Jan. 8, 2016
Notre Dame (10-4, 1-1) vs. Pittsburgh (13-1, 2-0)
Date: Saturday, Jan. 9, 2016
Site: Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center – Notre Dame, Ind.
Game Time: 4 p.m. ET
Talent: Wes Durham (play-by-play); Dan Bonner (analyst)
Radio: Notre Dame Basketball Radio Network; WatchND; Sirius/XM 81
Talent: Jack Nolan (Play-By-Play); Torrian Jones (Analyst)
NOTRE DAME AND PITTSBURGH RENEW RIVALRY IN PURCELL PAVILION
- The Notre Dame men’s basketball team (10-4, 1-1) plays host to its first 2015-16 Atlantic Coast Conference home game when the Irish face Pittsburgh (13-1, 2-0) Saturday at 4 p.m. ET in Purcell Pavilion.
- Notre Dame began its third season as a member of the ACC with two road contests, a 77-66 loss at No. 5 Virginia on Jan. 2, followed by an 82-54 victory at Boston College Thursday night.
- The Irish own a 31-29 advantage in the series with Pittsburgh, including a 17-10 advantage at home. The Panthers have claimed the last two meetings, including a 76-72 loss at the Petersen Events Center on Jan. 31, 2015. That setback was one of just two road losses for the Irish during their 2014-15 ACC season.
- This will be the 61st meeting between Notre Dame and Pittsburgh, one of the longest-running series in Irish basketball history. The Irish and Panthers first met on Feb. 19, 1927 (a 33-17 victory at home for ND) and Pitt is the eighth-most frequent opponent for Notre Dame.
- The Notre Dame – Pittsburgh series history is by far the most prolific of any Irish ACC opponent. The Irish and Panthers will meet for the 61st time on Saturday with Syracuse (48 meetings) and Louisville (32 meetings) the two other most-frequent ND ACC opponents.
- Mike Brey is 12-11 all-time versus Pittsburgh at Notre Dame.
- It will be a matchup of firsts for both teams. Saturday marks the first ACC home contest for Notre Dame this season and the first ACC road game for Pittsburgh. Saturday’s game also will be the first true road game of the year for Pitt, as they have played three neutral site games thus far in 2015-16 and are 11-1 on their home court.
- Pitt’s lone set back in 2015-16 was a 72-59 loss to Purdue (currently ranked No. 20) at home on Dec. 1, 2015.
- Pittsburgh is 13-1 overall and 2-0 in ACC play this season. They are led on offense by Michael Young (16.9 ppg) and Jamel Artis (15.8 ppg). The Panthers are holding opponents to 38.8 percent shooting and out-rebounding opponents 42.1 to 31.1 per game.
- Notre Dame’s starting five of Demetrius Jackson (16.4 ppg.), Zach Auguste (13.4 ppg.), Steve Vasturia (12.3 ppg.), V.J. Beachem (12.2 ppg.) and Bonzie Colson (11.1 ppg.) are all averaging double figures. It marks the second consecutive season that Notre Dame’s starters are averaging better than 10 points per game.
- The Irish are hitting 50.4 percent (406-806) of their shots from the field and 40 percent (167-245) from three-point range. Notre Dame has outrebounded its opponents in all but four games this season and owns a 36.7 to 30.8 advantage on the boards.
- Junior guard Demetrius Jackson leads the Irish in scoring at 16.4 ppg. Jackson has netted double figures in 12 of 14 games this season. He also leads the Irish in both the assists (73/5.2 aspg.) and steals (19/1.4 stlpg.) categories.
- Zach Auguste is next in the scoring column at 13.4 ppg. He also leads the Irish with 9.9 rpg. He has scored in double figures in 11 outings and registered a team-leading nine double-doubles.
- V.J. Beachem is averaging 12.2 ppg. and 4.6 rpg. (both career bests). Beachem has scored double figures in 10 games this season.
- Steve Vasturia is averaging a career-best 12.3 ppg. and ranks second on the team in assists (43/3.0 aspg.). He had a career-high eight assists in Notre Dame’s win over Youngstown State. In each of the last three games against Liberty (17 points), Virginia (14 points) and Boston College (13), Vasturia has reached double figures.
- Bonzie Colson is the fifth Irish starter in double figures as he is netting 11.1 ppg. and stands second on the squad with a 7.1 rebounding average.
IRISH IN THE ACC
- Notre Dame is 21-17 in ACC regular-season play after two-plus seasons in the conference. After going 6-12 in its first season in 2014-15, the Irish finished 14-4 in 2014-15.
- Notre Dame’s 14 wins a year ago (+8.0) marked the second-best improvement from the previous season in ACC history.
BOSTON COLLEGE REWIND
- Notre Dame won its first ACC road contest of the season with an 82-54 victory over Boston College in Conte Forum on Thursday night.
- The 28-point victory over the Eagles marks the largest winning margin in an ACC game for the Fighting Irish.
- Notre Dame held Boston College to just 24 points in the first half of action, matching the team’s best defensive effort in an ACC game. It tied the 24 points given up vs. Virginia Tech on Jan. 19, 2014, and vs. Virginia on Jan. 10, 2015, – both contests played in Purcell Pavilion. It was the best Irish defensive effort on the road in ACC play, besting the 25 given up at Wake Forest on Jan. 25, 2014.
- The Irish defense flexed its muscle against the Eagles, holding BC to 33.3 percent shooting in the contest, grabbing nine steals and blocking four shots. The 33.3 percent shooting effort marks the team’s best defensive effort in an ACC contest, better than the 34.3 percent mark the Irish held Clemson to on Feb. 11, 2014.
- Notre Dame had four players in double figures, led by Demetrius Jackson’s 17 points. Bonzie Colson added 16 points and a career-best four blocks, followed by Zach Auguste with 15, Steve Vasturia with 13 and V.J. Beachem with 10. Matt Ryan just missed out on double-figure scoring with nine points in the game.
- Demetrius Jackson notched his season-high total for steals in a game with four thefts against Boston College.
- The Eagles were led by Dennis Clifford and Eli Carter, who both scored 13 points.
NOTRE DAME REACHES 1800-WIN MILESTONE
- Notre Dame’s 84-79 victory at Illinois on Dec. 2 marked the 1800th win in program history.
- The Fighting Irish are 1805-976 (.649) all-time in 111-plus seasons.
- Notre Dame ranks ninth in Division I in all-time program wins behind Kentucky, Kansas, North Carolina, Duke, Temple, Syracuse, UCLA and St. John’s.
IRISH CAN SHOOT THE ROCK
- Notre Dame ranks second in the ACC (all games) in three-point field goal shooting, averaging 40 percent (118-295) as a team in 2015-16.
- Led by V.J. Beachem (46 percent), the Irish boast four shooters who are over 37 percent shooting from three-point range this season. Demetrius Jackson (41.4 percent), Steve Vasturia (38.9 percent) and Matt Ryan (37.9 percent) are all comfortable behind the arc.
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