Notre Dame Earns A Convincing Victory Over UCLA
When Notre Dame and UCLA faced off a year ago the Bruins stunned the Irish with a three-pointer with just 0.1 left in the game. Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey said his players had not forgotten about that loss, and today his squad got redemption, beating the Bruins 75-61 in convincing fashion.
Sophomore guard Dane Goodwin made the first big run of the game for Notre Dame, knocking down three straight shots from deep to put the Irish up 17-8, forcing a UCLA timeout. Neither team shot well in the first twenty minutes, so that short hot streak from Goodwin proved impactful in the early going.
Notre Dame’s lead climbed to 31-17, but a 7-0 UCLA run to end the first half made it a 31-24 game at the break. Goodwin’s 14 points led the Irish offense, which made just 34.4-percent of its shots in the first half. UCLA was worse, making just 30-percent of their shots.
Whatever Brey said in the locker room at halftime worked, as the Irish came out hot to start the second half. Senior forward John Mooney and sophomore guard Prentiss Hubb combined to score 14 points in less than five minutes as the Irish raced out to a 45-28 lead, forcing a UCLA timeout.
UCLA tried to claw back, getting the lead down to 11, but Hubb stepped up again, making a pair of free throws and then driving the lane and drawing in the UCLA defense before kicking it out to senior guard TJ Gibbs, who knocked down an open look from deep to make it a 60-44 game.
Every time UCLA made a run the Irish answered and extended the lead.
Mooney and Hubb combined to put the game away late. After UCLA cut the lead to 11, Hubb attacked the basket with the shot clocking winding down, drew the defense and dished to Mooney who laid it for two. Hubb capped the game off with a deep three for good measure, ensuring a convincing Notre Dame victory.
Notre Dame made 7-of-16 shots from deep in the second half and made 9-of-12 from the free throw line, which proved to be the difference in the game. Notre Dame never led by fewer than 11 points in the final 17:50 of the game.
Hubb led the Irish with 20 points and six assists. Goodwin finished with 16 points, Gibbs added 15 points and Mooney had a double-double, scoring 14 points and grabbing 15 rebounds.
The Irish did a great job taking care of the basketball, turning it over just six times while dishing out 15 assists.
Notre Dame improves to 8-3 on the season while the Bruins fall to 7-4. The Irish next play on Saturday, Dec. 21 against Indiana in the Crossroads Classic. The game will be played at Banks Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.