Jan. 19, 2000
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Irish found themselves in the midst of a recurring nightmare on Wednesday night.
Yet again, the Irish found themselves the victim of hot shooting from the outside. This time it wasn’t Syracuse’s Preston Shumpert drilling the three-pointers instead it was Todd Billet. The freshman for Rutgers secured his team a76-51 win with his 31 points.
Billet drilled eight three-pointers. He shot eight-for-12 from the arc. The freshman guard tied a Rutgers record for most three-pointers. His 31 points were a career-high for the guard.
The freshman had only scored 28 points combined in the last three games. His eight three-pointers ranked as a season best in the Big East. His performance was one better than Boston College’s Xavier Singletary and Syracuse’s Shumpert which was set against Notre Dame.
Sophomore Troy Murphy hoped that Wednesday would be a celebratory day for his homecoming. Instead of being welcomed, Murphy received boos from the crowd. The boos not only came with the starting lineup announcements but every time the New Jersey native touched the ball.
Murphy turned in a dismal performance. He scored well below his 25-point average with just 18 points. In fact the Rutgers performance was his worst of the season. The sophomore forward pulled down just eight rebounds. He fouled out of with 1:26 remaining.
With the loss, Notre Dame’s record drops to 11-7 and 2-2 in the Big East. Notre Dame shot a season low 30 percent and a lackluster 22 percent from behind the arc.
Freshman Matt Carroll turned in a solid performance with 13 points and three boards.
For the first time turnovers did not dictate the game. The Irish had 13 turnovers while the Scarlet Knights had 14 turnovers. The story of the game rests with the unbelievable shooting of Rutgers and Billet. The team shot 59 percent from behind the arc.
Notre Dame kicks off a four game home stand on Saturday against Pittsburgh.
Wednesday’s loss marked the most lop-sided loss for the Irish since last January against UConn.