The Notre Dame Fighting Irish men’s basketball team (7-3) hosted legendary rival UCLA Bruins (7-3) in the Purcell Pavilion this afternoon. Today’s game was the 50th meeting between the Irish and the Bruins, with UCLA leading the all-time series 29-20. Notre Dame is 12-11 against UCLA at home. The game today was called by former Irish head coach Digger Phelps, and legendary UCLA legendary player Bill Walton. Hopefully you didn’t miss that! How did the Irish do today? Let’s take a look.
The Irish came right out and scored the first bucket, with John Mooney being the first player on the board. TJ Gibbs was the second man on the board, sinking a three-point shot to put the Irish up, 5-0. UCLA responded with a three of their own, at the hands of Tyger Campbell.
Gibbs made two three-point shots to start the game and then the Irish missed the next eight three-point shots in a row. (2-10 from three-point land in the first nine minutes of the game). Then, Dane Goodwin snapped the 0-8 streak and sunk not only one three-point shot, but three of them (17-8, ND). And then Prentiss Hubb got in on the three-point action, making one of his own (20-8, ND). And the three-point shots just kept on falling with Gibbs making the next one, and now the Irish were up 23-14. Goodwin ended the three-point shooting streak with a two-point layup with 3:27 remaining in the half, (25-14, ND).
Nate Laszewski decided to get in on the three-point shooting, sinking one of his own, and then Goodwin made a two-point jumper and headed to the line to sink one more basket ( 31-17, ND). The Irish headed to the locker room up 31-24. Let’s take a look at the first half stats. The Irish made 11-32 two-point shots (34%), 8-23 three-point shots (35%), and 1-1 free throws (100%), The Bruins made 9-30 two-point shots (30%), 3-8 three-point shots (38%), and 3-4 free throws (75%).
UCLA had the first possession of the second half, but the Irish blocked the Bruins’ first shot and secured the rebound. Then the Irish took the ball to the other end of the court, shot the basket and went to the line for one free throw shot. (34-24, ND). Hubb then made a three-point shot, putting the Irish up by 13 (37-24, ND). And the three-point shots keep on falling, with another one going in by Hubb. Mooney then muscled his way inside, sneaking in a two-point shot, 40-24 Irish.
With 15:28 remaining in the half, the Irish had their biggest lead of the game, and the Bruins decided to take a timeout and reset (45-28 Irish). UCLA missed their shot on their opening possession post timeout, and the Irish got the rebound, but couldn’t secure any points off of it. Then UCLA started to get some points on the board, with a three-point shot by Shareef O’Neal, and a two-point jumper by Chris Smith. And then the Notre Dame three-point shots returned, with a three being sunk by Laszewski. (53-35, ND)
At 9:13 remaining in the half, with Bruins down by 13 (57-44), UCLA was doing their best to get their shots to fall, but shooting 33% from the floor was not helping them at all. At 8:09 left in the game, Notre Dame sunk another three at the hands of TJ Gibbs, and the Irish go up by 17 (60-44), and Notre Dame calls a team timeout.
As hard as UCLA tried, they just couldn’t get the buckets to sink as fast as the Irish. With 90 seconds remaining in the game, the Irish were up by 13, 68-55. The Bruins went to the line, on a foul on Hubb, but Campbell missed both of his free throw shots. Then Gibbs was fouled by Prince Ali, and made both of his free throw shots, ND up 70-55. Notre Dame never trailed in this game, and held UCLA to their worst scoring percentages. And the Irish finished the game with two more three-point shots, at the hands of Prentiss Hubb and David Singleton.
Notre Dame beat UCLA by a final score of 75-61.
Let’s look at the final game stats. The Irish made 24-63 two-point shots (38%), 15-39 three-point shots (38%), and 12-17 free throws (71%), The Bruins made 22-63 two-point shots (35%), 7-16 three-point shots (44%), and 10-20 free throws (50%).
Up next for the Irish, the University of Indiana Hoosiers come to the Purcell Pavilion on Saturday, December 21st, at 1PM ET.
Cheers & GO IRISH