The Notre Dame basketball team left South Bend for the first time all season, but couldn’t overcome the hot shooting of the Oklahoma Sooners.
You could tell that Notre Dame had the talent to run with Oklahoma Tuesday night. No matter how bad things looked, the Irish were always right there, right within striking distance.
Even when the Irish had the lead for all of two-minutes and 30 seconds, it didn’t seem like they were in control.
Notre Dame came out of the gates with lackluster results. The only production came from John Mooney who ended up coming away with a double-double in the first half. He was a force on the boards. The only issue was that he was grabbing his own misses time after time.
It took almost half of the first half, but Mike Brey found a way to get his offense going.
And for as bad as the offense looked at the beginning of the game, the defense never really found its stride. Oklahoma had all the confidence in the world shooting the ball. At times, it felt like they simply couldn’t miss.
Brady Manek’s production might have been lower than normal heading into this game, but shot after shot that seemed like a distant memory.
In the first half alone, he racked up 11 points and 7 rebounds. His biggest impact came from behind the arc. Manek finsihed five-for-eight from downtown. His hot shooting opened up the game for others, as well.
Christian James was a direct beneficiary of Manek’s success. James started off slow, but found room to operate, finishing the game with a game-high 25 points, 16 of which came in the second half.
For the Irish, Temple Gibbs eventually found some offensive rhythm in what was a relatively rough night for him. If it weren’t for this four three-pointers, his team-high 18 points would have been a pipe dream.
Struggling to keep up with the hot shooting of Oklahoma, Juwan Durham once again put on a noteworthy performance and kept the Irish in it. Durham made it difficult for Brey to keep him on the bench with his performance. Durham scored 15 points on seven-of-eight shooting in just 15 minutes of floor time.
When it came down to it, Notre Dame couldn’t hit the shots they needed to after the poor defensive night. It Irish dropped to 6-2 on the season after suffering the five-point loss to the Sooners.