Irish Down Hurricanes

The Notre Dame basketball team put together a solid 40 minutes of basketball as they hammered Miami 72-62 in a solid performance Wednesday night at the Joyce Center.

The first half was a game of runs. The Irish took the lead within the first one and a half minutes and held it until the 9:20 mark. Twice the lead was up to seven, and when it looked like the home team was going to put Miami away, they charged back and took the lead 18-17.

In the next two minutes the visitors outscored the Irish 8-1 and led 24-18 with a little over seven and a half minutes to go. At this point the Irish put on a run and outscored the Canes 15-8 taking a 33-32 lead into the locker room. This run was highlighted by a 9-0 offensive burst while holding Miami scoreless for four minutes.

Torin Francis was the leader early in the game as he scored six of the team's first nine points and had a total of nine for the half. Torrian Jones was second in points with eight. Chris Thomas scored one point in the half, but the attention he received opened things up for his teammates. Notre Dame shot 48 percent on 12-25 shooting. Meanwhile the hustling Irish held Miami to 37.5 percent on 12-32 shooting.

The Irish appeared to come out of the locker room with a lot of confidence as they took it right to the visitors and outscored them 9-1 in the first four minutes for the biggest lead of the game, 42-33.

From there on the Irish kept the pressure on offensively and defensively and the closest the Canes could get was 46-40 with about 13 minutes left.

With a little over six minutes remaining, the Irish had a 14-point lead, the biggest of the game. Would Notre Dame be able to hold the big lead and finish off the Canes?

The answer was, yes. The Irish played the last minutes of the game with poise and determination not to let Miami back into the game.

Balanced scoring was the key to this victory as four players were in double figures. Torin Francis led the way with 17, Chris Quinn had 15, and Torrian Jones and Jordan Cornette each contributed 12.

Cornette also pulled down 11 rebounds and had four blocked shots. Chris Thomas sat out approximately four minutes in the second half and finished with seven points. For the game the Irish shot 48.1 percent while holding Miami to 37.5 percent from the field.

The leading scorer for Miami and the game was Darius Rice, hitting on 9-21 shots and finishing with 26 points ont he night.

Coach Mike Brey was happy with the outcome of tonight's game. "It's a good league win," said Brey. "I thought we played good defense for forty minutes. Thirty-seven percent field goal percentage defense I think is excellent. I thought we did a good job on Rice. I know he got 26, but it took 21 shots.

Brey was also impressed with Cornette and the job he did guarding Rice. "Jordan Cornette was faboulous tonight guarding him and then what he gave us offensively and on the backboard. I thought Torrian Jones did a good job on Hite not letting him go off, because he has put up 29 a couple of times. It's something to build on, 4-2 in the league. We'll take it."

Brey also commented about the importance of playing tough competition like Syracuse, Pitt, and Kentucky. "We have played some real good teams and I certainly think it has made us tougher. There is no question about it, and it gets you ready to play this kind of game. I think the season has toughened the group up. As you look at our schedule, we are going to have to be resilient, and we have been resilient all year and nothing changes down the stretch."

This win brings the Irish to 10-6 overall and 4-2 in the Big East. The Irish are on the road Saturday as they play Rutgers, a team that seems to play their best against the Irish.

Torrian Jones had this to say about their next game. "They have a great atmosphere," said Jones of Rutgers. "Those guys are right down on you at the side. I know from my uncle playing there, and I have been a fan there. It is a tough place to play and get a win. They play with a lot of confidence at home, and they shoot the ball well and get off to a good start. The big part of winning that game is to come out with a lot of enthusiasm early and not to let them get going and confident. I think we can wear them down over time."

It was a "double dip" night for the Irish as Coach McGraw's team defeated #17 Miami on the road by a score of 59-50. Top Stories