Notre Dame (16-3, 5-1 ACC) suffered a tough 83-80 loss Wednesday night in Tallahassee against Florida State (17-2, 5-1). Take a look at some of the positives and negatives from the contest. The Irish return to action Saturday when Syracuse rolls into South Bend.
T.J. Gibbs — For the second straight game, the freshman point guard scored in double digits to provide a spark off the bench. The Irish needed it in the first half, when Gibbs scored 11 points to help keep the team within striking distance at 39-33 going into the break. He only contributed one point in the second half, but his first-half performance gave Notre Dame a chance to pull off the upset.
Three-point shooting — Blazing is an accurate term to describe Notre Dame’s performance from behind the arc against the Seminoles. In the second half, the Irish stayed in the game by going 9 of 12 (75.0 percent) from deep to finish 15 of 21 (71.4 percent) for the contest. It was believed heading into the matchup Notre Dame needed to shoot well given the size Florida State possesses inside. Goal accomplished, but it wasn’t enough in the end.
V.J. Beachem — The senior forward had a nice bounce-back game by scoring 14 points on 5-of-11 shooting, including a 4-of-5 effort from deep. I seem to list him on this feature a lot, at least recently. Beachem will need to become a more consistent offensive force for the Irish.
Turnovers — It was an incredibly sloppy first half for Notre Dame with 13 turnovers, which was about four turnovers more than their per game average. The Irish cleaned it up in the second half with only five, but the final total of 18 doubled the season average. Florida State had 16 turnovers, so the Irish somewhat made up for their sloppy play forcing turnovers on the other end. But if the Irish could have played a little closer to their season average in that department the final outcome may have been different.
Inside — This was almost penciled in before the game started. Notre Dame did a solid job on the boards overall only losing the battle 34-29. But, Florida State scored 36 points in the paint and recorded 11 blocks on the Irish, which is why it is listed here.
Defense — So far during ACC play, the Irish defense has done well holding multiple opponents to less than 40 percent from the field. That changed this evening with Florida State making 30 of 60 (50.0 percent) from the field, including 7 of 17 (41.2 percent) from behind the arc. It was not the performance head coach Mike Brey wanted from his team, but given the size disparity it isn’t a concern moving forward.
Not a surprising result for the Irish. This was a tough matchup given the size and length of the Seminoles. Not much should be taken away from the game positive or negative. Despite a ton of turnovers and a so-so performance on defense, the Irish battled and showed they are one of the top teams in the ACC.