Irish come up big in the Crossroads Classic

INDIANAPOLIS -- Notre Dame did not trail in a 79-72 win over Indiana in the Crossroads Classic Saturday. Three points of emphasis crucial to the Irish victory are discussed inside.

1. The Irish showed they can answer runs -- and not just offensively

Indiana did not lead once on Saturday. When the outlook seemed brim for the Irish entering the half, even though they were up by five at the break, Notre Dame answered Indiana's energy to open up the second half and extended their lead to seven before the under-12 media timeout. Indiana certainly had the advantage of the crowd in its favor, but Notre Dame squashed any momentum the Hoosiers could muster at multiple points in the game. Relying on a Demetrius Jackson high-flying block, a hustle play from Garrick Sherman, or a three-pointer from Pat Connaughton, Notre Dame received complete games from most everyone.

2. 72 the magic number?

Entering Saturday, Notre Dame was allowing over 50 percent in shooting from the field. However, Indiana only shot 41 percent on the game and only 32 percent in the second half. In Notre Dame's three losses, the Irish surrendered at least 73 points. Indiana scored 72 on Saturday. But more telling than point totals, Notre Dame held Indiana's second-leading scorer Noah Vonleh to just eight points and six boards and just one free throw attempt. The Irish also held Hoosiers leading scorer Yogi Ferrell to 13 points on 5-of-14 shooting from the field and 3-of-7 shooting from behind the arc.

3. Flipping the script

Entering Saturday, only 19.9 percent of Notre Dame's points come from the charity stripe, ranking No. 271 in the nation in that category. To compare, 28.3 percent of Indiana's points come from the foul line, ranking 22nd nationally.

But, Saturday, Notre Dame went to the line 30 times, making 23 of those free throws, including an 11-for-11 performance from Jerian Grant. Indiana saw the line just 16 times, and made 13 of its foul shots.


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