Sunday, February 07, 2010

Notre Dame 65, South Florida 62

Very good win against a team that could be knocking on the door of the Tournament in a month. Things could have fallen apart when South Florida took the lead in the second half, but the Irish pulled things together and gutted out a very important win.

After a 16-2 run to start the game, ND let the Bulls get back into the contest over the next fourteen minutes, finally tying it up at the half. In the second period, South Florida threatened to break open a tight game, taking a six point lead with ten minutes remaining. Instead of buckling to the pressure, the Irish responded with six straight points of their own.

Offensive efficiency down the stretch was the key. Scoring at least two points on six straight possessions put Notre Dame ahead by five with a minute remaining and some clutch free throws by Harangody at the end gave this game its final margin. The Irish made their final ten attempts from the charity stripe, taking care of business when they needed to.

Hats off to Tory Jackson for a great defensive effort on Dominique Jones. The conference player of the year candidate who hadn't scored less than 20 in nine straight games was held to just ten points on 3-17 shooting. Tremendous job, Tory. On offense, Jackson scored 18 himself and dished out 4 assists. 4-5 from the line for a guy who is only shooting 61% on the year.

Ben Hansbrough was pretty efficient. 13 points, 6 rebounds. Like Tory, he played 39 minutes. Our backcourt is going to be on life support by the end of the season if they continue to play entire games.

Abro scored less than ten for only the third game this season. That should underline what a great year the breakout junior has been having. To be honest, it was still a pretty good performance by Tim, but he only had six shot attempts for the afternoon.

Ty Nash was very effective on the glass, which should be his first priority in every game. I'll take 8 rebounds in 24 minutes, even if that means he is using a little extra energy and only winding up with one basket of his own.

Harangody finished with 19 points and 15 rebounds. However, he did have a couple stretches where he decided to jack up jumpers early in the shot clock. I was impressed with his effort on the boards, as he tied his season-high. It would have been very interesting to see him matched up against Gilchrist, but the Irish were fortunate enough to avoid playing him in both contests this year.

Off the bench, Peoples logged 20 minutes. There is absolutely no reason for him to get that much playing time when our guards are not getting any rest. He is taking time away from Abromaitis and Nash, when Carleton Scott and Jack Cooley are better fits at those respective positions. Scott played nine minutes with not a lot to show for it. Cooley got in for a few seconds, as well.

On to Seton Hall. Tory will certainly have his hands full again, this time with Jeremy Hazell.

8 comments:

Meghan said...

Did you pick up on why Brey had Abro benched for so much of the second half when it was close? Was Abro winded or hurt?

Keaton McDonald said...

Great game today...where were the students at? We actually moved down into the student section at tip-off because it was not even 1/4 full....

I honestly feel this team is playing its best ball right now, which is important...if only if only we could have that Rutgers game back...I feel that a win at Seton Hall gets us right back on the NCAA map...but it wont be easy on the road...

I liked how we cleaned the boards and hit foul shots...all key to success...hats of to TOry who made up for a 1 point game Thursday...

With the same defense pressure and good foul shooting...I think we should win Thursday...

my prediction....ND 80 SH 75

Joe said...

Good game!

Other than the rebounds, Luke did not play well. Like you mentioned he took some bad jumpers, but when he had that dumb foul for pushing that guy going up for a dunk inside a minute, I was going nuts.

Anonymous said...

Great game by Tory. He has been, and is, a warrior. Good question about the students. An embarrassing turnout of students for a Big East game. My guess is that many of them are in their rooms playing video games......different generation I guess.

BlackandGreen said...

Sunday noon games are always tough for students. You can draw your own conclusions on the reasons for that and whether or not they are valid.

We have had much better turnouts than that this year, but the attendance this weekend was certainly one of the worst.

David said...

Joe Lunardi has Notre Dame on the "first four out" list for the NCAA Tournament. It's amazing what a couple wins in a row can do for a team's resume.

Like death and taxes, Notre Dame finds itself on the bubble again.

Keaton McDonald said...

good point David...I have never thought of it like that!

This is a huge huge week for our resume building...we have two games we could and possibly should win...the toughest of course will come thursday...

2 wins puts us at 19-7 (8-5) with a win streak of 4...RPI will be around 50ish...that is sitting pretty good...

However, with the remaining games being against @ Georgetown, Louisville and home against Pitt, UConn...there are some good chances for big wins...

We need to hold our own at home...win at Seton Hall...and win a game in the Big East tourney to get in...thats my guess...

If we beat Seton Hall...then we have the upper hand on them and South FLorida (both teams listed on last 5 out)

Go IRISH!!!

David said...

I'm with you, Keaton.

If we can get (knock on wood) to 8-5 in the Big East after this week, then we put ourselves in pretty good position.

Even if we settle with a 2-3 record in the last 5 (Win against UCONN and Pitt @ home), that would leave us at 10-8 entering the Big East tourn.

Perhaps from there, the committee will be kind.

I just want to be able to stay home from work and watch Notre Dame in the first round the NCAA tournament. My expectations are very reasonable I think.

Go Irish.