SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Bonzie Colson scored a career-high 33 points and grabbed 13 rebounds Saturday to help Notre Dame avenge a January loss to Florida State with an 82-74 win over the No. 14 Seminoles.
After snapping a four-game losing streak earlier in the week against Wake Forest, the Fighting Irish have now won two straight to remain in the hunt for the top-four finish in the ACC and a double-bye in the league’s postseason tournament.
Matt Farrell added 15 points and nine assists for Notre Dame (19-7, 8-5 ACC) and Steve Vasturia chipped in with 15 points and seven boards.
Coming off a dominant three-game winning streak during which they won by an average of 33 points, the Seminoles (21-5, 9-4) found themselves by down 11 points in the first half and had no answer in the second half for Colson, who scored 20 after the break.
Terrance Mann led Florida State with 15 points and Dwayne Bacon and Trent Forrest each had 12.
Colson eclipsed 1,000 points for his Irish career, and the ACC’s leading rebounder also recorded his 16th double-double of the season.
Colson nearly blew the lid off Purcell Pavilion with a personal 7-0 run, highlighted by a three-point play and a tip-in of a V.J. Beachem missed 3, pushing Notre Dame’s lead to 17 points with 15:39 to play.
Florida State got within 12 on a Jarquez Smith alley-oop dunk, but Colson hit a pair of free throws then threw down a two-handed slam on a feed from Farrell, and followed with a layup on another give from Farrell with six minutes to play.
In Florida State’s win over the Irish, freshman Jonathan Isaac had 23 points, 10 rebounds and seven blocks, but in the rematch, Isaac failed to score in the first half and finished with just four points.
The Seminoles struggled to shoot from anywhere outside the paint, going just 3 of 15 from 3-point range and 7 of 22 from the free throw line. Notre Dame, the nation’s best free throw shooting team, hit 19 of 21.
Freshman guard T.J. Gibbs made his first career start for the Irish, who ran out their fourth different starting five in the last four games.
Florida State: The Seminoles lost to Notre Dame for just the second time in six meetings and fell a half game behind North Carolina atop the ACC standings, with the Tar Heels scheduled to play next on Wednesday at North Carolina State.
Notre Dame: The Irish improved to 2-6 against ranked teams this season, picking up a key victory for their NCAA tournament resume to go with a Jan. 4 win over then-No. 9 Louisville. The win was also Notre Dame’s 75th over the last three years, the winningest three-year stretch in program history.
Florida State: The Seminoles, who play four of their final six on the road beginning with Notre Dame, enjoy a week off before traveling to Pittsburgh next Saturday.
Notre Dame: The Irish travel to Boston College on Tuesday, the first of two matchups with the Eagles in two weeks.
One more win would bring another milestone. Florida State enters the NCAA tournament with 39 victories and can reach 40 wins for the 40th consecutive season this weekend.
It’s a mark that, as recently as the end of the last month, seemed to be on shaky ground.
But after 12-2 record during the month of May, the Seminoles are right back where history says they belong: Among the nation’s best and playing at home during the first weekend in June.
“I’ve thought that all along (that we could do this),” Martin said. “And our guys will tell you that. I think that what we have to do now is not fall in love with ourselves. We’ve got a very strong field coming in here. We’re looking at one game right now: Tennessee Tech.”