TJ Gibbs led the way for ND, scoring the majority of his 18 points in the second half. He got some help from DJ Harvey (15 points) and John Mooney (13 points, 11 rebounds), and freshman Prentiss Hubb chipped in 11 points on the day. The Irish shot 41% from the floor and just 25% from deep, continuing to struggle in hitting shots.
William & Mary’s performance was powered by Nathan Knight (18 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists), as the versatile big man had his usual strong performance down low. LJ Owens (11 points), Matt Milon (11 points), and Chase Audige (8 points) provided secondary support for the Tribe in the losing effort. William & Mary shot 46% from the field and 35% from deep in this one.
This game was pretty close and went back and forth until the last 7-10 minutes, as the Irish used a big run (15-2 at one point) to establish a healthy lead, and then they withstood a brief run by William & Mary to pull out the 9-point win.
Despite the early-season struggles for the Irish, there were a few positives to take away from this game for Irish fans. TJ Gibbs and John Mooney were the two best ND players on the floor, which was nice to see considering the veterans have not been great in the first three contests.
Freshman Prentiss Hubb also played a pretty strong game — showing that he can contribute on the offensive end despite mostly only showing his defensive prowess to this early point in the season. He still has some trouble finishing, but he is unafraid to attack the hoop, which creates opportunities for the offense in general.
Furthermore, Juwan Durham got more playing time in this one, and was pretty active on the boards and on defense, and even got himself a couple buckets. He’s still raw, but the talent and effort are certainly there, and he has unique skills to contribute to the team this season.
The Irish improve to 3-1 on the year, and will next play on Tuesday night at 7 PM ET at Purcell Pavilion against the Duquesne Dukes.