Photo by Rick Kimball/ISD
Notre Dame Basketball

Notre Dame Seniors Want To Keep Playing

March 14, 2018

Notre Dame jumped out to an early lead on Hampton and answered any questions about motivation after just missing the NCAA Tournament. 

The eighth-seeded Pirates led for all of 20 seconds in the game and found themselves down 23-16 after one quarter.  

“I thought we were in a good flow on both sides of the floor,” Notre Dame forward Bonzie Colson stated. “We defended really well today, which really helps us on the offensive end. We’re going to need that to carry us as we play each game.” 

Notre Dame did defend well as they held Hampton to just 30 percent shooting, including 23 percent from three-point range. 

The Irish also continued to win the battle on the boards, which turned out to be essential as both teams combined to shoot 159 times during the game. 

“It’s a great win for us,” stated Colson. “Everyone contributed and stayed in character. That’s all you can ask for. We have to keep plugging and staying locked in on both sides of the floor.”

The NIT is using experimental rules and that includes four quarters, which Colson forgot after the end of the first quarter when he started to head to the locker room. 

“I did,” Colson laughed when asked if he headed off the court. “I forgot that we had four quarters. I’m still getting used to it.” 

Senior point guard Matt Farrell felt the longer media timeouts were noticeable. However, he didn’t feel it impacted the Irish.

“They were a little weird to get used to – I don’t know how I feel about it,” Farrell said of the new rules. “The media timeouts are long. It’s different. It might be tough to get into a flow with these new rules, but I thought we flowed well tonight. We didn’t shoot it well, but we put up numbers.”

Colson is close to getting back into game shape, and he was grateful for the longer breaks. 

“At the time, I think it benefits all of us,” explained Colson. “It helped us get our breath back. Why not have longer timeouts where you can discuss what’s going on? That’s one rule I kind of liked.” 

While Purcell Pavilion had an official attendance of 2,101, Colson appreciated the fan support, and it allowed them to stay loose. 

“The fans were there, and we were playing well on both sides of the floor,” Colson stated. “We knew no matter where we’re at, we still have to play our game. We have to play with nothing to lose and stay in character. 

“We’re chasing a championship. We’re all locked into that department and plugged in. We understand what’s at stake and that’s important.”

Notre Dame will play the winner of Wednesday’s Penn State-Temple game on Saturday with a Noon tip-off. 

“The opportunity to continue to play is important,” said Colson. “Playing is something you can’t take for granted. We have to enjoy college basketball more. Enjoy the locker room and team meals. For us to keep playing, we can enjoy the process of getting better and playing as a unit.

“We love each other and play for each other.” 

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