Jan. 15, 2012
Notre Dame (11-7, 3-2) vs. Rutgers (10-8, 2-3)
Jan. 16, 2012
– 9:00 p.m. (ET)
Louis Brown Athletic Center (8,000)
Beth Mowins (play-by-play)
Tim Welsh (analyst)
Broadcast on UND.com
Jack Nolan (play-by-play)
Jordan Cornette (analyst)
FIGHTING IRISH BACK IN ACTION ON MONDAY AT RUTGERS
– Notre Dame (11-7, 3-2) will play its second game in a three-day span when the Irish travel to Piscataway, N.J. to face Rutgers (10-8, 2-3) on Monday night. Tip-off is scheduled for 9:00 p.m. (ET) inside the Louis Brown Athletic Center.
– The Fighting Irish fell to Connecticut, 67-53, on Saturday. That loss snapped Notre Dame’s 29-game home win streak.
– Monday’s game will be broadcast on ESPNU and ESPN3 with Beth Mowins (play-by-play) and Tim Welsh (analyst) calling the action.
– The Fighting Irish Digital Media radio crew of Jack Nolan (play-by-play) and Jordan Cornette (analyst) will call the action on radio (affiliate listings on Pg. 5) and their broadcast can also be heard on UND.com.
– Monday will be the 30th meeting all-time between Notre Dame and Rutgers. The Irish own a 17-12 advantage in the series, including wins in six of the last seven showdowns versus the Scarlet Knights. Notre Dame topped Rutgers, 76-69, last season inside Purcell Pavilion (Feb. 6, 2011).
– The Fighting Irish are 5-9 all-time at Rutgers. Notre Dame dropped its last game in Piscataway, N.J., a 74-73 decision on Jan. 30, 2010.
– Notre Dame is 14-10 against Rutgers since both teams joined the BIG EAST in 1995.
– Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey is 11-5 all-time against Rutgers.
– The Irish are off to a 3-2 start in BIG EAST play for the sixth straight season.
– The Fighting Irish are 10-1 at home, 1-2 in true road games and 0-4 in neutral site games this season.
HOME STREAK SNAPPED
– Saturday’s 67-53 loss to Connecticut snapped Notre Dame’s 29-game home win streak. That had been the fourth-longest in the nation and the second-longest Irish win streak inside Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center in program history. The Fighting Irish won 45 straight at the Joyce Center from March 4, 2006-Jan. 10, 2009. That streak came to an end in a 69-61 loss to Connecticut on Jan. 24, 2009.
– Prior to Saturday, Notre Dame’s last home loss was a 69-68 setback to St. John’s on Feb. 14, 2010. The Irish had won 13 straight BIG EAST games inside Purcell Pavilion.
– The Fighting Irish are 94-7 in their last 101 games played at home. That 93.1% home winning percentage over the course of the last six seasons ranks fifth nationally.
IRISH ENJOY HOME COOKING IN CONFERENCE PLAY
– Notre Dame has gone 41-6 (.872) at home in BIG EAST play over the last six seasons. That is the best home winning percentage for any BIG EAST school in league play over that time period.
A DIFFICULT DAY
– Saturday’s 53 points in the 67-53 setback to Connecticut were the fewest for Notre Dame in a home game during the Mike Brey era (12 seasons). The previous low was 54 against Charleston Southern in a 54-38 win on Nov. 26, 2004.
– The 14-point loss to the Huskies was the largest home defeat for the Irish since a 77-60 setback to Villanova on March 2, 2009.
– The Fighting Irish led UConn 25-24 at halftime. It was Notre Dame’s first loss this season when leading at halftime. The Irish are 8-1 this season when leading at the intermission.
BIG EAST TRENDS
– Notre Dame is 21-6 (.778) over its last 27 BIG EAST regular-season contests. The Irish stood 6-8 through 14 regular-season games during the 2009-10 campaign and then won four straight to finish 10-8. Last season, Notre Dame posted a 14-4 regular-season mark in the league.
