Nov. 21, 2017
By Robby Hamman
MAUI, Hawaii — No. 13/12 Notre Dame (5-0) punched its ticket to the Maui Invitational championship game on Tuesday, as the Irish put on a clinic in the 92-53 victory over LSU in the semifinals. The Irish will play Wichita State in the title game at 10:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday evening on ESPN2.
Notre Dame thrived from the outside, as the Irish connected on 15-of-32 three-pointers. Leading the way was sophomore T.J. Gibbs, who scored a career-high 26 points and hit a personal-best six shots from beyond the arc. The senior trio of Matt Farrell (17), Bonzie Colson (12) and Martinas Geben (10) also finished with double-digit points.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Irish put together a great half of basketball on both ends of the floor in the first frame against LSU. Notre Dame never trailed and took a 40-24 lead into the break. The defense locked down the Tiger offense, holding LSU to just 9-of-28 shooting (32.1 percent) in the opening 20 minutes. Gibbs led Notre Dame in scoring, recording 12 points in the first half.
Notre Dame kept its foot on the gas pedal throughout the second half, as the lead quickly grew to more than 30 points at 66-35 with just under 12 minutes to play in the contest. From there the Irish went on to win by nearly 40, posting a 92-53 victory.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Gibbs was exceptional against LSU, pouring in a career-high 26 points. The sophomore knocked down a career-best six shots from three-point range on just 10 attempts. Gibbs finished 9-of-15 from the floor and added four assists, three rebounds and a steal to complete his night.
NOTRE DAME STAT OF THE GAME
As great as the offense was, the Notre Dame defense was equally impressive. The Irish created havoc on defense, as Notre Dame defenders suffocated the LSU players all evening. The forced the Tigers into 17 turnovers, 12 coming from a season-high 12 steals. Notre Dame scored 19 points off the turnovers.
NOTES OF THE GAME
- Glenn and Stacey Murphy Head Men’s Basketball Coach Mike Brey now has 387 victories as Notre Dame’s head coach and is just seven shy of passing Digger Phelps as the outright all-time program record holder.
- The Irish are now 1-1 against LSU in the all-time series.
- Notre Dame improves to 53-35 when playing in-season tournament games and have won seven straight.
- The Irish finished with at least 90 points for the second time this season.
- Notre Dame’s 15 makes from beyond the arc are the most the team has recorded this season.
- Gibbs turned in his third performance of 20+ points through just five games this season.
- Colson recorded a career-high five steals against the Tigers.
- With 12 points and 11 rebounds, Colson logged his third double-double of the season and 26th of his career.
- Farrell dished out a season-high seven assists in the win.
- Farrell has knocked down a three-pointer in 31 consecutive games, the longest streak of any active player in the ACC.
- Farrell has finished with 10+ points in all five games this season.
- Geben shot a perfect 4-for-4 from the field to finish with 10 points, marking the first time this season and second time in his career that he has scored double-digit points.
The Irish will play No. 6/6 Wichita State in the Maui Invitational championship game at 10:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Nov. 22. The game will air live on ESPN2.
— ND —
Robby Hamman joined Fighting Irish Media as athletics communications assistant director in September 2016, coordinating efforts for the volleyball and men’s lacrosse program. Hamman is a 2010 graduate of Bethel College, where he earned bachelor’s degrees in sport management and business administration, and earned his master’s degree in business administration from Defiance College in 2013.