USF Vs. Notre Dame Final Score: Fighting Irish Avoid Upset In 57-53 OT Win

It was an extremely tight, defensive-minded battle, but the No. 23 Notre Dame Fighting Irish toughed out a 57-53 victory in overtime against the South Florida Bulls in the quarterfinals of the Big East Conference Tournament. Neither team ever really pulled away in the game, but Notre Dame was able to make enough key stops down the stretch in overtime to avoid the upset.

Overall, both teams really struggled offensively on Thursday. Notre Dame shot just 39 percent from the field, but USF was even worse by shooting 38 percent. Long range was one area where both teams thrived, though, as they were each at or near 50 percent shooting from three-point range despite the short-range struggles.

Jerian Grant and Pat Connaughton led Notre Dame with 12 points apiece, while Scott Martin had a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds. Victor Rudd Jr. led USF with 16 points. Anthony Collins was also active for the Bulls with 13 points, seven assists, five steals and three rebounds.

The win bumps Notre Dame to 22-10 overall this season and 14-5 against Big East opponents. The Fighting Irish will be moving on to the tournament semifinals, where they'll face Louisville, which upset Marquette on Thursday.

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. Notre Dame Fighting Irish news and analysis is available at One Foot Down. For more on Big East basketball, visit the SB Nation blog Big East Coast Bias. Also be sure to check out SB Nation's college basketball hub.

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