– The Irish are 14-3 over their last 17 BIG EAST regular-season games.
BREY MOVING UP BIG EAST WINS LIST
– A win on Monday would tie Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey with former Villanova head coach Rollie Massimino for fifth all-time in BIG EAST victories (both BIG EAST regular season and tournament). Brey is 122-85 (.589) in league regular-season and tournament play during his 12 seasons with the Irish.
– Brey also is one win away from reaching 250 victories during his Notre Dame tenure. He carries a 249-127 (.662) overall mark with the Irish.
MARTIN MAKING THINGS HAPPEN
– Senior Scott Martin has scored in double-figures in each of the last three games, including a 12-point, nine-rebound effort against Connecticut on Saturday. He was one rebound shy of notching his third straight double-double. Martin posted his second straight double-double (third career double-double) with 15 points and a career-high 13 rebounds in Tuesday’s win over USF. His previous rebound high was 12, which occurred last Saturday at Louisville. He also netted 11 points against the Cardinals.
– Martin is averaging 12.7 ppg. and 11.3 rpg. in the last three games.
PROTECTING THE ROCK
– The Irish committed just eight turnovers on Saturday against Connecticut. Notre Dame has had fewer than 10 turnovers in a game eight times this season. The Irish had a season-low four turnovers in the victory over Sacred Heart (Dec. 19). The Irish also had a season-high 25 assists (on 35 made baskets) versus the Pioneers.
– Entering last week, Notre Dame ranked in a tie for third nationally – and first in the BIG EAST – in fewest turnovers committed per game (10.0). The Fighting Irish also had the nation’s ninth-best assist-to-turnover ratio (1.46). That mark ranks second in the BIG EAST.
SPREADING THE WEALTH
– Seven different Notre Dame players have posted a team-high point total in a game this season.
– Sophomore point guard Eric Atkins has led Notre Dame in scoring a team-best six times this season, while fellow sophomore guard Jerian Grant and junior forward Jack Cooley both have led the Irish in points four times.
– Seven Notre Dame players – Tim Abromaitis, Eric Atkins, Pat Connaughton, Jack Cooley, Alex Dragicevich, Jerian Grant and Scott Martin – have scored 20 or more points in a game this season.
– Atkins has scored 20-plus points a team-best three times this season, including his game-high 20-point effort on Saturday versus Connecticut.
SHUFFLING THE LINEUP
– Notre Dame has used eight different starting lineups this season (out of 18 games played). No Notre Dame player has started every game this season (game-by-game starting lineups listed on page 7). Jerian Grant and Scott Martin both have a team-high 17 starts this season.
– Six different Irish players – Joey Brooks (Jr./G), Jack Cooley (Jr./F), Tom Knight (Jr./F), Jerian Grant (So./G), Alex Dragicevich (So./G) and Pat Connaughton (Fr./G-F) – have made their first career start this season.
– The quintet of Eric Atkins, Jack Cooley, Alex Dragicevich, Jerian Grant and Scott Martin has started the last seven games (and seven games overall this season). That is the most-used starting lineup for the Irish this season. Notre Dame is 4-3 with that starting five.
COOLEY COMING TO PLAY
– Since missing the Maryland game on Dec. 4 due to illness, junior forward Jack Cooley has averaged 15.4 ppg., 9.3 rpg. and 2.1 bpg. in the past nine contests. He is shooting 62.7% (52-83) from the field and 77.8% (35-45) from the free throw line during that stretch.
– Cooley has a team-best four double-doubles this season. He also has a team-high six double-digit rebounding games this season.
– Against Delaware State (Nov. 18), Cooley hauled down a career-high 17 rebounds, which included 10 offensive boards. He became the first Irish player to register that many rebounds in a game since Luke Harangody had 17 against Louisville on Feb. 12, 2009.
