The Notre Dame Fighting Irish men’s basketball team put up a pathetic performance against the #9 Duke Blue Devils at Purcell Pavilion this evening, losing by a final score of 57 to 43 in a game where they only managed 14 points in the first half due to Duke’s stifling defensive effort.
The Irish were led on the evening by Paul Atkinson Jr., who scored 14 points and snagged 9 rebounds on the game. In terms of guys who really played decently, that’s about it. Dane Goodwin scored 0 points while going 0-for-7 from the field, and Blake Wesley shot 3-for-15 en route to scoring just 6 points. Nate Laszewski and Prentiss Hubb combined for 11 points on 3-for-14 shooting.
Overall, Notre Dame as a team shot 28% from the field and 17% from long range (3-for-18) while being out-rebounded by 15.
The Blue Devils were paced in scoring on the night by Paolo Banchero (21 points, 9 rebounds), while A.J. Griffin (13 points, 9 rebounds), Mark Williams (7 points, 8 rebounds, 3 blocks), and Theo John (6 points, 9 rebounds, 2 blocks) chipped in as well.
Duke shot 39% from the floor overall and somehow worse than ND from long range, hitting 3 of their 19 attempts from beyond the arc.
The game began with a very ugly first half from both teams, but especially from the Irish, who managed to shoot just 19% from the field and go 0-for-8 from three-point range. Duke established a small lead early on, and despite a couple mini-runs from ND, the Blue Devils began to really pull away late in the first half, ending the period on a 9-0 run as the Irish fell into yet another of their scoring droughts with multiple missed layups, bricked jumpers, and rushed play overall.
Duke led by 13 at the half, and honestly the Irish were lucky it wasn’t a much bigger lead, because it could have been. It certainly left ND fans grasping for any sort of reason to stay even a tiny bit hopeful...
Silver lining -- there's definitely a chance none of this is real and we're all just characters in a feel-good sports movie. That's exactly the kind of first half the good guys would have against the bad guys before mounting a dramatic and wacky comeback in the 2nd.— One Foot Down (@OneFootDown) February 1, 2022
In the second half, it was more of the same. Duke quickly extended their lead to blowout levels, up 38-20 at the under-16 media timeout and really never looking back. The Irish did manage to pick up their offense slightly (and finally hit a three-point shot), but Duke led by as much as 22 en route to running ND off their home floor with a 14-point win after some garbage time buckets from the Irish.
With the loss, the Irish fell to 14-7 overall and 7-3 in ACC play on the season. They’re scheduled to play next on Wednesday evening at 7 pm ET, when they will travel to Coral Gables to take on the 1st-place Miami Hurricanes.