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Notre Dame Basketball

Ice Cold Shooting Down the Stretch Leads to Notre Dame’s Demise at Syracuse

January 14, 2023

Guard Marcus Hammond scored 18 points off the bench, a season-high for the graduate senior at Notre Dame, but his performance wasn’t enough for the Irish to hold onto a double-digit second-half lead against Syracuse inside the JMA Wireless Dome. 

Notre Dame (9-9, 1-6 ACC) fell to the Orange (12-6, 5-2 ACC) for the second time this season, 78-73.

“We made 15 threes. We had 21 assists,” Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said.
“We were really good, but I think an area that hurts us is when we really have to defend to win a game and stick our chest in there — at least on the road — we haven't been able to do that.”

The Irish match their worst start to conference play since 2018-19 when they began 1-6 in the ACC.

Guard Dane Goodwin chipped in 15 points to go along with a team-high six assists. Forward Nate Laszewski scored 14 points, 11 of which came in the second half. He also grabbed 10 boards for a double-double. 

Trey Wertz also scored in double figures with 12 points on four of eight shooting from beyond the arc, but he and the rest of the Irish shooters went cold down the stretch.

Stat of the Night

The Irish started off on fire from deep, hitting 14 of their first 27 three-point attempts. As a result, Notre Dame led by 12 midway through the second half.

From that point on, the Irish made a single shot from beyond the arc — a Hammond three-pointer that regained the lead for Notre Dame 71-69 with 2:57 remaining. The Irish missed their other nine three-point attempts down the stretch, with three of them failing to draw iron. 

“I'm disappointed because we played fearlessly,” Brey said. “That's maybe the best zone offense we've ever run. But we did have some looks they're, really good ones. Dane made a couple, but we didn't make those the last six or seven minutes or so. Credit to Syracuse. Tough kids. 

Highlight Reel

JJ Starling made just three of his 10 field goal attempts on Saturday for six points, but his second-half dunk might be his most impressive of the season.

Big Picture

Notre Dame falls to 1-6 in conference play, and the Irish could end up challenging the 2018-19 team for the program's worst record in the ACC. That year Notre Dame went 3-15 in league play and finished 14-19 overall. 

What’s Next?

The Fighting Irish return to South Bend to host Florida State (5-13, 3-4 ACC) on Tuesday, Jan. 17, at 7 p.m. EST on ESPNU. 

The Seminoles defeated Notre Dame in Tallahassee on Dec. 21, 73-72.

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