Nov. 7, 2014
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The University of Notre Dame men’s basketball team finished off its exhibition slate with a convincing 82-59 win over Lewis on Friday inside Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center.
Senior guard Jerian Grant set the tone with his hot 3-point shooting, burying five before halftime to pace the Irish attack. Grant finished with 30 points on 9-of-14 shooting, including 7-of-10 from 3-point range.
In total, the Irish hit 46.4 percent (13-of-28) of their 3s, including 10-of-18 in the first half. Sophomore point guard Demetrius Jackson, a product of Mishawaka, Indiana, was 3-of-5 himself from beyond the arc, and finished with 19 points and two steals.
Notre Dame and Lewis traded baskets resulting in a 5-5 tie early before Grant’s first three sparked an 18-5 run to make it 23-10 with 11:42 left in the first half, capped by a 3-pointer from Jackson. From there, the Irish lead continued to grow on the strength of their first-half 3-point shooting and they went into the locker room with a 45-28 lead.
“I loved how we got started,” Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey said. “I thought the first half was a good one on both ends of the floor. We really defended and chased them out of some stuff. I though our ball pressure really helped us and we were pretty efficient on offense. We can really spread that floor and we’ve got a lot of guys who can make shots and we can pass it. I was proud of the fact we got better from last Saturday and I think the first half will be a good half to watch [in the film room].”
In the second half, the Irish stretched the lead to 60-38 with 12:39 remaining, and the Flyers never got closer than 15 (61-44). Grant, who had been fairly quiet through the first 14 minutes of the second half, punctuated the night with back-to-back 3s in the final 5:30 to bring his total to seven. Grant’s regular-season career-high in 3-pointers made is five.
Grant credited the Irish for pushing the tempo and for their improved ball movement.
“We got some good buckets in transition,” Grant said. “Demetrius [Jackson] and Steve [Vasturia] pushed the ball. They made sure I was running the floor and sprinting to the corners to stretch the floor and get open looks. We definitely moved the ball well.”
Junior forward Zach Auguste finished with 12 points and led the Irish with eight rebounds. Senior Pat Connaughton finished with nine points (2-of-5 from 3-point range), six rebounds and four assists. Freshman forward Martin Geben continued to impress on the defensive end, grabbing six rebounds and picking up a pair of blocks in 13 minutes.
The Irish held Lewis to 34.9 percent shooting, tallied seven blocks and twice forced shot clock violations. Still, the Irish held no advantage in the rebound margin as each team tallied 39.
“We can improve on all aspects but definitely rebounding and defense,” Jackson said. “[We need] to keep guys out of the lane, finishing the possession with a defensive rebound. I think we can grow in that area. Also, moving on to the next play. When we make bad plays, those things will happen, move on to the next play and keep playing hard.”
Flyers guard Ryan Jackson had 14 points while forward Julian Lewis led all players with nine rebounds.
Notre Dame will open the regular season against Binghamton in a preliminary round of the Hall of Fame Tipoff Tournament at 9 p.m. (ET) Friday inside Purcell Pavilion.
Single game tickets are available at the Murnane Family Ticket Center. For more information, call 574-631-7356 or visit www.UND.com/BuyTickets.
— Joanne Norell, Media Relations Assistant