Copyright by Global Electronics Telecommunications, publishers of IrishEyes
Provides No Difficulties
For Can't Miss Irish
By Alan Tieuli
(IE) These types of performances are usually
reserved for November and December, when the stakes are lower, the attention to detail is
lessened and the opponent is from a conference at the bottom of the RPI.
Ninety-eight points in a game? Sixty-four
points in a half? In a late February Big East
Conference basketball game with a share of first-place on the line?
Notre Dames 98-76 victory over Virginia Tech Saturday afternoon
was indeed reality. The points scored by the
Irish represent their most ever in a Big East game that did not extend to overtime. The second-half explosion set a program record for
most points in one half of a Big East game and just fell short of the
When we play patiently, trust each other on offense and pass
the ball around, we are a hard team to stop, said senior guard Matt Carroll, who provided a team-high 25 points.
The Irish scored 42 more points in this one than their 56-55 victory
When you score 64 points in the second-half, understated
coach Mike Brey, you have to be pretty
efficient. We didnt force anything; we
just took what the defense gave us and made the extra baskets.
What we did today, Brey continued, we should do all
Wouldnt that be frightening to the rest of the Big East and,
for the matter, the Field of 65?
Notre Dame is now 21-5 overall, 9-3 in the Big East, and in a
three-way tie for first with idle Syracuse and Pittsburgh (easy victors over Rutgers). Virginia Tech improved, but still a have-not
in the conference is 3-9 in the East Division, 10-15 overall. The Irish have now
won 16 straight at the
The Irish received outstanding contributions from the familiar faces. In addition to Carrolls 25 (on nine-for-16
shooting), point guard Chris Thomas had 21
points and 13 assists, and senior forward Dan
Miller contributed 22 points and six rebounds. For
Thomas, it was the most successful dishes hes had in a Big East game and it matched
his career high (set twice in November/December blow-outs).
For Miller, it was one point off his Irish career high (Canisius on Dec. 22)
and obviously his Big East best.
We showed our offensive power, Miller said. We just have to keep that type of tempo and
attitude on offense.
Torrian Jones also had a
splendid game, scoring 12 points on six-for-eight shooting while grabbing nine rebounds. He played 31 minutes, showing his versatility by
playing many spots on the floor.
Hes been just great all year, said Brey of Jones.
Clearly he is our most athletic players and our defender.
And there were times in this one where the visiting Hokies needed to
be stopped. Terry Taylor, a massive 6-8, 292-pound center, had
27 points and swingman Bryant Matthews contributed
19, but ultimately the Hokies were done in by their lack of depth (starter Carlos Dixon is out with a broken foot) and a
I was pleased with how hard we played for about 35 minutes,
said Tech coach Rickey Stokes.
Notre Dame scored the first eight points of the second-half. After Virginia Tech closed to within five (42-37) the Irish put the game away with a four-minute, 14-4 run that was culminated by a Tom Timmermans (eight points) dunk at the 14:03 mark. There werent many stops by the Hokies after that.
IRISHEYES NOTEBOOK: Though seeing Virginia Tech on the schedule usually
doesnt quicken the pulse, tell that to 11,450 at the
(Alan Tieuli is the Managing Editor of IrishEyes Magazine and can be reached at email@example.com. For subscription information on IrishEyes Magazine please visit www.irisheyes.com or call 888-501-5752)