Tonight the Spartans of Michigan State (5-2) traveled to Purcell Pavilion to play the Notre Dame Fighting Irish Men’s Basketball team (5-1). Tonight’s matchup was Notre Dame’s 10th and final ACC/B1G Challenge. As a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Irish are 4-5 in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Tonight’s game was the 98th time the two teams have met on the hardwood, and ND, up to this point, has enjoyed a 60-37 series lead, with a 35-11 mark at home. The Spartans have enjoyed recent success, claiming four of the last five. How did the Irish fare in tonight’s meeting? Let’s take a look!
MSU won the first tip and Mady Sissoko attempted a turnaround jump shot right away but missed. The two teams traded missed shots back and forth before the first points got on the board on a jump shot by MSU’s AJ Hoggard. Notre Dame responded quickly with a layup by Nate Laszewski, and then JJ Starling added two more points with a driving layup and the Irish were up 4-2. Pierre Brooks fouled JJ Starling, who went to the line and made his first foul shot to put the Irish up, 5-2. (15:54, media timeout)
Following the media timeout Laszewski got another layup, and the Irish were up by five. (7-2) The Spartans have missed seven shots in a row, with 13:40 left in the half. The next Fighting Irishman to get on the board is Cormac Ryan with a three point shot and the Irish were on a 10-0 run. But the Spartans shook their scoring drought with a turnaround jumper by Joey Hauser. Notre Dame quickly responded with a three point shot by Trey Wertz.
An Irish foul sent Tyson Walker to the line, who made both of his foul shots, to which Dane Goodwin quickly responded with a three point shot. MSU’s Joey Hauser made a jump shot, and the Irish were up 16-8 (11:50)
Coming out of the 11:00 media timeout, Ryan knocked down a three point shot, and then on an opponent turnover made a two point shot to put the Irish up 21-8. The Spartans finally answered with a three point shot by AJ Hoggard. Notre Dame, however, kept the threes going with another three point shot by Ryan. (Ryan with 11 points on the board so far).
Nate Laszewski got the defensive rebound and on the other end of the court Ven-Allen Lubin sank the fast break layup. MSU got on the board next with a layup by Hauser, but the Irish immediately responded with a layup by Goodwin. Irish up 28-13.
The Irish stole the ball from MSU and Trey Wertz finished it off with a three point bucket. The Irish were shooting 60% of their three point shots with under six minutes until the half. The Spartans answered with a two point shot by Tyson Walker, and Ryan returned with another three point shot. Then on an opponent turnover Ryan sank a layup, followed by yet another Ryan three point shot, and Coach Izzo had to call a timeout to slow the Irish and Cormac Ryan down. 39-16 (4:31)
In the last four minutes of the half the Spartans were able to get eight unanswered points to pull within 16, Notre Dame up 42-24.
Stats at the Half
FG - 16-29 (55%)
FT - 2-5 (40%)
3PT - 8-13 (62%)
FG - 10-27 (37%)
FT - 2-2 (100%)
3PT - 2-7 (29%)
The Irish got the ball first in the second half, and got on the board first on a layup (and foul) by JJ Starling. Starling went to the line and made his free throw shot. The Spartans countered pretty quickly with a jumper by Hoggard. (He’s got 9 points.) Starling shot and missed a three, and Hoggard missed his jumper at the other end but drew the foul and made both of his free throws. (45-28 Notre Dame)
JJ Starling then made a turnaround jumper, and the Spartans quickly answered with a layup by Hoggard, and a layup by Walker. (47-32) 15:44 media timeout. Coming out of the break Coach Izzo was a bit heated over a call he didn’t agree with and had to reined back in. The Irish were a bit cold in the first five minutes of this half, only scoring five points. But Cormac changed that with a three point bucket at 13:59. MSU answered with a layup by Jaxon Kohler. And then Lubin responded with a layup of his own. 52-34 Irish (13:02)
Joey Hauser got a layup at the other end and the Spartans were not ready to give up yet. Goodwin sank a step back jumper, and the Irish took a 30 second timeout to take stock of their game. 54-36 (11:45)
After the break the Spartans sank two scores, one by Carson Cooper, and one by Mady Sissoko to come within 14. The Irish respond with a Dane Goodwin jumper. 56-40 Irish up, 8:24 media timeout.
Following the media timeout Laszewski sank a three, followed by a dunk, and the Irish go up 61-40 with just under seven minutes left in the half. Trey Wertz was fouled and made both of his free throw shots. Then AJ Hoggard was fouled and made both of his free throws, followed by a MSU three point shot by AJ Hoggard, and MSU took a 30 second timeout. 63-45 Notre Dame. (4:26 left in the half)
As the last four minutes wound down, the Spartans just couldn’t get close enough to make a run for it. The Irish finished the game with the final possession and won by a score of 70-52. Notre Dame’s next game is Saturday, December 3rd, at Purcell Pavilion, versus the Syracuse Orange, 12ET.
FG - 27-54 (50%)
FT - 5-8 (63%)
3PT - 11-26 (42%)
FG - 21-54 (39%)
FT - 6-6 (100%)
3PT - 4-12 (33%)
Ryan: 23 points
Starling: 14 points
Goodwin: 12 points
Laszewski: 9 points
Wertz: 8 points
Cheers & GO IRISH!