It was a nice final gasp by the Notre Dame Fighting Irish men’s basketball team to win a game yesterday and valiantly fight with a shorthanded team against the Louisville Cardinals tonight, but the ND men’s hoops season has officially come to a close with a blowout 75 to 53 loss to Chris Mack’s squad this evening.
Louisville was led by Jordan Nwora, the ACC’s Most Improved Player, who finished with 24 points and 9 rebounds on the evening while shooting 8-of-15 from the field.
They also saw a fantastic spark from Ryan McMahon, who briefly caught fire in the 2nd half from deep, finishing with 12 points on 3-of-4 long range shooting and adding 5 assists for good measure. Steven Enoch also chipped in 10 points and 7 boards as well, and Louisville shot 40% from the field, 32% from deep, and out-rebounded the Irish 49 to 38.
The Irish, meanwhile, saw next to no production from anyone except T.J. Gibbs and Juwan Durham. Gibbs carried the team, scoring 21 points on the evening (but went 2-for-8 from three), while Durham had an efficient 12 points on 5-of-9 shooting to go along with 9 boards.
John Mooney, who has carried this Irish team all year, had a really off night and managed just 7 points on 3-of-18 shooting to go along with his usual 12 rebounds.
Overall, ND shot an atrocious 27% from the field, 11% from deep, and just couldn’t string together any stops or buckets in order to chip away at that ever-increasing 2nd half deficit. It was a very fitting end to what has been a HORRIBLE shooting season for a Mike Brey team — the worst in his Notre Dame tenure.
The Irish finish the year 15-19 overall, bowing out in the 2nd round of the ACC Tournament and looking to get healthy, regroup, continue developing (with all players returning next season), and start anew next year after this abysmal year for the program.