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Notre Dame Basketball

No. 8 Marquette Runs Notre Dame Out of Fiserv Forum 78-59

December 9, 2023

It was over before it started and it progressively got even worse following the opening tip as No. 8 Marquette (8-2) blasted Notre Dame (4-5) 78-59 on Saturday night in a game that the Golden Eagles could have picked the score. 

If you missed the bloodbath in Milwaukee, Marquette jumped out to a 17-0 lead and Notre Dame failed to score a point until Markus Burton scored a layup seven minutes into the game. 

In those first seven minutes, Micah Shrewsberry’s squad recorded eight turnovers and three shot clock violations, including one on the opening possession. 

“This is the best team we’ve played,” stated Shrewsberry. “How they play, how they move it, share it and defend with effort. You could tell watching it and you could tell it up close. I was disappointed with our effort in the first half, but thought we competed in the second half. There’s also some human nature where you take the foot off the gas when you're up big at halftime. Hats off to them. Shaka (Smart) has a great team.” 

As Shrewsberry said, the young Irish were simply overwhelmed when it came to talent, but it was also the first truly hostile atmosphere most of the group had experienced. 

“It was more of the team than the atmosphere,” Shrewsberry said. “I think it was an unbelievable atmosphere, right? Don’t get me wrong this is one of the best in the country. I think the team had more to do with it than the atmosphere.” 

On the defensive end, Notre Dame had no answer for Oso Ighodaro, who scored 14 first half points shooting 100 percent from the field. Ighodaro finished the night with 20 points and three boards. 

Burton was the lone bright spot of the first half as he scored 10 points while Braeden Shrewsberry added six off the bench, including a three to cut it to 43-24. Yet, that was the closest the Irish would get as Marquette finished the first 20 minutes with a 9-0 run to take a commanding 52-24 lead into the half. 

The Irish did show fight in the second half with runs of 8-0 and 7-0. The latter run closed the game as Matt Zona led the charge with five points in two minutes of action. 

For the game, Notre Dame shot just 36.5 percent from the floor and 25.7 percent from deep compared to Marquette finishing the night with a field goal percentage of 51.8. 

On a night where Shrewsberry wanted more communication and less turnovers, the Irish did neither as Notre Dame hit 19 field goals and turned the ball over 19 times, which led to 30 points off turnovers for Marquette. 

“I talked about it at halftime, they are one of the best teams in the country getting the ball to the rim and scoring in the paint and everything else,” Shrewsberry explained. “They got there freely and willingly. We didn’t stick to what we talked about doing. We didn’t guard the way we talked about guarding and they were dunking and laying it up. They were getting open shots.

“I think our effort increased in the second half and we did a few more things we talked about. We wanted to keep them out of the paint as much as possible and they took a boatload of threes. We need to come out and start the game that way.” 

The offensive concerns are very real for Notre Dame as 66 points (in overtime vs. Oklahoma State) is the season high against a major conference opponent. But the effort in the second half is something Shrewsberry hopes the Irish can build on moving forward. 

“Cats out of the bag,” said Shrewsberry. “I know how hard you can play. You can’t go backward. I saw dudes asking to come out because they were playing so hard. The next time we lace them up, I need to see the same effort. It’s proven you can play that hard and we need to see it for an entire 40 minutes.” 

Burton finished the game with 20 points, three rebounds, two assists and four steals, while Julian Roper II chipped in nine points on 3-for-6 from three-point range. Tyler Kolek finished with 17 points, seven rebounds and seven assists for the Golden Eagles. 

Notre Dame will return to South Bend next Saturday for a clash with Georgetown (5-4) at 2:15 PM ET on The CW. 

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