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March 23, 2013

Iowa State blows out ND, 76-58

DAYTON, Ohio - Notre Dame's streak of NCAA tournament futility continues.

A rash of turnovers and the inability to contain Iowa State's penetrating/kick-out/dump-it-down offense spelled doom for the Irish (25-10), who fell, 76-58, at Dayton Arena Friday night in second-round action of the West Regional.

Notre Dame has now exited the NCAA tournament after its first game in three of the last four seasons and have won just two NCAA tournament games in the last 10 years.

A 19-3 run by the Cyclones (23-11) turned an 18-14 Irish lead at the 11:20 mark of the first half into a 33-21 deficit with 1:34 remaining. Iowa State would take a 16-point lead early in the second half, watch it dwindle to 10, but then turned on the jets to continue pulling away from the Irish.

Iowa State had a double-digit lead over the final 22:07. The lead reached 27 points twice in the second half.

Iowa State never really needed its vaunted three-point attack, although the Cyclones still managed to finish 9-of-21 from beyond the arc. Iowa State pounded the ball inside to Melvin Ejim (17 points) and Georges Niang (19 points), who provided a nice balance to their long-range bombing.

Turnovers put the Irish in a huge hole in the first half. They coughed it up three times within the first 2:24 and finished with 14 by the intermission. The 14-3 turnover disparity allowed the Cyclones to take 13 more shots than the Irish in the first half and take a 35-23 halftime lead.

The Cyclone defense limited the Irish to 21-of-50 shooting (42.0 percent), including 4-of-17 from three-point range.

Tom Knight and Jack Cooley paced the Irish in scoring with 14 points apiece.

Mike Brey's NCAA tournament record at Notre Dame fell to 6-9 and 1-4 over the last four seasons. Five of the nine losses have been by double digits, including losses by 17 to Arizona in 2003, 20 to Washington State in 2008, and 14 to Florida State in 2011.

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