Feb 22, 2014, 11:25 PM EST
Mike Franz, the official 2013-14 men’s basketball beat writer for the In The Paint blog, is currently a sophomore at Holy Cross College. Over the course of the year Mike will bring you insight from within the student section, interviews with Fighting Irish players and stories from inside the team circle. You can follow Mike (and the rest of the Notre Dame student beat writing staff) on twitter at @JrNDBlogger.
Mike Brey’s squad took on the Virginia Cavaliers Saturday afternoon for an ACC showdown. The last time the two faced off, Virginia pulled away early to secure an easy win over the Irish. If you look at the box score you would certainly concur that the same happened on Saturday in Charlottesville as the Irish lost to Virginia, 70-49. However surprising as it may be, Notre Dame played Virginia close throughout the first thirty minutes and appeared as though they were in perfect position to get the upset win over the 14th-ranked Cavaliers.
At the end of the first half the score was tied at 30 and Pat Connaughton was having another great day on the court, shooting 60 percent from the field with eight points and two rebounds. As the second half began, Notre Dame was in a shooting “duel” with the Cavaliers, matching one another shot for shot. Nobody seemed like they could pull away from the other. That is until the 9:19 mark in the second half.
Up until then, Virginia led the Irish by just three, 46-43. Notre Dame had the ball and Zach Auguste went up for what appeared to be an easy dunk. Unfortunately, those two points would be denied as Justin Anderson of Virginia came from behind and swatted the ball away. Virginia proceeded to run the length of the court and convert a slam dunk of their own, invigorating the Virginia faithful in attendance.
In basketball, one play can change the outcome of the game completely. Don’t believe me? After Anderson blocked Auguste’s shot, the Cavaliers went on a 22-0 run. Throughout that run, Notre Dame missed seven shots from the field and two free throw attempts.
It is obvious that the Anderson block was absolutely demoralizing for the Irish. Mike Brey agreed: “That’s how fragile a game can be – because for about 30 minutes, I really liked what we were doing.” He continued, “Then we get the dunk blocked and they dunked on the other end and the whole ceiling caved in.”
It is a shame the Irish could not pull this one out. The team was really playing well together up until that game-changing point. The noise of the crowd and the momentum were totally in Virginia’s corner after that.
This was not the way Notre Dame wanted to end their road trip. Nonetheless, the Irish have a chance to improve their overall & conference record once again on Wednesday night as they take on Georgia Tech at home. Tip off is scheduled for 7:00 PM and the game can be seen on ESPN2.
About In The Paint
Women’s Basketball on YouTube
- Only a few days left to bin on customizable warm-up shirts to be worn in honor of loved ones @ Pink Zone Game! BID… twitter.com/i/web/status/8… 12 minutes ago
- RT @ndwbb: Honor your loved one by having the Irish don a customizable warm-up shirt at our Pink Zone Game, Feb 12th! Bid NOW: https://t.c… 22 hours ago
- 💥Top Moments from the win over Boston College Thursday night! 💥 youtu.be/LAqR8ypGYjc 23 hours ago
- 31-15 third quarter, including 11-0 run, leads Notre Dame to 80-69 victory over Boston College! 📸 by Kevin Sabitus… twitter.com/i/web/status/8… 1 day ago
- Irish win 80-69! Marina Mabrey leads Notre Dame with 21 points, her 3rd 20-points game of the season. Brianna Turne… twitter.com/i/web/status/8… 1 day ago
Men’s Basketball on YouTube
- RT @FightingIrish: 3x @NDmbb Captain 1st Round @NBA Draft Pick 2017 Ring of Honor Inductee David Rivers met the team before Saturday's Rin… 14 hours ago
- Trust. Belief. Freedom to play. ☘Irish Basketball☘ #LevelUp 👉 cbssports.com/college-basket… https://t.co/YEuenBLhjN 21 hours ago
- A.T. back for 2017-18! twitter.com/austin_torres0… 1 day ago
- Seems like ⏳forever⏳, hey @LepLegion? See you at ☀️High Noon☀️ on Saturday! https://t.co/tzDJ5eWA6S 1 day ago
- Great fight. Great edge right to the end. Still in first place and HEADING HOME! https://t.co/HWKqPpslUs 2 days ago
- M. Ice Hockey. Wegwerth's Third Period Tally Lifts Irish To Overtime Tie
- Swimming & Diving. Notre Dame Falls To Top-25 Louisville
- M. Tennis. Irish Defeat Cardinals 7-0 In Season Lid-Lifter
- Track. Keys To The Meet: Notre Dame Invitational
- W. Soccer. Romagnolo Adds Norman ('07) To Women's Soccer Coaching Staff