Photo by Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports
Notre Dame Basketball

Irish blow by 'Canes

February 23, 2020
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A banked-in triple.

Between-the-legs assist for yet another 3-pointer.

And a comical missed dunk for Miami that transitioned into a John Mooney slam at the other end.

Yep, it was that kind of day for Notre Dame Sunday afternoon inside Purcell Pavilion.

Buoyed by a 33-10 run into the intermission, 21 assists and 14 3s, the Fighting Irish crushed the visiting Hurricanes, 87-71, in front of an evening crowd of 7,351.

Notre Dame (17-10, 8-8 Atlantic Coast Conference) won for the sixth time in its past eight games and pulled to .500 in league play after sitting near the cellar with a 2-6 mark after a one-point loss at Florida State on January 25.

The Fighting Irish got double-double performances from both Prentiss Hubb and John Mooney; Hubb doled out 10 assists to go along with 15 points while Mooney matched T.J. Gibbs’ game-best scoring mark of 19 points and also led all players with a dozen rebounds.

“It’s all thanks to my teammates,” Hubb said. “They get open shots, especially when Mooney and other guys are running in transition. They just make it easier for me to get a double-double.”

Miami (14-13, 6-11 ACC) had won three straight games coming into this tilt, but after an early 19-15 lead never threatened as the Irish got loose from long-distance range.

Inside the final 10 minutes to the half, Notre Dame turned that four-point deficit into an insurmountable 48-29 lead with 33 points, including a perfect half of caring for the ball with 13 assists and zero turnovers.

“That’s got to be one of our better halves in this building since I’ve been here,” said 20-year ND coach Mike Brey. “To look at the stat sheet and see 13 assists and no turnovers at halftime. I thought we were in a great rhythm offensively sharing the ball and our defense was good because we were able to get stops and run a little bit and get buckets.”

Added Hubb, “I think we just found our rhythm. Playing loose, not really worried about the switching that they were doing. That’s been challenging us a little bit, earlier throughout the year.

“We just figured out we had to move the ball and play ourselves.”

Six different Notre Dame players hit at least one 3-pointer for the Irish, who entered the game leading the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.72 and generated a 3-to-1 share ratio in their largest league win since a 27-point victory against Pittsburgh on Feb. 28, 2018.

“I think we’ve done a really good job of getting better in game situations and down the stretch, but it’s always nice not to need that and win like we did,” said Mooney, who notched his 22nd double-double of the season and 43rd of his career. “Yeah, I mean, it’s nice but we’ve got to move forward. Our mindset is 1-0.

“Today we were 1-0 and Wednesday we’re going to try to be 1-0.”

The Irish on Wednesday get a chance to avenge one of those narrow losses that Mooney referenced when they visit Boston College, which stunned Notre Dame 73-72 here on December 7.

Dane Goodwin added 14 points off the bench for Notre Dame, which shot 47.1 percent from the field (32-for-68) and 45.2 from 3 (14-for-31), including a scintillating 10-for-18 first-half mark (56%).

Miami got 12 points each from D.J. Vasiljevic, Harlond Beverly and Isaiah Wong.

ISD Video | Mike Brey Post-Miami

ISD Video | Prentiss Hubb & John Mooney Post-Miami

ISD Video | Miami coach Jim Larrañaga Post-Notre Dame

Irish Sports Daily
Final Stats

 

 
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