DURHAM, NC. – Notre Dame is heading back to Purcell Pavilion with an impressive 93-89 road win inside Cameron Indoor Stadium on Tuesday evening.
Despite trailing for the entire first half by as many as 15 points, the Irish fought back with a vengeance. Boosting their accuracy from beyond the arc and increasing the defensive aggression in the second half proved to be the winning recipe in the comeback victory.
Five Irish men scored double digits but it was Cormac Ryan who was the leader for Notre Dame, pouring in 28 points and coming up with three big steals. Juwan Durham also deserves honorable mentions as he was perfect from the field, scoring 13 points off 6-of-6 shooting, and blocking three attempts from Duke.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Irish struggled out of the gate against the Blue Devils, failing to convert on the offensive end while Duke jumped out to an early 23-8 lead. Despite being down by as many as 15 points, Ryan kept the Irish within reach with 21 points over the opening 20 minutes. The Irish chipped away and managed to come back and decrease the deficit to just five, 50-45, at the half.
The Irish carried its momentum into the second half and was able to take the lead for the first time at 14:28 and it was neck-and-neck the rest of the way. From beyond the arc, the Irish greatly improved their accuracy shooting 7-of-14 in the second stanza. Durham also added some flare with a few electric dunks to keep the Irish lead intact.
The Irish held on to an 87-85 lead with less than a minute to play and Prentiss Hubb made the play of the game to help seal the win. With the shot clock winding down, the junior hit a contested three from way beyond the arc to put the Irish up by five with 37 seconds left. Notre Dame made enough free throws down the stretch to come away with the 93-89 win.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Ryan had a career performance against the Blue Devils managing to score 21 points in just the first 20 minutes. Ryan shot 62.5% from the field and hit 4-of-7 threes ending in a final tally of 28 points. Defensively, Ryan was able to block a key shot and add three steals.
STAT OF THE GAME
Notre Dame forced 12 turnovers on Duke, scoring an additional 17 points from the aggressive defensive strategy. Duke, on the other hand, only managed to pressure the Irish into seven, converting to just five points.
NOTES OF THE GAME
- Notre Dame maintained a 90% FT percentage, finishing 18-for-20 from the charity stripe
- Ryan scored 28 points, a career high.
- Ryan also set a personal record for points scored in the first half with 21
- Durham finished 6-for-6 from the field and has shot 14-for-15 over the last two games
- Hubb continued to be a key in running the offense, dishing out a team-high eight assists
Notre Dame returns home to Purcell Pavilion on Sunday, Feb. 14 at 6 p.m. EST to take on the University of Miami for the second time this season. Catch the coverage on ACCN.