NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Notre Dame (6-1) closed out its season-opening seven-game home stand with a 76-74 win over Illinois (2-5) in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge inside Purcell Pavilion on Tuesday evening.
Both junior T.J. Gibbs and sophomore D.J. Harvey scored 19 points against the Illini, marking season highs for both players. Junior big man Juwan Durham scored a career-high 10 points and registered five blocks while freshman Prentiss Hubb also added 10 points.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Irish and Illini battled throughout the first half and the visitors held a narrow 35-34 lead at the break. The first 20 minutes featured a couple of scoring runs, as Illinois had an 11-0 run and the Irish put together a 7-0 run in the first frame. Gibbs led the Irish on the offensive end at the break, scoring 10 points.
The two sides traded buckets for the opening five minutes of the second half and Illinois held a 47-44 lead with 14:25 left in regulation.
The Irish then took control of the game, going on a 14-0 run over a span of six minutes to take its largest lead of the game at 58-47. Gibbs scored seven of Notre Dame’s points during the spurt while Juwan Durham set the tone on the defensive end by altering and blocking shots.
The Illini made a late comeback down the stretch and had a three-pointer to win it in the final seconds but the attempt did not fall and the Irish came away with a 76-74 victory.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Harvey set a career high in points with 19 on just eight shots from the field. The junior finished 5-of-8 from the field and 2-for-4 from three-point range. Harvey also grabbed five rebounds and had a steal.
NOTRE DAME STAT OF THE GAME
The Irish matched their season high in blocked shots, totaling 10 on the evening. Durham was a monster on the defensive end down the stretch, posting all five of his blocks in the second half.
NOTES OF THE GAME
- Notre Dame improves to 3-0 against Illinois during the Mike Brey era and are 6-3 when playing the Illini at home.
- The Irish improve to 4-2 in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge and are 2-0 against Illinois in the annual event.
- Notre Dame wrapped up its seven-game home stand with a 6-1 record.
- Gibbs scored a season-high 19 points and has now recorded 10-plus points in six of seven games this season and 40 times in his career.
- With 19 points, Harvey notched his career high for points in a game and has finished in double figures four times this season and eighth time in his career.
- Hubb finished in double figures in the points column for the fourth straight game, finishing with 10 points.
- Durham blocked five shots, finishing one shy of his career high, and has now notched three or more blocks in three games this season. The junior leads the Irish with 13 blocks on the season.
- Durham registered his first double-digit scoring performance of his career, scoring 10 points.
Notre Dame plays its first game away from Purcell Pavilion, as the Irish take on Oklahoma at 7 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Dec. 4 at Madison Square Garden in New York City as part of the Jimmy V Classic. The game will air live on ESPN.
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