Notre Dame is down and Monday night was not going to be the night that they recovered. The Irish couldn’t run with Duke, losing 83-61.
You can’t blame them. Their schedule has been brutal. As if it’s not hard enough playing in the ACC, Notre Dame has faced the best of the best in the ACC this month. From No. 3 Virginia on Saturday to No. 2 Duke on Monday.
Even with the home crowd backing them, Notre Dame didn’t have what it was going to take to come out with a win over Duke.
How bad did things get?
John Mooney, who is averaging a double-double this season, didn’t hit his first field goal until 12 seconds left in the first half. He, of course, would find a way to get his double-double with 14-points and 11-rebounds thanks to a second-half push.
There wasn’t a more lopsided way the first half could have went. Duke played near perfect, shooting 59-percent from the field. Even as the worst three-point shooting team in the ACC, the Blue Devils found a way to shoot 56-percent from beyond the arc.
For Notre Dame, they let their offense dictate their defense. As the young team struggled to see the ball go through the net, a lack lustered effort followed on the other end.
There were times where Notre Dame got things going. They hit shots, found a rhythm and their zone was able to get some solid stops. Prentiss Hubb surprisingly was the one to get some solid production for the Irish with 13-points, three rebounds and four assists.
Duke was overall too much for Notre Dame to handle. They were overmatched and we knew that going into the game.
What coach Mike Brey asked out of his team was to play, show effort and not fold. At times the team didn’t deliver. In the second half, despite the score, we saw a much more encouraging game from the Irish.
Duke only outscored Notre Dame by four in the second half. Even if the Irish were able to get that type of effort for all 40-minutes, Duke’s consistency was over the top. Finishing the game at 54-percent from the field, 53-percent from downtown and pulling down 39 rebounds, Duke wasn’t going to lose like that.
Falling to 1-7 in the ACC, the toughest stretch is over, but things don’t become considerably easier from here on out. Notre Dame’s season is on the brink.