Game 4: Peoria Notre Dame 48, St. Ignatius 46
Star of the game: MAX BIELFELDT, Notre Dame
When you score more than half your team's points in a victory, the word "star" applies. The 6-foot-8 senior center (right) piled up game highs of 26 points and 13 rebounds, and he capped a dominant performance by sinking two free throws with 3.4 seconds left to win the game. Bielfeldt shot 10 of 24 from the field, 6 of 10 from the line and blocked four shots in 30 turnoverless minutes.
By the numbers
Illini signee Nnanna Egwu was limited to 22 minutes by foul problems, picking up his second with 3:46 left in the first half and his third with 6:15 remaining in the third quarter. Ending up with four fouls, the 6-foot-10 senior scored six points on 2-of-7 shooting, with five rebounds and three blocks. ... St. Ignatius junior guard Brian Howard was 10 of 10 from the free throw line and scored 12 points to tie junior forward Peter Ryckbosch for the team lead. ... St. Ignatius (5-2) ratcheted up the pressure on defense in the second half, forcing Notre Dame (7-0) into eight of its 10 turnovers after the break. ... The lone foul committed by St. Ignatius reserve forward Alejandro Nunez was the biggest of the game. With the score tied at 46 and Notre Dame in possession, the Irish got the ball to Bielfeldt near the basket. An official ruled the 6-1 Nunez's foul on the play was intentional, giving Bielfeldt two free throws and Notre Dame possession of the ball.
What was said
- "They put the little guy on me and that was really surprising to me," Bielfeldt said of the game-deciding play. "(The intentional foul call) could have gone either way, but I'm not complaining."
- "We said (earlier as a coaching staff) if we got the ball in our hands and a tie, we'll take them out of the zone," Irish coach Eddie Mathews said about his decision to hold the ball for about 21/2 minutes against St. Ignatius' zone for a final shot. "I just thought they'd come out (to pressure the ball), and they didn't."
- "It's not something I'm going to go crazy about, but it's something I'm not going to throw away, too. It's definitely a possibility," Bielfeldt said about a standing offer from Illinois to be a preferred walk-on next season with the possibility of a scholarship the following year.
- "There's no excuse for that," Egwu said about his foul troubles. "I made some bad decisions at times, but it happens. You just have to play around it."
- "I thought (Nunez made) a ball grab ... That's a heck of a call to make, though, to decide a game with three seconds to go," St. Ignatius coach Rich Kehoe said about the intentional foul call with 3.4 seconds left in a tie game. "I've never seen an in-play intentional foul called on anything like that."