Photo by Rick Kimball/ISD
Notre Dame Basketball

Notre Dame Uses Defense To Get By Duquesne 67-56

November 20, 2018

Notre Dame (4-1) made crucial plays on both sides of the floor down the stretch to hand Duquesne (3-1) its first loss of the season on Tuesday night.

The Irish ended the game on a 16-5 run and defeated the Dukes 67-56.

“What a great win for our group,” stated Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey. “I’m really proud. They went on a 10-0 run in the second half and you’re at a crossroad again. I felt we answered. Our defense was excellent and we ended with nine straight stops to get out of there. 

“We’ve gone nine straight days. I told them it didn’t start off great losing the first one to Radford we’ve recovered pretty well. Maybe we’re having guys get more confident.” 

Duquesne opened the second half with a big 10-0 run to tie the game at 41-41. The Dukes continued to go basket –for- basket with the Irish until late in the second half.

Fighting back Notre Dame had made a run of its own sparked by back-to-back offensive rebounds by Prentiss Hubb. Hubb’s hustle plays led to a TJ Gibbs layup to give Notre Dame a 53-52 lead with 6:30 left in the game.  The Irish never trailed from this point forward despite playing four freshmen in crunch time.,

“I’ve never had a situation like this,” stated Brey. “Five years at Delaware or 18 years here where I’ve had this many new guys. We’re in a total youth movement. That’s why Elijah (Burns) left us. We love Elijah. We’re committed to the youth movement. We have some darn good veterans and John Mooney has jumped up quick.”

 Duquesne tried to counter after Gibb’s layup, but senior captain Rex Pflueger took a charge on the other end of the court. This sparked an 8-0 run to extend Notre Dame’s lead to seven, 59-52 going into a media timeout.

Out of the timeout, Notre Dame continued to show great energy on both sides of the floor, and John Mooney blocked Carry at the rim, and Pflueger earned two from the free throw strike after a steal on back-to-back defensive possessions.

Notre Dame shot just 37 percent from the field in the game, but the difference was defense. The Irish forced 16 turnovers and was able to turn the turnovers into points especially down the stretch.

Mooney was critical in the win for the Irish down the stretch and in the second half. He recorded his third straight double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds and scored 14 of his 18 points in the second half.

Duquesne shot 35 percent from the field and only 22 percent from three-point range in the game. The Dukes bench was a bright spot led by Tavian Dunn-Martin who scored a team-high 14 points in 22 minutes.

Duquesne got only five combined points from its leading scorers Eric Williams Jr. and Sincere Carry.

To open the game, scoring went back and forth, and Duquesne had a quick 7-5 lead after a hot shooting start. Notre Dame’s defense made an adjustment from man-to-man and to zone, and it made all the difference.

After a Dunn-Martin miss, Gibbs hit a three-pointer to give the Irish an 8-7 lead early in the first half. Notre Dame went on to a 12-0 run and led 17-7 with 13:25 left in the first half after a Chase Goodwin and-one.

After a timeout and almost 3 minutes without a basket, Williams Jr. broke the drought with a three-pointer of his own for Duquesne.

After some fight and back forth midway through the first half,  Notre Dame went five minutes without a basket to end the first half, and Duquesne was able to end the half on a 12-6 run to go into the locker room down just six points, 33-27.

Despite the drought, the Irish shot 39 percent from the field and 43 percent (6-14) from the three-point line. The real difference was their defense; they forced Duquesne into nine turnovers.

Hubb was the leading scorer and was the difference maker offensively for Notre Dame in the first half. The freshman guard hit three from long range and ended the half with 10 points.

Duquesne shot 37 percent from the field in the first half, but only 15 percent from the three-point range. Weather and Hughes each chipped in six points to lead their offense.

Irish Sports Daily
Final Box Score


Irish Sports Daily
Final Notre Dame Stats 


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