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Notre Dame Basketball

Irish Push #4 Virginia, Come Up Short

February 16, 2019

Three weeks ago in South Bend, Virginia beat Notre Dame by 27 points.

On Saturday, the Irish traveled to Charlottesville to take on the Cavaliers once again.

Notre Dame came up short again, but this time, the Irish showed toughness and grit in a 60-54 loss to the fourth-ranked team in the country.

The Irish were able to silence the crowd when Virginia gained momentum with a run with crucial buckets, but throughout the second half, they were never able to take the lead and could only cut Virginia’s lead to within one. Unfortunately, the last Notre Dame surge wasn’t enough as the Cavaliers wrapped it up in in the final minute.

Kyle Guy and Ty Jerome hit six free throws at the end of the game to seal it for the Cavaliers. 

Notre Dame dropped to 13-12 on the year and 3-9 in ACC with the loss while Virginia improved to 22-2 on the year and 10-2 in the ACC.

With just less than five minutes to play in the game, Virginia opened its largest lead of the game with a pair of free throws by De’Andre Hunter. This capped a 9-0 by the Cavaliers to extend their lead to 10, 54-44. Notre Dame came rushing back and went on an 8-0 run of its own. Nate Laszewski stole the inbounds pass from Guy with under a minute and converted a bucket to cut Virginia’s lead to just two, 54-52. Moments later Guy converted the first of his four consecutive free throws to help ice the game.

John Mooney recorded his ACC-best 16th best double-double with 11 points and 15 rebounds in the loss. TJ Gibbs had another big performance with 17 points.

Notre Dame shot just 35 percent from the field (19-55) and 27 percent from three (8-30). The Irish were able to force eight Virginia turnovers and scored nine points off them. This was a big reason for a close upset by the Irish.

Guy and Hunter led the way for Virginia with 22 and 20 points respectively. The Cavaliers shot 37 percent from the field (19-52) and 35 percent from three (8-23).

Down 27-19 with a minute and a half left in the first half, Notre Dame was in desperate need of a bucket when Virginia gained momentum after Braxton Key blocked Mooney at the rim after an offensive rebound. The rejection at the rim turned into an easy bucket in transition when Hunter hit a three-pointer for Virginia. This sparked a quick 7-0 run and extended the Cavaliers lead to eight which was the largest of the half.

Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey called a well-needed timeout and Notre Dame was able to capitalize when Harvey hit his second three-pointer of the first half out of the timeout. Mooney countered Harvey’s three with one of his own moments later after a defensive stop to pull the Irish within two with less than a minute to go, 27-25. Virginia was able to score a bucket on its last possession of the half on a reverse layup by Jack Salt to give Virginia a 29-25 lead going into the locker room.

Notre Dame started slow, but junior captain Gibbs kept them in the game. He scored the Irish’s first 10 points of the game on 4-7 shooting when the rest of his team shot 0-10 over the first 12 minutes of the first half. Harvey caught fire and added 10 points of his own in the last eight minutes of the first half.

The Irish shot 35 percent from the field (9-26) and 33 percent from three (5-15) in the first half. They also out-rebounded Virginia 19-15.

Virginia shot 38 percent from the field (11-29) and 33 percent from the three-point line (5-15). The Cavaliers also didn’t turn the ball over once in the first half. Guy and Hunter led the way for Virginia with 10 and seven points respectively.

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