A very good win. It's hard not to just see this as a flash in the pan after Rutgers, but a game like this should always be appreciated.
The 2-3 zone worked very well for much of the game. Since the Bearcats shot only 25% beyond the arc, our defense was able to shut them down pretty much all game. The big difference this time compared to our last contest was how the Irish controlled the glass. 37-31 tonight. Great job, boys.
On offense, the Irish shot the ball very well, always necessary for a Notre Dame win. Luke Harangody pulled down 6 offensive rebounds, helping the Irish gain more second chances than Cincinnati for the night.
Tory Jackson really struggled, going 0-6 from the floor. He dished out 8 assists to 2 turnovers in 38 minutes. If the missed shots continue down the road, especially Tory's effectiveness from beyond the arc, you have to wonder about the intelligence of continuing to play him for almost 40 minutes a game. Hopefully this is just an outlier, because we will definitely need some points from Tory in the home stretch.
Ben Hansbrough sniffed a triple-double yet again. I'd be shocked if he doesn't end up with one this year or next. 12 points, 9 assists, 8 rebounds. He chipped in a pair of steals to make up for his two turnovers, as well.
Tim Abromaitis played very well before fouling out. 22 points on 6-10 shooting and a perfect 7-7 on free throws. He also had a career-high four assists.
Ty Nash was in foul trouble, as well. He picked up four in 26 minutes of play. Just 4 points and 6 rebounds to show for those minutes. We didn't need a whole lot more from him, though, as Harangody pulled down 14 rebounds by himself.
Luke also scored 37 points and was very close to a new career-high in scoring. As it stands, Gody has pulled into second place on the Big East all-time rebounding list and fourth in scoring. Big congratulations to him. He has also tied Adrian Dantley for second place on Notre Dame's list of 20+ point games. He was a very efficient 15-25 from the field, hitting a mix of jumpers and off-balance driving layups in the paint.
Off the bench, Carleton Scott was actually a part of the rotation again. He scored 2 points and pulled down 2 rebounds, not the best stat line but still better than Peoples. It's ridiculous to think that the Irish can survive in the Big East with a backup point guard as the only guy coming off the bench. Joey Brooks and Jack Cooley also got a minute, with Brooks banking in a nice three.
This was a great game to see and the best way to bounce back from an embarrassing loss. Of course, it's hard not to just see this as a tiny ray of hope after so many disappointments. Hopefully the team will do this again a few more times.