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Notre Dame Basketball

Game Thread | Notre Dame at No. 18 Virginia

January 13, 2021
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Notre Dame (3-7, 0-4) at No. 18 Virginia (7-2, 3-0)


Date: January 13th

Time: 4:30 p.m. ET

Where: John Paul Jones Arena | Charlottesville, Va. 

TV:  ACC Network | Jay Alter and Malcolm Huckaby 

Line: Virginia -9.5 

ACC Standings 


Quick Facts 

- Mike Brey is 1-8 against Tony Bennett and 1-10 all-time against Virginia. 

- Virginia leads the all-time series 15-2, including 6-0 at John Paul Jones Arena. 

- Junior forward Nate Laszewski’s NCAA-leading effective field goal percentage in 2020-21 (.782).

- Prentiss Hubb is averaging 5.5 assists in conference games, which puts him in a three-way tie for first place in the ACC. 

- The Irish are 10th in the country and first in the ACC in free throw percentage at .795.


THE STARTERS

Notre Dame

Name Points Rebounds Assists
Prentiss Hubb 14.2 3.1 4.7
Cormac Ryan 8.7 4.4 3.4
Nik Djogo 3.8 2.6 1.1
Nate Laszewski 17.2 7.8 0.4
Juwan Durham 7.7 4.7 1.7

Virginia 

Name Points Rebounds Assists
Kihei Clark 10.7 1.6 3.3
Trey Murphy III 11.0 3.1 1.2
Reece Beekman 5.0 2.2 2.2
Sam Hauser 13.7 7.3 2.0
Jay Huff 12.3 5.9 0.4

Preview

Points Per Game
Notre Dame: 70.6
Virginia: 71.6

Opponent Points Per Game
Notre Dame: 74.5
Virginia 59.4

FG%
Notre Dame: 45.2%
Virginia: 45.4%

Rebounds Per Game
Notre Dame: 31.6
Virginia: 32.7

Assists Per Game
Notre Dame: 14.2
Virginia: 12.9

Blocks Per Game
Notre Dame: 3.4
Virginia: 4.1

Steals Per Game
Notre Dame: 3.6
Virginia: 5.4

Notre Dame and Virginia met 14 days ago at Purcell Pavilion and life has been very different for both programs since. The Hoos were coming off losing to No. 1 Gonzaga and bested the Irish 66-57 and have looked like a Tony Bennett team as they held Wake Forest to 61 points and Boston College to 49 points. 

The Fighting Irish lost to North Carolina and Virginia Tech and haven’t scored over 70 points since losing to the Hoos on December 30th. 

In the first matchup, Notre Dame shot a respectable 40.0% from the field, but just 25.0% from three-point range. To be frank, Notre Dame did a lot of things well two weeks ago as they only had seven turnovers, shots 13 more free throws (16/21), but failed to get stops at crucial times. 

Mike Brey has seen his team play well on the road this year in the first half, but then literally disappear in the second half. On Sunday, Notre Dame shot 2-for-19 from the field in the second half as the Irish lost a seven-point halftime lead to Virginia Tech. 

Notre Dame will need to play a full 40 minutes on Wednesday to remain competitive against a team they’ve struggled with since joining the ACC and it starts on the defensive end. 

"I think we're still trying to learn how to be more mentally tough when we aren't in a good offensive rhythm,” stated Brey. “We can still defend. I think our attitude to defend was better in the first half because we were scoring. They really guarded us in the second half and took things away. If your shot doesn't go in or miss a couple in a row - being mentally tough enough to go back and guard. We don't understand that yet.”

While defense will be an area to watch, Notre Dame’s second half performance will also be something to watch regardless of defensive effort. Can the Irish score? It starts with effort. 

"We continue to learn the hard way,” Brey said. “We've been happy at halftime a couple of times - Ohio State, North Carolina, today, but man, it's just so fickle. I'm trying to explain that to them and we've kind of learned it that way." 

Despite the struggles, the locker room still remains upbeat as the Irish hope to end a 25-game losing streak to ranked teams. 

"I just know the guys in the locker room and even though we haven't shown it," said captain Nik Djogo. “I know how we can play and how much of a well-rounded team we have. I know it hasn't really shown in the games and especially for a full 40, but we have a lot of very talented guys. 

"It's a long season, so I'm just confident that we're going to keep going back in the lab and do what we need to do to improve as a team and hopefully win the next one on Wednesday and start a little run."

Prediction: Virginia 67 Notre Dame 56

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Game Thread | Notre Dame at No. 18 Virginia

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