By Robby Hamman
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — Every Notre Dame player scored in the 2016-17 unofficial season opener on Tuesday evening, as the Irish comfortably defeated Mercy by a final score of 119-58 in the first of two exhibitions. Six players finished in double figures for Notre Dame, as V.J. Beachem led the way with 18 points.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Notre Dame put in an impressive first half showing in their first action of the season. After holding a narrow 14-12 lead five minutes into the first frame, the Irish dominated the remainder of the half as they outscored Mercy 41-16 to close the stanza and take a 55-28 advantage into the break.
The Irish methodically increased its lead in the final 20 minutes of play, as the Notre Dame advantage ballooned to as many as 64 points late in the second half. Notre Dame posted 64 points in the second stanza, as the Irish went on to win by a final of 119-58.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Matt Farrell thrived in his new role of starting point guard on Tuesday evening, setting up teammates all over the floor for easy buckets while also supplying offense on his own. The junior finished with 14 points and 10 assists for a double-double. To make his performance even more impressive, Farrell only recorded one turnover. The Bridgewater, New Jersey also added two steals in the win.
NOTRE DAME STAT OF THE GAME
The Irish offense appeared to be in midseason form against the Mavericks, as the squad finished 41-for-66 from the floor for a shooting percentage of .621. Martinas Geben, T.J. Gibbs and Elijah Burns were perfect on the evening, finishing a combined 12-for-12 from the field. The Irish also shot it well from beyond the arc, going 13-for-27 (.481) from distance.
NOTES OF THE GAME
- Notre Dame’s 118 points are the most the Irish have scored in an exhibition game during head coach Mike Brey’s tenure. The previous high was 109 in a win over St. Ambrose in 2007.
- With the win the Irish are 33-0 in exhibitions under Brey.
- Six players finished in double figures against Mercy.
- V.J. Beachem led all scorers with 18 points on 5-of-11 shooting, including 5-of-8 from three-point range.
- The Irish out-rebounded the Mavericks 51-28.
- Geben nearly posted a double-double, as he finished with 12 points and nine rebounds.
- In his first game in a Notre Dame uniform, Gibbs scored 16 points, going 4-for-4 from the field and 6-for-6 from the charity stripe. The freshman also added seven assists in his debut.
Notre Dame is in action in Purcell Pavilion for the final tuneup before the regular season begins at 7 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 7, as the Irish take on Catholic University. Notre Dame’s first official game of the season is on Saturday, Nov. 12, as the Irish host Bryant at noon.
— 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.