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Quick Recap: Notre Dame Men’s Basketball Beats Fairleigh Dickinson 91-66


NCAA Basketball Tournament - Notre Dame v West Virginia
Mike Brey
Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Tonight the Notre Dame Fighting Irish men’s basketball team (5-1) capped off a six-game home stand against the Fairleigh Dickinson Knights (1-4) at Purcell Pavilion. This was the second time the two teams have played each other, with the first time being on December 6, 2014 at Purcell, when Notre Dame defeated FDU 75-57. Last season Fairleigh Dickinson won the Northeast Conference Championship, which was the program’s second title in four years, and they subsequently advanced to the NCAA tournament. FDU defeated Prairie View A&M 82-76 in the First Four in Dayton before falling to No. 1 seed Gonzaga.

The Irish came out of the gate hot, both offensively and defensively. John Mooney had four rebounds in the first five minutes, and in the blink of an eye the Irish were already up 8-0. Then, Rex Pflueger hit a beautiful three to put Notre Dame up 11-0. And this was followed by a dunk by Juwan Durham, which brought the score to 13-0 Notre Dame.

Fairleigh Dickinson finally got points on the board on a free throw shot with 13:47 left in the half, to make the score 13-2. With 12:00 left in the half the Irish were up 20-2, and FDU had missed 18 shots in a row since they got their two points on the board. As the half progressed, however, FDU did finally get some more points on the board. With 3:10 left in the half FDU had managed to put 18 points on the board, but that wasn’t quite the pace at which they needed to be shooting at to catch Notre Dame’s 37 points. The threes were falling all to easy for the Irish, with six three-point-shots with 2:20 left in the half (6-10, 52%).

At the half, the Irish were up 42-30. Lets take a look at the numbers. Notre Dame was 15-29 in field goals (52%), 7-13 in three-point-shots (54%), with 22 rebounds (18 defense, 4 offense). Fairleigh Dickinson was 11-37 in field goals (30%), 4-12 in three-point-shots (33%), and had 20 rebounds (12 defense, 8 offense).

Kaleb Bishop started out the half sinking a three-point-shot for FDU, and Notre Dame answered with a three of their own by TJ Gibbs Jr. Then FDU headed to the line, sinking one free throw shot, making it a 10 point game, 45-35. Pflueger then steals the ball, and heads down the court only to sink a three-point-shot of his own. And then FDU answered with yet another three-point-shot to make it 48-37. After a Pflueger jump shot in the paint, the Irish added two more points to make it 50-37 (17:03 remaining).

The threes kept on falling in the second half for the Irish, with Dane Goodwin sinking a three with 13:47 in the game, to bring the score to 55-40. Rex one-handed slipped the ball in the basket to make the score 59-40, and drew the foul, but missed the free throw shot. The Irish continued to plug along, and with 9:08 remaining in the half, Bishop fouls Durham and sends the Irish to the foul line. Juwan Durham makes both shots to increase the lead to 19, 65-46.

But FDU wasn’t done yet, with Xzavier Malone-Key sinking a three-point-shot to make the score 68-52 (8:07). And then with four minutes to go in the half, Notre Dame had six players in double figures (Rex Pfluerger, Dane Goodwin, John Mooney, T.J. Gibbs, Juwan Durham, Nate Laszewski). 80-59, Irish on top.

The Irish continued to pile on the points, finishing the night on top 91-66. Here’s a look at the final stats. Notre Dame shot 32-63 field goals (51%), 12-25 three-point-shots (48%), with 44 rebounds (31 defense, 13 offense). FDU had 24-64 field goals (38%), 7-23 three-point-shots (30%), and 33 rebounds (22 defense, 11 offense).

Notre Dame’s next game is on 12/4 at No. 5 Maryland Terrapins.

Cheers & GO IRISH!