Dec. 31, 2015
Notre Dame (9-3, 0-0) vs. No. 5/5 Virginia (11-1, 0-0)
Date: Saturday, Jan. 2, 2016
Site: John Paul Jones Arena – Charlottesville, Virginia
Game Time: 5 p.m. ET
Talent: Dave O’Brien (play-by-play); Dick Vitale (analyst)
Radio: Notre Dame Basketball Radio Network; WatchND; Sirius/XM 81
Talent: Jack Nolan (Play-By-Play); Torrian Jones (Analyst)
NOTRE DAME OPENS THIRD SEASON IN ATLANTIC COAST CONFERENCE
- Notre Dame begins its third season of play in the Atlantic Coast Conference as the Irish face No. 5/5 Virginia at John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville, Virginia in the conference opener for both squads. Tipoff is slated for Saturday, Jan. 5 p.m. (ET) on ESPN2.
- This will mark the first year Notre Dame is opening conference play on the road. In its first season in the ACC, the Irish defeated Duke (79-77) on Jan. 4, 2014. Last season, Notre Dame beat Florida State (83-63) on Dec. 13, 2014 in its ACC opener.
- Heading into the game Saturday, Notre Dame has won nine straight conference openers dating back to its association as a member of the BIG EAST. The last time Notre Dame dropped a conference opener was on the road versus Pittsburgh on Jan. 4, 2006. The Irish dropped a 100-97 double-overtime decision to the Panthers.
- The contest will mark the 10th meeting between the two schools. The Cavaliers have won eight straight against the Irish. Notre Dame is 0-2 against Virginia in Charlottesville and 0-3 versus the Cavaliers in ACC play.
- Notre Dame picked up its ninth win of the season on Tuesday night (Dec. 29) after a 73-56 victory over Liberty. The game followed an eight-day break for the Irish and marked the final non-conference tilt for the Irish in 2015.
- The contest against Virginia will be broadcast on ESPN2 with Dave O’Brien (play-by-play) and Dick Vitale (analyst) calling the action.
- A free audio broadcast will be available courtesy of WatchND. Jack Nolan will handle play-by-play duties, while Torrian Jones will serve as the analyst. The matchup also is available on Sirius and XM channel 81.
- Notre Dame will be on the road again for its second ACC outing this season when Notre Dame pays a visit to Boston College in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts on Thursday, Jan. 7 for a 7 p.m. (ET) tip.
- Notre Dame (9-3) plays its first ranked opponent this season in the matchup against fifth-ranked Virginia (11-1). This will be the only regular-season meeting between the programs in 2016.
- Notre Dame is the defending ACC champion after winning the tournament title in 2015. The Cavaliers have won the regular-season championship each of the last two seasons and claimed the ACC tournament crown in 2014.
- The Irish faced 11 ranked foes in 2014-15 and were 8-3 in those contests.
- Notre Dame posted a 7-2 record last season in ACC road games. The Irish finished with a 14-4 record overall (good for third place) during the regular season.
- Irish head coach Mike Brey is 0-6 all-time versus Virginia (0-3 in ACC play).
- Notre Dame is 1-8 all-time versus the Cavaliers. The first game played between the two schools was on Feb. 22, 1981 in Chicago, Illinois with the Irish earning a 57-56 victory. Since that inaugural contest, Notre Dame has gone winless in the last eight meetings.
- Notre Dame and Virginia have met three times as ACC foes. The Irish are 0-3 in those contests. The two teams met only once last season as Notre Dame dropped a 62-56 decision at home. During the 2013-14 campaign, Notre Dame’s first as an ACC member, Virginia won both contests – 68-53 at Notre Dame and 70-49 in Charlottesville.
- For the second straight season, all five Irish starters are averaging double figures as Notre Dame is averaging 79.1 ppg. and shooting 49.6 percent from the field. The Irish have shot better than 50.0 percent from the field in five contests.
- Notre Dame has outrebounded its opponents in all but three game this season and own a 37.8 to 31.6 advantage on the boards.
- Junior guard Demetrius Jackson leads the Irish in scoring with at 16.3 ppg. Jackson has netted double figures in 10 of 12 games this season. He was held to a season-low nine points in the loss to Indiana on Dec. 19 and against Liberty on Tuesday night. He also leads the Irish in both the assists (58/4.8 aspg.) and steals (13/1.1 stlpg.) categories.
