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Notre Dame vs. Robert Morris Men's Basketball Preview

ROBERT MORRIS (0-1) VS. NOTRE DAME (0-1)

2018-19 Records: Notre Dame (14-19); Robert Morris (18-17)

Where: Purcell Pavilion, South Bend, Ind.

Time/TV/Internet: Noon EST; Available on ACC Network Extra, UND.com, Sirius/XM Radio Channel 989

Series Facts: This will be the first meeting between the two schools. Robert Morris (Northeast Conference) and Notre Dame (Atlantic Coast Conference) played two common opponents last season. The Colonials lost to Purdue, 84-46, and lost to Louisville, 73-59. The Irish beat Purdue, 88-80, and lost to Louisville, 81-75.

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Notre Dame point guard Prentiss Hubb, who scored a career-high 22 points Wednesday against North Carolina, returns to action Saturday at hone vs. Robert Morris.
Notre Dame point guard Prentiss Hubb, who scored a career-high 22 points Wednesday against North Carolina, returns to action Saturday at hone vs. Robert Morris. (USA Today Sports)

NOTRE DAME OVERVIEW

After a 76-65 loss Wednesday at No. 9 North Carolina, the Irish enter this stretch of non-conference games where it needs to stockpile wins now to boost its postseason profile later.

Robert Morris falls into that category of “must” wins for Notre Dame, the type of game that won’t rate as a marquee victory but would certainly qualify as a damaging loss.

A disappointing Irish home defeat last November for to Radford certainly set a course for the misfortunes to come during a 14-19 season.

ROBERT MORRIS OVERVIEW

Tenth-year Colonials coach Andy Tool continued his tradition this season of building a difficult out-of conference schedule. In addition to this tough road test against Notre Dame, Robert Morris also plays at Toledo, at Marquette, at Florida Gulf Coast and at UNLV.

The marquee game on the schedule comes Nov. 12, when the Colonials welcome in Pitt for the first game at the new UPMC Events Center on the rustic Robert Morris campus near Pittsburgh.

GAME OUTLOOK

*Having the Irish starting backcourt of Prentiss Hubb and T.J. Gibbs combine for 9-of-15 three-point shooting, 41 points, 10 assists and one turnover seemed like the perfect recipe for a win against almost any team in the country.

But with no supporting cast for this guard duo, Notre Dame still lost by 11 to North Carolina, mainly because the rest of the Irish were 0-of-16 from behind the arc.

If the shooting doesn’t improve, Notre Dame is vulnerable to any team on its schedule, including Robert Morris.

*The Colonials led Marshall 58-56 on the road last week with 4:29 remaining in their season opener but turned the ball over on three straight possessions and went four minutes without scoring, which led to an 8-0 run and a 67-60 win for the Thundering Heard.

Robert Morris 6-8 forward Yannis Mendy scored 14 points on 7-of-8 shooting and added seven rebounds.

Colonials 6-7 combo guard/forward AJ Bramah notched a double-double in his first NCAA Division I game with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

Notre Dame 72, Robert Morris 65

QUICK HITS:

*This game marks the first of the Men Against Breast Cancer Invitational, an exempt round-robin event held across the country during the next two weeks.

*This contest also begins a six-game home stand against non-conference opponents for Notre Dame, a stretch that includes four straight games in 12 days — Marshall (Nov. 15), Presbyterian (Nov. 18), Toledo (Nov. 21) and Fairleigh Dickinson (Nov. 26) — against teams that won at least 20 games last season.

*The Irish struggled to hit shots against North Carolina but they certainly moved the ball enough to find open looks. Even in a tough road environment, Notre Dame recorded 16 assists and committed just six turnovers against the Tar Heals.

QUOTEABLE: “We had great looks. We moved it, but we’re going to have to make more from out there. We’re disappointed. We thought we could sneak into town and steal one. They have a lot of new faces.”

— Irish head coach Mike Brey on the disappointing defeat to North Carolina.

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