David Graves made a 15-foot jumper at the buzzer as Notre Dame opened the Matt Doherty coaching era with a 59-57 upset over No. 4 Ohio State last night in Columbus, Ohio, in the opening round of the Preseason NIT.
Graves, who finished with 18 points, dribbled from the backcourt to the left wing, fumbled for the ball for a split-second and got off the shot as the buzzer sounded. The Fighting Irish, coming off a 14-16 season, will play at home in the second round Thursday night against Siena.
"It was a great feeling--3, 2, 1--then shoot it with 18,000 screaming fans and one of the best players in the country on you," Graves said, referring to the Ohio State crowd and guard Scoonie Penn. "You dream of something like that when you're in your backyard, it's 10 at night and you're under the lights."
Said Doherty: "I usually have a 'Midnight Rule,' where I only allow the guys to enjoy a win until midnight. But since we've got about a four-hour bus ride home, I guess I'll let them celebrate a little longer."
Doherty, a member of North Carolina's national championship team in 1982, was making his head coaching debut after lengthy assistant stints at Davidson and Kansas.
Ohio State, which was 27-9 last season and had four starters back from a team that reached the Final Four, pulled even on a three-point play by Penn with 18 seconds left.
"Obviously, it's a very disappointing loss," Ohio State Coach Jim O'Brien said. "Give a lot of the credit to Notre Dame. They had a good game plan and on this night it worked. The worst thing about it is, we have to wait two weeks to play again. That is not a pleasant situation. I wish we were able to play tomorrow."
Troy Murphy led the Irish with 21 points and 12 rebounds, while Martin Ingelsby added 14 points.
Only four players scored and only six even attempted a shot for Notre Dame, which won despite committing 25 turnovers.
Penn led the Buckeyes with 15 points, followed by Michael Redd with 11. But they both struggled all night and combined for only seven points in the second half.
Penn, picked as a preseason all-America, shot 6 for 17.
ARIZONA 88, KANSAS ST. 69: In Tucson, Arizona's freshman backcourt of Jason Gardner and Gilbert Arenas scored 14 points apiece in their debut as the 10th-ranked Wildcats romped in the first-round game. Gardner scored 10 points in the first half and finished with nine assists and three steals. Arenas scored 12 points in the first half and finished with six assists and five steals.
UTAH 76, ARKANSAS ST. 43: In Salt Lake City, the swarming Utah defense was in midseason form and center Nate Althoff looked great for a guy who wasn't supposed to be available until after Thanksgiving because of a back strain.
Althoff had 14 points, Jeff Johnsen added 10 and the No. 16 Utes allowed six points through the first 13 minutes of the second half of the first-round rout.
NEW MEXICO ST. 69, HOFSTRA 55: Eric Channing scored a career-high 26 points, including eight in the first three minutes of the second half, and the host Aggies won the opening-round game.
SIENA 89, DAVIDSON 79: In Albany, N.Y., Dave Deters scored 15 points to lead the Saints in the first-round game.