Dec. 21, 2017
By Robby Hamman
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — In both its final contest before Christmas and last non-conference game of the regular season schedule, Notre Dame (10-3) impressed in an 86-50 win over Southeastern Louisiana inside Purcell Pavilion. The 50 points are the fewest the Irish have allowed in a game this season.
T.J. Gibbs scored a game-high 18 points, while Rex Pflueger and Matt Farrell each added 17. Bonzie Colson picked up his eighth double-double of the season with 16 points and 10 rebounds.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Notre Dame never trailed in the game and built an eight-point advantage at 37-29 heading into halftime. The Irish led by as many as 13 points in the first frame at 28-15. Farrell and Pflueger combined for 21 points to lead the Irish on the offensive end. Colson impressed underneath defensively, rejecting four Lions’ shots in the opening 20 minutes of play.
Notre Dame put the game away in the early stages of the second stanza, going on an 18-0 run in a span of a little over five minutes to take a 59-33 lead with 12:46 left in the game. The Irish defense was locked in during the second half, at one point forcing Southeastern Louisiana into 13 consecutive misses. Notre Dame cruised to an 86-50 win.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Pflueger scored a career-high 17 points in the win over the Lions, shooting 5-of-10 from the floor, including three makes from beyond the arc, which ties a career high. The junior also pulled down five rebounds and recorded three assists and three steals.
NOTRE DAME STAT OF THE NIGHT
The Irish defense was flying around against Southeastern Louisana, blocking a season-high 10 shots. Colson finished one block shy of matching his career high, recording a team-high four blocks. Senior Martinas Geben posted a career-high three blocks in the win and Austin Torres, D.J. Harvey and John Mooney each finished with one block apiece.
NOTES OF THE GAME
- Brey now has 392 victories as Notre Dame’s head coach and is just two shy of passing Digger Phelps as the outright all-time program record holder.
- The Irish are now 1-0 against Southeastern Louisiana in the all-time series and 7-0 against teams from the Southland Conference.
- Notre Dame improves to 17-1 in ‘get-away games’ (games before the Christmas break) in the Mike Brey era, including 16-0 at home.
- Colson has now finished in double figures in the scoring column in all 13 games this season and extended his active streak to 30 consecutive games.
- Colson posted his eighth double-double of the season and 31st of his career, moving into a tie with former standout Torin Francis for 13th in program history.
- After scoring 17 points against the Lions, Farrell has finished with 10-plus points in every contest this season (13 games).
- Geben turned in his third double-digit rebounding performance of the year with 10 boards on Thursday.
- For the fifth time this season and eighth in his career, Pflueger finished with 10-plus points, scoring 17 against Southeastern Louisiana.
- With 18 points, Gibbs finished in double figures in the scoring column for the eighth time this season.
- Elijah Burns recorded a career-high six rebounds on Thursday.
- Liam Nelligan scored the first points of his Irish career, finishing with two points.
After going home for Christmas, the Irish will return to Purcell Pavilion to open up Atlantic Coast Conference play against Georgia Tech. Tip is set for 2 p.m. ET on Saturday, Dec. 30 and will air live on ESPNU.
— 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.