It was a game of two very different halves.
...and that's a good thing. The Irish used halftime to make adjustments and come out invigorated in the second half. While the first 20 minutes was a display of everything that can go wrong with this Notre Dame team, the Irish outscored Boston by 13 and outrebounded them by six in the second half. That is very good, no matter who you play. The team showed more fire on defense and attacked the rim with the ball. While Mike Brey teams have been criticized for not making enough adjustments, that could certainly not be argued here.
Take away Boston's second half three-point barrage and we win by a decent margin.
While the first half demonstrated how the Irish can be beaten by a team that attacks the offensive glass, Notre Dame took away second chances after halftime. Boston had to rely on shooting 53% (8-15) from beyond the arc to delay the inevitable. Corey Lowe used a very effective step back dribble to give himself space and actually hit those shots in the second half. Without a hot shooting streak, it would have been more evident that the Irish outplayed Boston in almost all second half aspects.
Harangody needs some help on the glass.
Luke finished with ten more boards than anyone else on the team. The second half gap in rebounding was primarily due to his superior positioning and heart going after the ball. Hillesland needs to step up and get those boards, as well as Nash off the bench. As mentioned in the comments of the last post, Brey had difficulty playing Nash against such a small Boston lineup. Even Zeller was held to only 11 minutes. Against bigger Big East teams, he should see a chance to make an impact. Hopefully.
We really looked bad in the first half and that could be a blueprint for defeating the Irish in league play. Attack for offensive rebounds, double team Harangody when he gets to the post, shadow McAlarney all over the court. If the halves were inverted, we would be talking about how the Irish nearly blew a big halftime lead. As it stands, they came back and really stepped up their game when it counted. Other teams have bad days too (Texas, Tennessee, Kansas), the key is to pull out the win and learn from it. We won, now let's fix the problems we had in the first half yesterday.