Nov. 11, 2017
By Robby Hamman
CHICAGO — Notre Dame (1-0) scored 43 second-half points on 14-of-25 shooting to record a double-digit road victory at DePaul (0-1) by a final score of 72-58 in the inaugural game at the brand new Wintrust Arena. Sophomore T.J. Gibbs led the way with a career-high 21 points, while seniors Bonzie Colson and Matt Farrell scored 18 and 15, respectively, to lead the Irish to victory.
Colson, a consensus preseason All-American, also pulled down a team-best 13 rebounds to secure the 24th double-double of his career. Notre Dame is now 18-0 in season openers under Glenn and Stacey Murphy Head Men’s Basketball Coach Mike Brey.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Notre Dame never trailed in the first 20 minutes of play, as the Irish took a 29-25 lead into the halftime break. Colson and Gibbs provided the majority of the offense, each scoring nine points to pace the Irish. Notre Dame led by as many as eight points at 17-9 before heading to the half with the four-point advantage.
After a slow start for the Irish in the second stanza, DePaul managed to pull within one at 31-30 but then the Notre Dame offense kicked into gear. Gibbs and Farrell hit back-to-back three-pointers to increase the Irish lead to seven at 37-30 and Notre Dame never looked back. A make from distance from Rex Pflueger gave the Irish their first double-digit lead of the day at 57-47 with just under nine minutes to play. Notre Dame cruised the rest of the way en route to the 72-58 victory.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Gibbs turned in by far his best game in a Notre Dame uniform on Saturday, scoring a career-high 21 points to lead all scorers in the opener. The Scotch Plains, New Jersey, native was an efficient 7-of-11 from the field, including an impressive 4-for-7 from three-point range on the afternoon. Gibbs also logged a career-high 38 minutes of court time and recorded three assists, two rebounds and no turnovers.
NOTRE DAME STAT OF THE GAME
After struggling to find its stroke from beyond the arc throughout the preseason and the first half at DePaul, the Irish caught fire from distance in the second half. The team went 9-of-12 over the final 20 minutes of action to take over the game and deliver the Irish the victory. Notre Dame finished with 12 makes from three-point range for the contest.
NOTES OF THE GAME
- Notre Dame remains perfect in season-openers under Glenn and Stacey Miller Head Men’s Basketball Coach Mike Brey, improving to 18-0. The Irish are 95-18 in program history in season-openers.
- Brey now has 383 victories as Notre Dame’s head coach and is just 11 shy of passing Digger Phelps as the outright all-time program record holder.
- The Irish are now 61-44 against DePaul in the all-time series and have won 10 straight against the Blue Demons.
- Notre Dame finished with just nine turnovers, only three coming in the second half.
- Gibbs scored a career-high 21 points at DePaul.
- Colson’s 24th career double-double moves him into a tie for 18th place on the Notre Dame career double-double’s list with former standout Monty Williams.
- Farrell matched his career-high for three-point makes with five at DePaul.
- Farrell has knocked down a three-pointer in 27 consecutive games, the longest streak of any active player in the ACC.
- Pflueger posted a career-high nine rebounds in the opener.
- Freshman D.J. Harvey made his first official appearance for the Irish on Saturday, posting seven points and three rebounds off the bench in 16 minutes of action.
Notre Dame opens the regular season home schedule against Mount St. Mary’s at 7 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 13 inside Purcell Pavilion.
— 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.