Nov 9, 2013, 5:20 PM EDT
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish men’s basketball team played their first regular season game against the Redhawks of Miami (OH). The basketball game was one of three sporting events being played on Notre Dame’s campus Friday evening (along with the men’s soccer game and the hockey game). Fortunately the soccer team beat Pittsburgh 2-0 and the #3/4 ranked hockey team defeated #1 ranked Minnesota.
To cap off the night, the Irish defeated the Redhawks 74-62 in front of a boisterous crowd inside Purcell Pavilion in Notre Dame, Ind.
Coach Brey said in his press conference earlier this week that he can see every man on this roster helping the team win in this five-month journey and tonight that was the case with four of the five starters scoring double-digit points (Knight, Atkins, Connaughton, Grant).
However, Jerian Grant was the man tonight that his teammates could count on to get buckets when the shot clock was winding down.
Grant, a senior from Bowie, Maryland, tallied a career-high 26 points. Setting the tone of the offense early, Grant hit his first four buckets with three of them being 3-pointers.
“I was hot today,” Grant said. “Eric and Pat were finding me and when I started making those first two, there was no hesitation on the next ones.”
Junior Pat Connaughton knew Grant was going to be hot from the three-point line early. “When he’s shooting like that, you’ve got to get him the ball,” Connaughton said. “All you have to do is get back on defense.”
Grant’s performance was one that was truly remarkable and it kept the band, Leprechaun Lou, and the entire Leprechaun Legion on their feet cheering for the entire game.
This perimeter based offense with Connaughton, Atkins and Grant is extremely high powered and has the ability to manufacture big points late in games this upcoming season. Connaughton said after the game the three of them really liked to share the ball with each other. Grant definitely shared the ball well, ending the game with five assists to go along with his 26 points.
Tonight not only gave the team their first win of the regular season, but it also improved Mike Brey’s record in November as head coach for Notre Dame. The program is now 47-0 at home under Mike Brey in the month of November. To put that in perspective, the last time the Irish lost at home in November (1998), the boy bands *NSYNC and Backstreet Boys ruled the radio, Bill Clinton was President, and I was only four years old.
The Fighting Irish will look to extend their impressive November home record to 48-0 as the team takes on the Stetson Hatters Sunday at 1 PM inside Purcell Pavilion.
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