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Notre Dame Basketball

Game Thread | No. 15 Notre Dame vs. No. 7 Louisville | ACC Tournament

March 13, 2019
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No. 15 Notre Dame vs. No. 7 Louisville | ACC Tournament | Second Round 

Date: March 13th

Time: 7:00 p.m. ET

Where: Spectrum Center | Charlotte N.C.

TV:  ESPN2 | Rece Davis, LaPhonso Ellis and Allison Williams 

ACC Standings


QUICK FACTS

- Notre Dame and Louisville will meet for the 39th time on Wednesday. Louisville leads the series 23-15.

- On Tuesday, the Irish became the first 15-seed to win a game in the ACC Tournament.

- Juwan Durham blocked four shots in Tuesday’s victory and it was the eighth time he blocked four or more shots this season.

- John Mooney has recorded 358 rebounds this season and is now fourth on the single-season rebound total list for the Mike Brey era. Bonzie Colson is in third place with 362 rebounds.

- Mooney also become the sixth player to post 20 double-doubles in a season on Tuesday. 


THE STARTERS

Notre Dame

Name Points Rebounds Assists
Prentiss Hubb 8.2 3.0 4.0
TJ Gibbs 13.4 1.9 3.4
Dane Goodwin 6.2 3.1 1.1
John Mooney 14.1 11.2 1.3
Juwan Durham 5.2 3.6 0.4

Louisville 

Name Points Rebounds Assists
Christen Cunningham 10.1 2.3 4.9
Khwan Fore 3.3 1.4 1.3
Dwayne Sutton 10.3 6.9 1.7
Jordan Nwore 17.3 7.7 1.4
Malik Williams 7.7 6.0

0.3


STATS

Stats (Per Game) Notre Dame Louisville
Points Per Game 68.9 74.7
Opp. Points Per Game 68.7 67.8
FG% 39.5% 43.6%
Rebounds  36.5 38.0
Assists 12.9 13.2
Blocks 4.6 2.9
Steals 5.6 4.6

Preview

Notre Dame didn’t play well in Louisville 10 days ago in a 75-61 loss. The Irish hung around in the first half but couldn’t find enough offense to hang with the Cardinals in the second half. 

The good news for the Irish is they upset 10-seed Georgia Tech on Tuesday afternoon and advanced to the second round of the ACC Tournament.

Notre Dame also suffered bad news as freshman Nate Laszewski left the game in the first half after a hard fall. Head coach Mike Brey did have some positive news following the game as Laszewski’s X-rays were negative, but a return is still in the air for Wednesday game. 

“It's a bad bruise,” stated Brey. “The X-rays were negative, thank God. They took him up and X-rayed him. We'll try and get him loose for tomorrow, but the group that played pretty much the whole second half may be the group that whole game. 

“I hope we can get Nate loose because the Pittsburgh game and today, we've been kind of waiting on that from Nate and I was so frustrated when he went down because I think he's kind of found his game, as has Dane Goodwin, the two of them have kind of found themselves late in the year.”

An injury is never good but it couldn’t come at a worse time for the freshman. Laszewski had battled through consistency issues all season, but as Brey mentioned, the 6-foot-10 forward scored 39 points over the last two games, which included going 9-for-13 from three-point range. 

Brey mentioned Goodwin, who has also come on strong the last two games for 25 points combined with a 15-point performance on Tuesday against Georgia Tech. 

For Notre Dame to have a chance to upset Lousiville, Goodwin will need to be more aggressive and continue to take more shots as he’s been passive at times this season. 

The other positive take from Tuesday’s win was the play of junior Juwan Durham. The 6-foot-11 forward scored 12 points, pulled down five rebounds and had four blocks. Durham’s defensive presence and the timely offense was a huge boost off the bench and he’ll likely get the starting nod if Laszewski can’t go on Wednesday. 

As for Notre Dame’s bench, it could very well be freshman forward Chris Doherty and walk-on guard Liam Nelligan. Not great.

Brey knows his team will have to do something they haven’t done since December and that’s score 80 points to win. 

“The frustrating thing about our game in Louisville two weeks ago or a week ago was I felt it would have been game situations, but we missed all kinds of free throws in the second half, and we've been a good free-throw shooting team for the year,” recalled Brey.

“We're going to have to rebound, and we're going to have to score. I told our guys a couple of the time-outs in the first half, we're going to score 85, we're going to score 95, and you've got to score against these guys. They're very good.” 

Notre Dame shot just 4-for-14 from the free throw line at Louisville and 9-for-26 from three. If those numbers don’t improve, it could get ugly for the Irish when you combine the lack of bench production. 

I believe Notre Dame will give great effort tomorrow as Brey’s teams have responded well with their back against the wall, but injuries and lack of depth will hurt them against a program like Louisville. 

Prediction: Louisville 81 Notre Dame 67

 
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