Five Marquette players scored in double figures, led by Jerel McNeal's 18 points as the Golden Eagles routed the overmatched Irish 92-66. In front of 18,906 fans at the Bradley Center, Notre Dame allowed a season-high in points in falling to 12-3 overall and 2-1 in conference play. The Irish will try to rebound on Tuesday against Cincinnati. Tip-off at the Joyce Center is at 7 PM and ESPNU will broadcast the game on television.
What does this loss mean for Notre Dame? One, it proves that it's hard to go on the road in league play and win. Also, the ten-game winning streak ends for the Irish but it's only league contest number three of 18. But the manner in how Notre Dame lost has to be a head scratcher. The 26-point defeat is the biggest margin in the two team's 109-game history and it was an opportunity for the Irish to earn another quality win, this time away from the Joyce Center, to improve a potential NCAA Tournament resume. There will be more chances later in the year but clearly Notre Dame cannot repeat this type of sloppy performance.
Marquette (13-2, 3-1) led 44-36 at halftime and a Rob Kurz three-pointer cut the Golden Eagles lead to 46-41 early in the second half. But Marquette turned up its play when needed. The Golden Eagles went on a 20-5 run to turn the contest into a rout and were up by as many as 30 points late in the game. A big reason for the huge margin of victory was the three-point shooting. Marquette was 12-of-24 from behind the arc while Notre Dame was just 4-of-19 from the same distance. The Golden Eagles were also able to get out on the break as they totaled 20 fast break points. Lazar Hayward scored 17 points and pulled down 11 rebounds for a double-double while Dominic James notched 16 points to go along with seven assists.
For the Irish, there was one bright spot. Luke Harangody battled down low for his eight double-double of the season and 15th of his young career. The sophomore forward tied a career-high with 29 points and totaled 14 rebounds, including seven on the offensive end. But Harangody and Kurz, who scored 11 points, were the only two Notre Dame players in double figures. The Irish committed 24 turnovers, including six each by Harangody and Kyle McAlarney and four by Kurz.