- Zach Auguste is next in the scoring column at 14.3 ppg. He also leads the Irish with 10.4 rpg. He has scored in double figures in 10 outings and registered a team-leading eight double-doubles. Auguste posted a double-double on Tuesday night against Liberty as he netted 13 points and matched his career best with 14 rebounds.
- V.J. Beachem is averaging 12.6 ppg. and 4.7 rpg., (both career bests) as he ranks third on the squad in both of those categories. Beachem has netted double figures in eight games this season. He had his career-high double-figure scoring streak snapped against Liberty on Tuesday night as he was held to nine points.
- Steve Vasturia is averaging a career-best 12.6 ppg. and ranks second in assists (36/3.0 aspg.). He had a career-high eight assists in Notre Dame’s win over Youngstown State. He had his personal-best 12-game double-figure scoring streak (dating back to last season) snapped against Indiana on Dec. 19 as he finished with just seven points in the loss to the Hoosiers. Vasturia also netted just four points (1-7 from the field) in the win over Youngstown State two days later. He reached double figures on Tuesday night, finishing with a team-high 17 points.
- Bonzie Colson is the fifth Irish starter in double figures as he is netting 10.5 ppg. and stands second on the squad with a 7.3 rebounding average.
- Virginia has won 10 straight games and ia 11-1 heading into the ACC portion of its season. The Cavaliers have not lost since dropping a 73-68 decision on the road at George Washington on Nov. 16, 2015.
IRISH IN THE ACC
- Notre Dame is 20-16 (regular season play) in two seasons as a member of the ACC. After going 6-12 in its first season in 2013-14, 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.
LIBERTY STATE REWIND
- Notre Dame shot 52.1 percent from the field (25-48) and held the Flames to just 37.9 percent shooting (22-58) for the game.
- The Irish jumped out to a 32-23 halftime advantage and then outscored Liberty 41-33 in the second half for the final 73-56 decision as Notre Dame held its opponent to under 60 points for the third time this season. The 23 points scored by the Flames in the first half were the fewest by in Irish opponent in the opening stanza.
- Zach Auguste registered a double-double for the second straight outing as he netted 13 points and grabbed 14 boards (matching a career high).
- In addition to Auguste, the only other Irish player in double figures was Steve Vasturia as he finished with 17 points.
- Notre Dame outrebounded an opponent for the ninth time in 11 outings.
- V.J. Beachem and Demetrius Jackson each scored nine points, while freshman Matt Farrell came off the bench and netted eight points in 13 minutes. Bonzie Colson contributed seven points and six boards, while Matt Farrell tallied six points in 16 minutes of action.
- Notre Dame’s three losses in 2015-16 are by a combined 10 points (3.3 ppg.)
- In two of those three losses, the Irish led at halftime.
- Notre Dame held a 37-29 advantage at the break versus Monmouth in its opening game of the Advocare Invitational and held a 41-31 halftime lead against Indiana.
- In its one-point loss to Alabama, the Crimson Tide led 43-39 at the break.
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 1804-975 (.649) all-time in 111-plus seasons.
- Notre Dame is one of just nine Division I institutions with 1800 wins. The other eight are Kentucky, Kansas, North Carolina, Duke, Temple, Syracuse, UCLA and St. John’s.
DOUBLE THE PLEASURE
- Senior forward Zach Auguste has registered a double-double in eight of 13 games for the Irish. He is averaging career-bests of 14.3 points and 10.4 rebounds this season.
- His most recent double-double outing was against Liberty on Dec. 29, as he finished the contest with 13 points and 14 rebounds (matching a career high).
- Auguste has scored in double figures in 10 of 12 games this season and grabbed 10-plus rebounds nine occasions.
- Auguste had 16 points and matched his career high of 14 rebounds in Notre Dame’s outing against Illinois. He also had 14 rebounds in the season opener versus St. Francis (Pa.) and added 14 rebounds against Liberty on Tuesday evening.
- Auguste has reached double figures in scoring 49 times during his career and finished with 20-plus points in six career contests. He also has 13 career double-doubles to his credit and finished with 10 or more rebounds on 15 occasions.
- Prior to the Loyola Chicago game on Dec. 13, in which he finished with eight points and five rebounds, Auguste had registered a double-double in three consecutive games (Alabama, Illinois and Stony Brook), which marks the longest streak of his career.
