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Notre Dame Men’s Basketball: Irish Fall to #14 Duke 67 to 59

They played the Blue Devils tough and fought until the end, but just made too many mistakes to have a true shot for the upset

NCAA Basketball: N.C. State at Notre Dame Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish men’s basketball team lost again tonight, falling to the 14th-ranked Duke Blue Devils by a final score of 67 to 59 at Purcell Pavilion.

NCAA Basketball: N.C. State at Notre Dame Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

The Irish were led in scoring by Markus Burton, who had 18 points while also dishing out 4 assists. Kebba Njie (9 points, 10 rebounds), Braeden Shrewsberry (12 points on 4/7 three-point shooting), and Tae Davis (9 points, 5 rebounds) also chipped in.

ND shot 39% from the field and an abysmal 26% from long range, while also making just 8 of their 16 free throw attempts and turning the ball over 14 times. They DID manage to just barely out-rebound Duke 42-40.

The Blue Devils were paced on the evening by forward Mark Mitchell, who finished the game with 23 points on 8-of-12 shooting while also adding 14 rebounds in a double-double effort.

Jeremy Roach (18 points, 6 rebounds) and Jared McCain (11 points, 5 rebounds) also added nice games, while leading scorer Kyle Filipowski had just 7 points on 2-of-12 shooting. Head Coach Jon Scheyer’s team shot 36% overall and hit just 8 of 26 shots (31%) from three-point range in an equally ugly shooting display to the Irish’s.

NCAA Basketball: N.C. State at Notre Dame Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

The first half saw a pretty even game, with the Irish even holding a lead for the majority of the period behind some strong performances from Burton, Njie, and Davis. Duke made a run to end the half, though, and secure a 29-27 lead at the intermission that they would never surrender.

In the second half, the Blue Devils threatened to pull away and blow the Irish out multiple times, but Micah Shrewsberry’s squad continued to fight back, with the coach’s son hitting multiple big threes to jump-start small runs, while Burton and Njie and Davis continued to scratch and claw for buckets and stops to chip away at Duke’s lead and keep it within single digits at all times.

NCAA Basketball: N.C. State at Notre Dame Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Julian Roper II also made a few nice plays to give the Irish a boost when Duke threatened to pull away mid-2nd half.

It wasn’t enough down the stretch, though, as Mitchell and Roach kept answering ND’s runs and the Irish just couldn’t get out of their own way with their turnovers, missed free throws, and missed opportunities to clear the defensive glass and prevent second chance points for Scheyer’s squad.

Duke coasted over the final 30-45 seconds and finished with an 8-point win after some garbage time free throws.

With the loss, Notre Dame falls to 6-9 on the season and 1-3 in ACC play. They will be in action again on Tuesday when they travel to Atlanta to take on the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, who are 8-6 (1-2 ACC) as of Saturday night.