In the heart of Charlottesville, Virginia, the stage was set tonight for an intense showdown between the Notre Dame Fighting Irish Men’s Basketball team and the formidable Virginia Cavaliers. Despite a challenging 2-7 record, the Fighting Irish have showcased resilience, consistently battling until the final moments, as evidenced by an average margin of loss in January standing at a mere 6.3 points. Rewind to December 30, when the Irish triumphed over the Cavaliers with a stunning 76-54 upset on their home turf. Now, the question echoes in the air: Can the Fighting Irish replicate their home success, this time on the challenging terrain of an away game? Let’s have a look!
Virginia got the ball first and quickly got on the board with a three point shot by Isaac McKneely. On Notre Dame’s first possession they turned the ball over, but quickly got it back and Markus Burton made a driving layup to get the Irish’s first points of the game. The two teams traded possessions back and forth and at 15:55 McKneely got a jumper to drop, Virginia up by three, 5-2.
Coming out of the first media timeout, Braeden Shrewsberry got a three point shot to fall, quickly followed by a Reece Beekman three point bucket. Notre Dame had a shot clock violation on their next possession, followed by Virginia’s Jacob Groves getting his first three point shot to go in. Notre Dame answered with a Julian Roper II three point shot, and the threes were falling nicely for both teams. 11-8, Virginia, 11:58 timeout.
Coming out of the break Markus Burton missed a jumper, and then Jacob Groves knocked down his second three point shot. Notre Dame answered with a three point shot of their own by Markus Burton. 14-11, Virginia
Virginia’s Blake Buchanan made a step back second chance jumper, and Notre Dame’s Carey Booth made a statement with a dunk. Virginia answered with a step back jumper by Dante Harris. ND’s Roper II made a jumper and ND pulled within three points of Virginia 18-15.
Jacob Groves got another three point shot to go in, and ND’s Roper II tried to answer with a three point shot of his own but missed. Beekman got the turnover from Shrewsberry and easily jogged down and made a dunk of his own. 23-15, Virginia. 6:04 media timeout. (Virginia has been on a 7-2 run in the last three and a half minutes.)
Reece Beekman went to the line for Virginia and made one of his two foul shots. Tae Davis got a layup to fall in the paint, Burton missed his three point shot, and at the other end Groves got his fourth three point shot to go in. Virginia now up by ten points, 27-17. Media timeout, 3:14 remaining in the half.
Coming out of the timeout Notre Dame made a bad pass, and the ball went out of bound. Virginia’s Beekman sank a three point bucket and Virginia went up by 13 points, 30-17.
Braeden knocked down a three point shot from the corner, immediately followed by Groves sinking yet another three point shot, which brings his point total to 15. Konieczny got his first three point to drop, and Virginia’s Jordan Minor tipped his layup in, Virginia up by 12, 35-23 (30.6 seconds left in the half).
In their last possession of the half, ND turned the ball over, and McKeely got a three point bucket to fall to end the half. 38-23, Virginia up by 15 points.
Field Goals: 9-21, 43%
Three Point Shots: 5-10, 50%
Foul Shots: 0-0, 0%
Field Goals: 14-27, 52%
Three Point Shots: 9-15, 60%
Foul Shots: 1-2, 50%
Notre Dame got on the scoreboard first in the second half on a Braeden Shrewsberry jumper. Then Matt Zona stole the ball from Virginia and Markus Burton made a driving layup. Reece Beekman got the first bucket of the half for Virginia, getting his three point bucket to go in. Burton went to the foul line and made one of his two shots, followed by a beautiful three point bucket by Braeden Shrewsberry, and the Irish pull to within ten points, 41-31, Virginia.
Beekman got a layup to drop, and Notre Dame quickly answered with a three point shot from Matt Zona. Beekman missed a three point shot but Jordan Minor got his layup to go in. Virginia up by 11 points, 45-34. 14:10 media timeout.
After the break, Shrewsberry hit a fast break three point jumper, and Virginia quickly answered with a McKneely three point jumper. The next bucket to fall was a big three point jumper by Logan Imes, and the Virginia lead is 8, 48-40.
Harris makes a driving layup, and Virginia called a timeout. 50-40, Virginia, 9:59 remaining in the game.
After Virginia’s timeout, Dante Harris got called for a foul, and was not happy about it. Notre Dame had a shot clock violation, and on Virginia’s next possession Taine Murray made a driving layup. Notre Dame’s Markus Burton responded with a jumper. Murray made a jumper in the paint, Matt Zona turned the ball over, and Grove made yet another three point shot. 57-42, Virginia, 7:28 media timeout.
After the media timeout Markus Burton made a jumper to pull ND within 13. Virginia turned the ball over and Carey Booth sank a jumper. Virginia’s lead now at 11. Shrewsberry missed a three point shot and Virginia got the turnover. Virginia stole the ball from ND, and Burton got called for a foul. Beekman went to the line and made both of his foul shots. 59-46, Virginia’s lead is 13.
Burton got a layup to drop, but Virginia promptly responded with a three point bucket from Beekman. 2:37 media timeout, Virginia up 62-48.
The Irish had their third shot clock violation and Virginia’s Beekman sank a jumper. Shrewsberry made a second chance jumper. Konieczny fouled Minor, who made one of his fouls shots. Dunn fouled Burton, who went to the line and made all three of his foul shots. Beekman missed a three point shot, Konieczny got the rebound, and the clock ran out.
Virginia defeated Notre Dame by a score of 65-53.
Next up the Irish face the University of Pittsburgh, on the road, on Saturday, February 3rd, at 6pm ET.
Cheers & GO IRISH!