Photo by Rick Kimball/ISD
Notre Dame Basketball

Colson Leads Irish To 88-62 Win Over Mountaineers

November 13, 2017
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Bonzie Colson got off to a hot start and never looked back against a smaller Mount St. Mary’s (0-2) squad on Monday night. The 6-foot-5 senior recorded 27 points and 11 rebounds as Notre Dame (2-0) cruised to an 88-62 win.

Colson started off the first four minutes of the game with four points and three rebounds, including a steal at the top of the key and finished with a breakaway layup. The Irish captain finished 11-for-15 from the field and 4-for-4 from the foul line.

"We thought we could beat them up inside and throw it in there," Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey said after the win. "If they are going to play Bonzie with one guy, we’re going to keep throwing it in there. You felt you could hurt them in there."

After a sluggish start in the first half, the Irish came out with a quick 7-0 run over the first 1:20 of the second half to turn an eight-point lead into a 47-32 advantage. Martinas Geben started things off with a three-point play and Matt Farrell capped it off with a layup.

"That was a style of play that was a test defensively chasing around all these three-point shooters," stated Brey. "For the most part, we did a pretty good job, especially in the second half."

The run extended to 14-0 after a Colson fast-break layup and another Farrell trey to give the Irish a 54-32 lead with 16:10 left in the game. 

"He told us we were a second half team," said guard Rex Pflueger of Brey's message at the half. "We have the energy we had been working on the whole preseason and this game was nothing different. Shots weren’t falling and it was a tight game, but we knew we could open it up by playing some defense.”

Farrell finished his night with 12 points and five assists, but the senior point guard shot just 5-of-15 from the field. 

Bobby Planutis ended the scoring drought for the Mountaineers with a three-pointer at the 15:53 mark. The freshman forward finished with 11 points and seven board on the night.

A three-pointer from Jonah Antonio, who finished with nine points, cut the lead to 58-43 but the Irish would build on the lead with a series of free throws from Elijah Burns and buckets from Colson and Pflueger.

Pflueger would finish the home-opener with a career-high 14 points, but he also added 10 rebounds and five assists. 

"That’s great when he’s rebounding," stated Colson. "We give him a lot of credit. He’s always guarding their best offensive player. For him to still be efficient and score on the offensive end is great for us.

“I don’t know how he does it, but he’s really coming into his own defensively.”

Both teams started off the game cold from the field. Notre Dame held an 11-6 lead at the 12:00 mark in the first half but the Irish didn’t hit a field goal for over 4:06, while the Mountaineers were held scoreless for 4:04.

Antonio broke the scoring drought with a three-pointer from the corner, but on Notre Dame’s next possession, Elijah Burns hit a shot from the beyond the arc to answer. Robinson and Alexander would hit buckets for the visiting team to tie the score at 14 all with just over nine minutes left in the first half.

The 5-foot-5 Robinson led the Mountaineers with 12 points on 5-of-7 from the field in the first half.

Alexander hit a three-pointer with 6:54 left in the half to give Mount St. Mary’s its first lead of the game at 21-20. Colson got a dunk and a quick basket to put the Irish back on top 24-23, but it would also jumpstart an 11-0 run over the next 1:46, which included a beautiful reverse layup from Pflueger.

Pflueger finished with nine points and seven rebounds in the first twenty minutes.

Colson closed the first half with a bucket as time expired to give the Irish a 40-32 lead at the break. The senior captain finished the opening half with 16 points and six boards.

After a slow start, Notre Dame finished the first half shooting 42 percent and Mount St. Mary’s ended the half at 41 percent. The Irish also held a 19-17 advantage on the boards at the break.

PLAYER OF THE GAME: Rex Pflueger. The junior forward scored, battled on the boards and played great defense all night. In addition to his 14 points, 10 boards and 5 assists, the California native had two steals and help limit Mount St. Mary's leading scorer, Junior Robinson to 14 points. 

STAT OF THE GAME: Notre Dame got 11 second-chance points on 11 offensive rebounds versus just four second-chance points for Mount St. Mary's. 

WHAT'S NEXT: Notre Dame will be back in action on Thursday night as Chicago State comes to Purcell Pavilion for a 7:00 p.m. ET tip. 

Irish Sports Daily
Mount St. Mary's vs Notre Dame Final Stats
Irish Sports Daily
Mount St. Mary's Final Stats
Irish Sports Daily
Notre Dame Final Stats

 

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