Binghamton gave Notre Dame basketball about all they could handle in the first half, but the Irish took care of business with a 69-56 victory.
Just a few days after going 12-of-15 to open up the game versus Purdue, the Irish were far from that performance against Binghamton.
In their first game at home in three weeks, Notre Dame looked uncomfortable. Maybe it was the absence of senior leader Rex Pflueger, who is out for the season with an ACL tear, or maybe it was the 2-3 zone Binghamton played. Either way, Notre Dame struggled.
The first half was full of offensive miscues. Notre Dame shot 8-of-31 from the field in the first 20 minutes.
But, give credit where credit is due: Binghamton did not allow Notre Dame into the paint early. The Irish looked lost while trying to find a way to get the ball into the middle of the zone. The Irish offense was stymied, bringing the ball down the court and following that with passes around the arc, eventually settling for a jump shot that just wouldn’t fall.
If it were not for Juwan Durham making the most out of his limited minutes in the first half (six points and six rebounds), Notre Dame might not have even had the lead at halftime.
Throughout the struggles, it was clear that Notre Dame would figure it out, however ugly it might be.
The Irish started the second half by going 5-for-5 from the field, sparking a 10-0 run that quickly straightened things out for the Irish.
Not only did Notre Dame start to find success inside the paint, but Temple Gibbs finally got the lid off the rim from the perimeter.
After Binghamton went on a 7-0 run, it was Gibbs to quickly put the Bearcats dreams of getting back into the game, to rest. His 13-points in the second half capped off a 16-point performance.
Binghamton wouldn’t go away even as Notre Dame extended the lead. Their ruggedness made things interesting down the stretch.
The big man with a jump shot, Durham, ended any chance Binghamton had. It was a career day for the transfer who finished with 16-points, 12-rebounds and four blocks in his first career double-double. Notre Dame will turn their attention to Jacksonville for a quick turnaround game on Thursday.