ND Men’s Basketball: Welcome To The Madness

Welcome to the Madness! Sorry I have been gone for so long! When your writing office becomes your work office you don’t want to spend much time there. What a day to kick off the dust and write a story on a great game. After landing in San Diego early on St Patrick’s Day, the Fightin’ Irish still had work to do. Besides media responsibilities, the team still needed to find time to get some sleep. When it’s March Madness, you don’t need no stinking sleep. You want the adrenaline rush, and the Fightin’ Irish had plenty of it.

First Half

Both teams started off very slow to get things rolling. Between turnovers and missed shots, it looked like both teams were just sluggish. The Irish had a reason, Alabama did not. The first points for the Irish came from Cormac Ryan rattling in a three pointer to put the Irish ahead 3-2 at 17:57. Prentiss Hubb got the second three point shot for the Irish at 15:22. The Fightin’ Irish looked like the fresh team despite their late arrival. Both teams then started to exchange baskets. Ryan connected on his second three pointer to put the Irish ahead 13-10. Alabama managed to stay with two points of the Fightin’ Irish until a three pointer by Keon Ellis of Alabama dropped a three pointer to take the lead 22-21 at 7:55. JD Davidson drops another from beyond the arc to bring the score to 25-21 at 7:04.

Prentiss Hubb For 3!!! Photo Courtesy of Kathleen Keifer

Ryan got the Irish going again as he stopped the run by Alabama at 6:12 for a score of 23-25. Dane Goodwin brough the game to a 25-25 tie at 5:23. With 3:07 left in the half, the Fightin’ Irish trailed Alabama 32-33. Nate Laszewski converted on a layup at 2:56 that kicked off a 9-0 run that would go till 0:32 left in the half. At the half, the Irish lead Alabama 41-36.

Second Half

Laszewski started the Irish off in scoring in the second half with booming three pointer at 19:14 left in regulation and a score of 44-36. The closest the Crimson Tide would get is 44-42 and that was a timeframe of 17:59 to 16:23. From that point forward the Irish started to pull away slowly as Ryan buried another three-point shot for a score of 47-42. That pull away included a period in which Alabama did not score until 12:33, almost four minutes. The Irish defense made Alabama uncomfortable and played like a six seed not the eleven seed. A Technical Foul is called against the Alabama Head Coach Nate Oats at 2:15.

After the Technical Foul, the Fightin’ Irish protected the rock and delivered a 78-64 win over the Crimson Tide.

The Wrap Up

Ryan had a career night! Ryan scored 29 points, logged 36:15 in playing time, 10-13 FG, 7-9 from beyond the arc, 2-2 on free-throws, five defensive rebounds, three assists, and two steals. Blake Wesley was next with 18 points, and Paul Atkinson wrapped up the top three scorers with 13 points.

The Irish managed 34 points in the paint, 16 points on turnovers, 11 second chance points, 12 fast break points, and the bench had 10 points.

As a team the shot 29-54 FG 53.7%, and 10-11 from the free throw line, 90.9%. Defensively the held Alabama to 26-64 FG 40.6%, and 4-7 from the free throw line, 57.1%.

Next Up

Next up for the Fightin’ Irish is the Texas Tech Red Raiders. The time and network has not been determined.

Cheers and Go Irish! ☘️🏀🌩️

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