Notre Dame broke out the green jerseys, but they weren’t able to break out of their losing skid with an 82-55 loss to Virginia.
The No. 3 Virginia Cavaliers force you to play perfectly. You can’t afford to make any mistakes because of how efficient they are. The slowest team in the country, in terms of pace, put up 82-points against Notre Dame inside Purcell Pavilion on Saturday.
Virginia’s efficiency is off the charts. Shooting 52-percent with two turnovers the entire game, you have to play flawlessly to stand a chance against them — something that a team as young as the Irish was not able to do.
Starting off the game, many questioned when Notre Dame would put up their first points — and then we waited a little longer. Virginia started off on a 12-0 run before John Mooney was able to finally get the ball through the rim with 13:35 left in the half.
In all reality, Notre Dame was playing solid defense. It was the settling for jump shots behind the arc that dug the hole.
Virginia’s Kyle Guy made sure there wouldn’t be a comeback in the first half with 15-points on six-of-eight shooting.
With second-half adjustments coming out of the locker room, Notre Dame made some noise. They attacked the basket and fell into a two-three zone on the defensive end to slow down Virginia.
Notre Dame cut the lead down to 12. That was the closest the Irish would see their chances of a comeback happen. After that, Notre Dame missed their next seven shots and Virginia capitalized.
The Cavaliers were not only efficient; they came at you in every direction with five players scoring in double-figures. De’Andre Hunter came alive in the second half to finish with 19-points to lead all scorers. He also had seven rebounds.
The Irish did come with their brand of consistency. John Mooney finished with his 12th double-double of the season, logging 15-points and ten rebounds. They also saw some of their own balanced scoring as well, but the overwhelming story of their streaky shooting continued, as they shot just 36-percent from the field.
Notre Dame will now have the quick turnaround on Monday to play the only team that has beaten Virginia this season — No. 2 Duke.