Jan. 26, 2000
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – In front of a sparse crowd on Tuesday night, Miami handed Notre Dame its eighth loss of the season.
The Hurricanes turned in a flawless defensive effort as the Irish shot just 32 percent for the game, the worst this season.
“We never got into sync,” Irish head coach Matt Doherty said. “They played good defense, as good as any we have faced this season. They were active, long and quick. (Miami coach Leonard) Hamilton had them prepared.”
Miami came prepared to silence Notre Dame sophomore Troy Murphy. The sophomore entered the game just 18 points shy of the 1,000 points plateau. He never reached the top. In fact, Murphy scored just 14 points and had 12 rebounds, but still managed to attain his 13th double-double of the season.
Senior point guard Jimmy Dillon was the only other Notre Dame player to make it to double figures. He scored a career-high 10 points.
While Miami dominated a majority of the time, Notre Dame managed to make a small run in the second half that was halted with a Murphy slam. The Irish managed to cut the deficit to seven points with a Matt Carroll three and Murphy’s slam.
Murphy ended up being called for the technical for hanging too long on the rim in celebration. Referee Ted Valentine called it.
“I didn’t see him hanging on the rim,” Doherty said. “It was unfortunate because we were kind of getting a little juice going.”
Notre Dame started the game by shaking things up. Doherty inserted freshman Jere Macura and Ivan Kartelo into the lineup in place of sophomores David Graves and Harold Swanagan.
“We had to change our lineup because a couple guys were not mentally prepared at the pre-game dinner,” Doherty said about the change. “Starting is a reward. I don’t know if that put Harold (Swanagan) and David (Graves) into a funk or not. We got some fouls early and that put Ivan and Jere on the bench.”
Graves came off the bench for just the third time in his career. He finished with seven points. Swanagan had eight points and four rebounds.
“They did a heck of a defensive job,” Murphy said. “I tip my hat to them. It is frustrating to come out and lose by twenty and have them smile when they walk off the court. We just got drilled tonight. This has to be our worst loss of the season.”
Notre Dame has now scored less than 60 in three of its last four games. The Irish have to bounce back quickly as the team is scheduled to take on St. Johns on Saturday.