Feb 22, 2014, 11:25 PM EDT
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
- RT @la3irish: @ndwbb @mcable22 energy is something you can't buy so glad for all her energy. 17 hours ago
- Good luck to @NDFootball today in their Blue and Gold Spring game ! Catch them on @NBCSN at 12:30 pm EST 🍀🏈 19 hours ago
- RT @btorun111: @ndwbb @mcable22 very happy for you and your team... 19 hours ago
- RT @kezarkid: @ndwbb great news. Miss Hustle!! 1 day ago
- RT @vannaman15: Best news I've heard all day is that @mcable22 is playing another season for @ndwbb! 🙌🏼🏀😍 1 day ago
Men’s Basketball on YouTube
- Wish the outcome of game 1 was different for New Orleans Pelicans Head Coach & ND🏀alum Monty Williams. http://t.co/IzuasTT6VN 12 hours ago
- RT @NDSlo: The schedule may end but the teaching never stops...#development http://t.co/ZcTC66EFsj 1 day ago
- LET'S GET SOME RUNS!!! Coaching isn't the only talent Coach Brey has. ⚾️🏀🍀 #TakeMeOutToTheBallGame #Throwback http://t.co/zsQuAAqbBC 1 day ago
- There are two certainties in life - No Ties and Taxes. http://t.co/M4xdJ5Z2Bz 3 days ago
- Coach Brey had a surprise for our guys at our banquet Can't wait to see that banner in the Purcell Pavilion Rafters! http://t.co/mb7bmYuh0c 4 days ago
- Baseball. No. 25 Irish Split With Wolfpack Saturday; Clinch ACC Series
- Track. Record Falls At Virginia Challenge, Irish Wrap Weekend
- W. Golf. Irish Finish Sixth At ACC Women's Golf Championship
- M. Lacrosse. #1 Irish Top #2 Tar Heels, 15-14, In Dramatic Fashion
- Softball. #25 Irish Take Two From Syracuse, Vault Winning Streak To 22 On Strikeout Cancer Saturday