Notre Dame (5-8) went on the road to face the Miami Hurricanes (6-8) looking to do something it had not done all season … win two games in a row. The Irish controlled the action against the Hurricanes and did just that, beating Miami 73-59.
Notre Dame’s schedule has softened up recently, and the Irish are taking advantage, winners of two straight, and the offense is starting to get back on track.
Irish head coach Mike Brey decided to change things up with a brand new starting lineup that included freshmen forwards Matt Zona and Tony Sanders Jr. It also included veteran captain Nikola Djogo to go with guards Elijah Morgan and Cormac Ryan. A press release that was posted just prior to the opening tip said the ‘blue team’ earned the start in this game after a “highly competitive practice on Friday.”
This switch lasted until the first media timeout and did not go the way Brey had hoped, as the Irish started 0-6 from the field and were down 6-0 until Djogo hit a three pointer to put the Irish on the board.
Once the regulars were back in the game things started to trend towards the Irish. Guard Prentice Hubb and forward Juwan Durham had a nice connection early on as Hubb assisted on two of Durham’s eight first half points, including a nice alley oop late in the half. Hubb also added eight of his own to match the margin for Notre Dame as they took a 30-22 lead into the locker room.
The second half picked up where the first half ended, with Notre Dame sharing the basketball and shooting with a high percentage. Hubb and Durham continued their hot connection as well with a pick and roll game that Miami had no answer for.
Miami just looked a step behind Notre Dame for most of the second half as the lead continued to grow as the period went on. Only having seven active players available was clearly something the Hurricanes could not overcome. Miami shot better in the second half, but it made just 24-62 shots (38.7%), including a paltry 3-22 from behind the arc.
Notre Dame, on the other hand, shot 10-18 and a blistering 5-7 from beyond the arc in the second half.
Miami was able to get three in double figures for Hurricanes with Kameron McGusty going for 19, Isaiah Wong for 16 and Elijah Olaniyi for 10.
Hubb was very efficient on the night going 5-7 from three and totalling 19 points. He was one assist shy of a second consecutive double-double. Durham and Nate Laszewski both added 16 points for the Irish in the win.
The Irish are back at it on Wednesday as they look for their third straight conference win as they welcome Virginia Tech to Purcell Pavilion for a 7:00 PM ET tip.
To comment below be sure to sign up for a FREE Disqus account, which you can get HERE.
Become a premium Irish Breakdown member, which grants you access to all of our premium content, our premium message board and gets you a FREE subscription to Sports Illustrated! Click on the link below for more
Be sure to stay locked into Irish Breakdown all the time!
Join the Irish Breakdown community!
Subscribe to the Irish Breakdown podcast on iTunes.
Subscribe to the Irish Breakdown YouTube channel.
Follow Vince on Twitter: @CoachDeDario
Like and follow Irish Breakdown on Facebook