Notre Dame Gets Blown Out By No. 3 Virginia, 82-55
Notre Dame (11-9, 1-6) struggled from the start and couldn't recover falling 82-55 to No. 3 Virginia (18-1, 6-1).
The Irish missed their first nine attempts from the field, which allowed the Cavaliers to build an early 12-0 lead to never look back in the blowout victory.
Blue & Gold Illustrated recaps the contest half-by-half.
Notre Dame had multiple open looks to open the contest against the Cavaliers, but could not connect on a single one.
The Irish started 0-of-7 from the floor to allow Virginia to open an early 6-0 lead behind two buckets from forward Mamadi Diakite and one via guard Kyle Guy.
Virginia would ultimately build a 12-0 lead after three-straight buckets from Diakite and guards De’Andre Hunter and Ty Jerome.
Notre Dame finally got on the board with 13:35 left in the half with an inside bucket via John Mooney. One minute later sophomore wing DJ Harvey would hit a long jumper to make it 12-4. The Cavaliers followed with a jumper from Hunter to take a 14-4 lead at the under-12 media timeout.
While the Irish began to find some rhythm offensively, Virginia countered with a stretch of seven-straight made field goals with two each from Hunter, guard Kyle Guy and wing Braxton Key. Notre Dame made three of their five attempts during that stretch, but the Cavaliers extended their lead to 28-13.
Guy continued his strong start to the game to keep the Irish from closing the gap with a jumper and three-pointer to increase his team’s lead to 35-17 at the under-4 media timeout. Mooney and freshman guard Dane Goodwin made buckets, but the Irish couldn’t muster any more during the four-minute stretch from the eight-minute mark to inch closer to a single-digit contest.
Hunter hit two more jumpers to sandwich a three-pointer via Goodwin to make it 39-20 Cavaliers with two minutes to play in the half. Gibbs would follow with a circus layup on the other end while being fouled. He would miss the free throw, but the Irish would get a triple from Goodwin to cut the Virginia advantage to 39-25 with under a minute remaining.
Guy though would hit another dagger, this coming from three-point territory, to give his team a 42-25 lead at halftime.
After an 0-of-9 start, Notre Dame would hit 10-of-18 to finish 10-of-27 (37 percent) from the floor, but just 5-of-15 (33.3 percent) on three-point attempts. Goodwin led all Irish scorers with eight points while Mooney added seven points and six boards.
Virginia shot 55.9 percent (19-of-34) during the opening 20 minutes and 4-of-9 (44.4 percent) behind the arc. Guy had a game-high 15 points on a 6-of-7 effort overall.
It was a little more of the same for Notre Dame to open the second half. A layup from Gibbs got the scoring rolling, but the Irish would miss four of their next five shots to allow Virginia to take a 50-31 lead behind two buckets from Jerome and one each via Hunter and Jack Salt.
Notre Dame caught fire though around the 16-minute mark as Mooney connected on back-to-back triples, which sandwiched a mid-range jumper from Hunter around the free throw line. Harvey would follow Mooney’s lead with two-straight baskets, including one three-pointer, to give the Irish four-straight makes to cut into the Virginia lead at 54-42 with 13:24 remaining.
Coming out the break, Virginia got back to its own ways with a quick 6-0 run over the next 2:38 to open the lead back up to 60-42 behind three points from Hunter and Jerome.
A layup from Prentiss Hubb with 8:50 remaining was the team’s lone bucket over nine attempts as the Cavaliers kept extending their lead. A 3-pointer from Diakite put Virginia up 65-44 going into the under-8 media timeout (7:51).
The struggles for Notre Dame would continue over the next couple of minutes with the Cavaliers going on a 7-3 run to force an Irish timeout with 5:52 left down 72-47. A layup from Jerome and three-pointer via Clark put Bennett’s group up 30.
Both teams were essentially on cruise mode until the final whistle.
Freshman Chris Doherty scored his first career points in an Irish uniform with two buckets inside to go with two jumpers from Gibbs to round out the Notre Dame scoring over the final three minutes of game action.
The final score wound up being 82-55 to push the Cavaliers to 18-1 on the season and knock Notre Dame to 11-9.
Mooney led the Irish with 15 points and 10 rebounds for his 12th double-double of the year. Harvey and Gibbs were the next highest scorers for the team with nine points each. Notre Dame finished 22-of-61 (36.1 percent) overall and 8-of-29 (27.6 percent) behind the arc.
Virginia shot over 50 percent for the contest making 35-of-67 (52.2 percent) from the field and 8-of-18 (4-of-18) on three-point attempts. Hunter finished as the leading scorer for the game with 19 points as Guy was held scoreless in the second half. Jerome added 13 points and nine boards.