The Notre Dame Fighting Irish basketball team won another close game, this time on the road against the Miami-Florida Hurricanes. It was a tight game the whole first half with a halftime score of 28-28. The Irish started out hot in the second half by scoring the first 10 points. Miami eventually battled back and took their first lead of the second half with 4:33 remaining in the game. The Irish showed their backbone once again by snatching the lead back and finishing with a 67-62 victory. This is what we learned:
The Late Game “Clutch Factor” Is A Real Thing
Time and time again the Irish have proven that they do best in late game situations. Watching them right now, I have supreme confidence when the game is close. There is just this feeling right now that they will win every close game. In the last 2:30 seconds Notre Dame outscored Miami 10-1. This type of run to end games keeps happening and is proving to be something the team can rely on going forward in ACC play.
The Bench Can Contribute When Needed
The whole Notre Dame offense was a little off to start the game. Scoring just 28 points in the first half, which was their lowest first half point total of the season. The scoring off the bench came from unusual source. Austin Torres finished the game with 8 points and 2 offensive rebounds. He was 4-5 from the field in game. In a game that was relatively low scoring and had some of the starters struggle (Bonzie Colson was 2-12 from the field), The contribution from Torres was huge. He only played 8 minutes but he made his presence felt.
Irish Can Find Other Way To Make Up For Rebounding Woes
Giving up 19 offensive rebounds is never a good thing. And this is what actually got Miami back into the game when they were down 50-39. But the Irish found ways to make up for the lack of rebounding. Over the last 30 minutes of the game, Notre Dame committed just two turnovers. This is outstanding. They made every possession count. They also went 12-14 from the free throw line. Taking care of the ball and making their foul shots are the ways Notre Dame makes up for the below average rebounding.
The Irish are off to a great start in the ACC, improving to 4-0 and still tied for first place with Florida State. The close games are fun to watch and they seem to be good at winning them. Lets hope this continues with a quick turnaround game Saturday at Virginia Tech.