– Cooley leads the Irish with an 8.2 rpg. average this season, which includes 3.6 offensive boards per game. He also has a team-high 25 blocked shots, which is a career-high total for the junior.
GETTING TO THE LINE
– The Irish have made more free throws (283) than their opponents have attempted (281). Notre Dame is 283-396 (.715) from the charity stripe this season.
– Notre Dame had season-low totals in free throws made (5) and attempted (8) in Saturday’s loss to Connecticut.
ATKINS ON THE ATTACK
– Sophomore point guard Eric Atkins leads the Irish with a 13.2 ppg. average this season. He averaged 5.8 ppg. last season as a freshman.
– On Saturday against Connecticut, Atkins deposited a game-high 20 points. Those were the most points he has ever scored in a BIG EAST game. It also was his team-best third 20-plus point game of the season.
– Atkins has scored in double-figures in 11 of the 16 games he has played in this season. He missed two contests (Sam Houston State & Delaware State) due to illness. He has led Notre Dame in scoring a team-high six times this season.
– Atkins has dished out a career-high nine assists twice this season (Sacred Heart, Dec. 19 & Bryant, Nov. 27).
– Atkins deposited a career-high 27 points versus Mississippi Valley State in the season opener.
– Atkins is shooting a team-best 44.4% (24-54) from three-point range this season.
GRANT HAS ALL-AROUND GAME
– Sophomore guard Jerian Grant, who is in his first season playing with the Irish after sitting out all of last season, has team-high totals in points (234), assists (82), steals (24) and minutes played (619). His 30 made three-pointers also are a team-high total. Grant is shooting a team-best 77.5% (62-80) from the free throw line this season.
– Entering last week, Grant ranked seventh nationally – and first in the BIG EAST – with a 3.32 assist-to-turnover ratio.
– Grant has scored in double-figures a team-best 14 times this season. He had his career-best six-game double-figure scoring streak snapped on Saturday versus Connecticut. Grant is averaging a team-best 13.8 ppg. in BIG EAST play.
– He scored a career-high 20 points against both Georgia (Nov. 22) and Maryland (Dec. 4).
– Grant dished out a career-high nine assists versus Pittsburgh (Dec. 27).
– Grant posted his first career double-double by notching 12 points and a career-high 11 rebounds against Bryant (Nov. 27).
GET TO 60
– Notre Dame is 10-1 this season when scoring 60 or more points, while the Irish are 1-6 when scoring less than 60 points. The Fighting Irish are averaging 77.0 ppg. in their 11 wins, while they are averaging 57.9 ppg. in the seven losses.
– Notre Dame is allowing 59.3 ppg. in its wins and 72.3 ppg. in its setbacks.
CRASHING THE BOARDS
– The Fighting Irish have a +4.2 rebound margin in their 11 wins, while they have been out-rebounded by a 9.7 margin in their seven setbacks.
– Notre Dame is 6-0 this season when out-rebounding its opponent.
BEYOND THE ARC
– Notre Dame has hit 10 or more three-pointers in a game three times this season. The Irish deposited 11 treys against Bryant (Nov. 27) and Delaware State (Nov. 18) and they hit 10 versus Sam Houston State (Nov. 16). The Fighting Irish made 10 or more three-pointers in a game seven times last season.
426 AND COUNTING
– Notre Dame has made at least one three-pointer in 426 straight contests dating back to the 1998-99 campaign. The Fighting Irish have made at least one three pointer during every game of the Mike Brey era. The last time an Irish team failed to hit a three-pointer in a game was in a 101-70 loss to Connecticut at the Hartford Civic Center on Jan. 12, 1999. Notre Dame finished 0-7 from beyond the arc in that contest. In 2008-09, the Irish set a single-season three-point record with 319.
– Freshman guard/forward Pat Connaughton also is a pitcher on the Fighting Irish baseball team. Connaughton is the 66th Notre Dame student-athlete to compete in both basketball and baseball and the first to do so since Tom Hansen during the 1973-74 academic year.