JACKSON DOUBLING IT UP
- Junior guard Demetrius Jackson was held to just nine points against Indiana on Dec. 19 (4-7 from the field), but rebounded in Notre Dame’s next outing as he finished with 17 points in the win over Youngstown State. He also had just nine points versus Liberty as he made just three of his nine field goal attempts. The game against the Hoosiers marked the first time this season that Jackson did not reach double figures in scoring. Jackson has scored in double figures in 10 of 12 outings.
- Jackson posted his first career double-double in Notre Dame’s win over Stony Brook on Dec. 8 as he tallied 19 points and dished off a career-high 10 assists. He leads the Irish in scoring at 16.3 points per game and tops the team with 58 assists (4.8 aspg.) and 13 steals.
- Jackson has topped the 20-plus point mark on four occasions this season
- Jackson has scored in double figures on 47 occasions and netted 20-plus points mark eight times.
- He began the season by scoring 20-plus points in each of Notre Dame’s first two contests. Jackson scored a career-high 27 points in the season opener against St. Francis (Pa.) as he connected on 10-14 from the field and 3-5 from three-point range. He followed that up with a 20-point effort versus Milwaukee that marked the first time in his career that he netted 20-plus points in back-to-back contests.
- Jackson also finished 20 points in the loss to Monmouth for the seventh 20-plus point effort of his career.
BEACHEM CONTINUES TO SHINE FOR IRISH
- Junior forward V.J. Beachem is averaging career bests of 12.6 points and 4.7 rebounds while starting all 12 games for the Irish. He has scored in double figures in seven contests this season.
- His current four-game double-figure scoring streak is the longest of his career – Stony Brook (14), Loyola Chicago (10), Indiana (18) and Youngstown State (16).
- Beachem has netted double figures 19 times during his career.
CALL HIM MR. CONSISTENT
- Junior guard Steve Vasturia has been one Notre Dame’s most consistent players all season long. He is averaging career-bests of 12.1 ppg. and 3.0 rpg., and has scored in double figures in 10 of 12 outings.
- Entering the Indiana contest on Dec. 19, Vasturia was riding a team-best 12-game double-figure scoring streak dating back to the 2014-15 campaign. In the loss to the Hoosiers, he finished just 3-9 shots from the field and scored just seven points. In Notre Dame’s outing against Youngstown State on Dec. 21, Vasturia was held to a season-low four points as he converted just 1-7 from the field.
- Vasturia has netted double figures in 35 career outings and topped the 20-plus point mark twice during his career.
BONZIE IS ROLLING
- Sophomore forward Bonzie Colson had his best career outing in the loss to Indiana on Dec. 19 as he finished with 24 points and grabbed eight rebounds, equaled his career-best with three assists and made two steals. The 24 points marked the first time in the 42 career games he topped the 20-plus point mark.
- Heading into the Liberty game, Colson was riding a career-best four-game double-figure scoring streak – Stony Brook (10), Loyola Chicago (14), Indiana (24) and Youngstown State (14). In the win over the Flames, he saw that streak come to an end as he finished with seven points.
- Colson has started all 12 games for the Irish this season and is averaging career bests of 10.5 points and 7.3 rebounds.
- Colson has registered double figures in scoring in eight contests in 2015-16 and in 13 games overall during his career.
- He registered his first career double-double with 10 points and personal-best 12 rebounds versus Monmouth.
- Freshman Matt Ryan had the best outing of his career in Notre Dame’s win over Loyola Chicago on Dec. 13 as he posted career highs of 14 points and five rebounds.
- Ryan connected on 5-8 shots from the field and was 4-6 from three-point range.
- Ryan also scored 11 points in Notre Dame’s win against Iowa.
- He had a career-high three blocked shots against Indiana.
- Ryan is the top scorer for the Irish off the bench as he is averaging 5.8 ppg.
AUGUSTE NEARING 1,000-POINT MARK
- Senior forward Zach Auguste is approaching the 1,000-point mark. Heading into the Liberty game, he has 941 career points in 104 career contests.
- He would become the 57th player in Notre Fame history to reach that point total.
- Auguste has started 61 games for the Irish during his career and is averaging 9.0 ppg.
- V.J. Beachem is the only Irish player who has hit a three-pointer in every game this season. He leads Notre Dame with 37 three-pointers and has connected on 47.4 percent (37-78) of those attempts from beyond the arc.
- Heading into this season, Beachem had made 53 three-pointers in his first two campaigns in an Irish uniform.
- His 37 three-pointers made are more than double of any other Irish player this season. Steve Vasturia and Matt Ryan each have made 18.
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