March 13, 2018
By Robby Hamman
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — Notre Dame (21-14) handled Hampton (19-16) with ease in the opening round of the National Invitation Tournament on Tuesday evening inside Purcell Pavilion, winning by a score of 84-63.
The Irish advance to the second round of the NIT and will host the winner of Wednesday’s Temple-Penn State game. Notre Dame will play at noon ET on Saturday, March 17. The game will air live on the ESPN family of networks.
Senior forward Martinas Geben led the Irish in scoring with 18 points. Sophomore guard T.J. Gibbs poured in 17 and senior forward Bonzie Colson added 14.
How It Happened
The Irish got off to a strong start, outscoring the Pirates 23-16 after the first quarter. Geben carried Notre Dame on the offensive end, scoring nine points on 4-of-6 shooting. The Irish led by as many as 11 points at 23-12 before Hampton scored the last four points of the period.
Notre Dame opened the second stanza on a 16-4 run to open a 19-point lead at 39-20 with four minutes left in the half. The Pirates managed to trim the Irish lead to 12 points at the half, as Notre Dame led 46-34. Gibbs led the Irish in scoring in the opening 20 minutes, scoring 15 points.
The Irish completely blew the game open in the third quarter, scoring 20 points while holding the visitors to just nine to take a commanding 66-43 lead into the fourth frame. Notre Dame scored 18 points to cruise to a 21-point win at 84-63.
Notre Dame Player Of The Game
Geben was a model of efficiency against Hampton, scoring a team-high 18 points on 7-of-9 shooting and 4-for-4 from the free-throw line. The senior added six rebounds, one assist and one steal.
Notre Dame Stat Of The Game
The Irish pulled down a season-high 55 rebounds in the victory. Notre Dame has now recorded 50-plus rebounds in each of its last two home games. Colson led the Irish with 12 while Djogo added nine and Pflueger grabbed seven.
- Notre Dame is 1-0 against Hampton in the series, as Tuesday evening was the first meeting between the two sides.
- The Irish improve their all-time NIT record to 27-11 and are now 15-3 at Purcell Pavilion during NIT contests.
- Notre Dame is now 12-0 when scoring 80-plus points in a game this season.
- Colson recorded the 34th double-double of his career and moved into a tie for ninth place in the Notre Dame record books for career double-doubles with former standout Tom Hawkins.
- Colson posted his 20th double-digit scoring performance of the year. The senior has finished with 10-plus points in every game he has played this season.
- With 18 points, Geben finished in double figures for the 21st time this season.
- Gibbs has finished with 10-plus points in 28 games this season.
Notre Dame will play the winner of Penn State and Temple in Purcell Pavilion. The game will be played at noon ET on Saturday, March 17. The game will air on the ESPN family of networks.
— 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.