big play when the Dons need it, whether it’s a shot, pass, steal or rebound.

Mooney hit a three with less than two minutes as the No. 25 Dons held on for a 46-43 East Suburban Catholic win over Benet in Niles.

The Redwings held a 39-37 lead with 4:25 remaining in the game before 6-7 junior Notre Dame center Anthony D’Avanzo (12 points) connected on a floater in the lane. On Notre Dame’s next possession, Mooney (11 points, six rebounds) drove past two defenders down the baseline before dishing out a perfect bounce pass that D’Avanzo collected and laid in off the glass.

But it was at the 1:28 mark that Mooney showed the home crowd how much he means to the team. The 6-2 guard received the ball far beyond the three-point line on the right corner off a screen that failed to create much space. With a defender draped all over him, Mooney let fly anyway. The perfectly rotating ball splashed through the net and gave the Dons (13-3, 3-0) a 44-39 lead.

“I didn’t lose any confidence going into that shot, even though I struggled with my shooting tonight,” Mooney said.

Benet’s Colin Bonnett (nine points, four rebounds) was fouled on a three-point attempt with 21.6 seconds remaining, but was only able to hit one free throw. D’Avanzo, who was immediately fouled, knocked down both free throws.

James Dockery finally buried a three for Benet, but it came with 2.4 seconds left on the clock. Notre Dame’s Lucas Simon missed the front end of the one-and-one, but Benet did not have enough time to get a final shot off.

“It’s a huge game for us,” Mooney said. “It puts us at 3-0 in the conference now. It’s always big when it comes down to the final seconds like this one did.”

For Notre Dame coach Tom Les, the win is reflective of the way the team has played all season.

“We’ve played a lot of great games. That’s indicative of our schedule. That’s indicative of our league.

“When we locked in defensively on their last couple possessions, I thought we were pretty good.”

Ammar Becar added eight points and nine boards for Notre Dame. Benet’s Dan Sobolewski led all scorers with 15 points. He also pulled down six rebounds.

The Latest
“Beyond Bars” includes extensive interviews with Boudin’s parents, once members of the Weather Underground radical group. It also covers his path to becoming San Francisco district attorney, and his recall in 2022.
The Croatian Cultural Center is celebrating its 50th anniversary with murals that Glenview artist Ivan (John) Mikan created last year.
The new required pricing labels are modeled on nutritional labels and are meant to help consumers comparison shop and avoid junk fees.
Pope was 110-52 in five seasons with the Cougars and went 23-11 in their first season in the Big 12 Conference.
The two were identified as Marisa Dister, 46, and Russell O’Connor, 44, who were found at a residence in the 300 block of West 12th Street, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office. A gun was recovered near their bodies.