The Notre Dame Basketball team loses its first overtime game since 2010. The first half started with Notre Dame hitting two three’s and from then on it was all downhill. The Irish struggled to rebound against the Hawks big guys who could jump out of the gym. I will give C.J. Aiken and Ronald Robert’s credit who had 23 total rebounds, 13 of those offensive. These guys are the real deal, Aiken being the defensive player of the year in the A-10 last season. Coach Brey did comment after the game saying he was disappointed in Notre Dame’s effort against the two bigs, who dominated the game and was ultimately the reason the Irish received their first loss of the season.
Notre Dame was 10-28 from downtown (35.7%), which could have been much better considering they got a lot of open looks throughout the game. Jack Cooley the Big East player of the year candidate went 6-13 with 14 points and 14 rebounds, but was in and out of the game in the second half since he was in foul trouble and then fouled out in overtime. Scott Martin was next in line with 13 points and 4 rebounds, but played very poorly defensively not moving his feet very well. Jerian Grant had a very poor game going 4-17 from the field with 10 points. We expect a lot out of Grant, since in my opinion is one of the guys that can drive and get to the basket. He missed some layups, but they were difficult ones and not getting many of the fouls called. This Notre Dame team will be good as long as Jerian can take smart shots and make good decisions with the basketball. Last night Grant tweeted, “Really let my team down tonight mentally… won’t happen again.” The thing I like about Jerian is that he is always very critical of himself and takes responsibility for his play. Look for him to really grow up this season and have a break out year. The one man that really kept Notre Dame in this game was Eric Atkins who was very efficient 4-9 and 2-4 from downtown with 12 points 10 assists and 5 rebounds. He had a big three near the end of the second half to keep Notre Dame in the game. He also fought through some tough cramps to come back into the game in overtime.
The second half and overtime there was a stretch of 7 minutes of play where Notre Dame didn’t make a shot. The Irish only scored 4 points in overtime and played very poorly and the effort wasn’t there. I think that they slowed down the offense way too early in the second half when they had an 8 point lead with 4 minutes left in the game. This ultimately led to a loss since they would only go on to score 4 more points in 9 minutes including overtime. Coach Brey will fix the mistakes and look for a hungry Notre Dame team against a BYU team tonight at 7 p.m.