Nov. 26, 2016
By Robby Hamman
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The Irish used a three-point shooting barrage to defeat Chicago State by a final score of 91-60 to improve to 6-0 on the season, the third best start for Notre Dame during the Mike Brey era. Notre Dame knocked down a season-high 17 shots from distance en route to the victory.
Sophomore forward Matt Ryan led the charge, scoring a career-high 23 points on 8-of-15 shooting, including a career-best 7-of-14 from beyond the arc. Senior guard Steve Vasturia had an efficient night, pouring in 19 points on 8-of-13 shooting. Other Irish players to finish in double figures were V.J. Beachem (15 points) and Bonzie Colson, who finished with his third straight double-double (10 points, 11 rebounds).
HOW IT HAPPENED
Trailing 10-6 early, the Irish reeled off a 21-2 run over five minutes of play to take control of the game at 27-12 with 10 minutes to play in the first half. The Notre Dame lead never dipped below double figures for the rest of the evening and the Irish took a 19-point lead into the half at 50-31. The Irish finished 19-of-34 from the floor and 10-of-18 from beyond the arc over the first 20 minutes.
Within two minutes of the start of the second half the Irish pushed their lead to 20 at 56-36 off a three from Beachem. Notre Dame went on to outscore the Cougars 41-29 in the final frame to earn the 91-60 victory.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Ryan provided instant offense off the bench on Saturday evening, coming in and knocking down his first five three-point attempts in his first six minutes of action. The sophomore finished the night with a career-high 23 points, including a personal best seven makes from three-point range. The 23 points are tied with Bonzie Colson for the most an Irish player has scored in a game this season.
NOTRE DAME STAT OF THE GAME
The Irish made a season-high 17 shots from beyond the arc on Saturday, finishing just three shy of tying the all-time program record. Ryan led the team with seven makes from distance and the senior combination of Beachem and Vasturia each added three to propel the team. Notre Dame has now connected on 10 or more three-pointers in three of its six games this season.
NOTES OF THE GAME
- Notre Dame eclipsed the 90-point mark for the second time this season, finishing one point shy of matching its season high in scoring.
- The Irish have scored 40-plus points in the first half of five of its six games this season.
- Notre Dame out-rebounded the Cougars 43-30.
- The Irish improve to 4-0 against Chicago State in the all-time series. Notre Dame has score 90-plus points in all four meetings.
- The double-double was Colson’s third of the season and seventh of his career. All three have come in the last three games.
- Vasturia tallied a season-high 19 points on 8-of-13 shooting in the victory.
- Beachem’s 15 points, marks his 12th consecutive game with double-figure scoring.
- Matt Farrell dished out a career-high seven assists against the Cougars.
- Freshman T.J. Gibbs grabbed a season-high four rebounds and added eight points and five assists off the bench.
The Irish are back in action in Purcell Pavilion at 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 29, as Notre Dame hosts Iowa as part of the the annual ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
— ND —
Robby Hamman joined Fighting Irish Media as athletics communications assistant director in September 2016, coordinating efforts for the volleyball and men’s lacrosse program. Hamman is a 2010 graduate of Bethel College, where he earned bachelor’s degrees in sport management and business administration, and earned his master’s degree in business administration from Defiance College in 2013.