Notre Dame escapes against No. 12 seed Princeton

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Bonzie Colson had 18 points and seven rebounds as No. 5 seed Notre Dame held on to defeat No. 12 Princeton 60-58 in an NCAA Tournament first-round game Thursday afternoon at KeyBank Center.

Matt Farrell added 16 points and four assists for the Irish (26-9). Steve Vasturia had 10 points and eight rebounds.

Notre Dame, the only team to reach the Elite Eight round in the past two NCAA Tournaments, will meet the winner of Thursday's game between No. 4 seed West Virginia and No. 13 Bucknell on Saturday.

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The loss snapped a 19-game winning streak for Princeton (23-7), one shy of the school record set during the 1997-98 season. The Ivy League champions entered their 25th NCAA Tournament and first since 2011 with the nation's second-longest winning streak after Vermont (21 games).

Spencer Weisz led the Tigers with 15 points. Steven Cook had 11 points and seven rebounds.

Notre Dame led for nearly the entire game but didn't close out the victory until the final seconds. Colson scored on consecutive possessions to keep the Irish ahead, but Princeton got within 59-58 with 12.8 seconds left when Pete Miller tipped in Cook's missed 3-pointer.

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After Notre Dame's Matt Farrell missed the front end of a one-and-one, Princeton's Devin Cannady hit the back rim on a potentially go-ahead 3-pointer with 3.0 seconds remaining.

After trailing by as many as 11 points in the second half, the Tigers roared back to nearly pull off the upset. Cannady converted a four-point play to start a 9-2 run and Cook's corner 3-pointer cut Notre Dame's lead to 55-54 with 3:20 remaining.

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Farrell made his third 3-pointer and fed Colson for a dunk that gave Notre Dame its largest lead at 45-34 early in the second half.

Notre Dame went into halftime ahead 36-30. Farrell hit two 3-pointers in the opening minutes, then the Irish operated inside for the rest of the half scoring 28 of their next 30 points in the paint or at the foul line. Colson scored 10 of his points in the first half.

Princeton led for just 17 seconds of the first half, going up 17-15 on Amir Bell's and-one layup 8:36 into the game.

NOTES: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie sat behind the Notre Dame bench. Christie's daughter, Sarah, is one of the Irish student managers. His son, Andrew, played baseball for Princeton. ... Ivy League teams have won first-round games in four of the last eight NCAA Tournaments and each of the losses have been by single digits. ... Notre Dame has won seven NCAA Tournament games over the past three seasons, matching the most victories the program has had in any four-year span. ... Farrell has made a 3-pointer in 25 straight games.