Friday, March 12, 2010
Half: West Virginia 23, Notre Dame 20
By ESPN.com staff ESPN.com
NEW YORK -- Notre Dame has somehow figured out a way to win games by going counter-intuitive to the entire concept of the game of basketball: they win by not scoring points.
It's bizarre and backward and it works.
The Irish's lack of offense has allowed them to stay close to West Virginia in a game that frankly feels a lot less close than the score would indicate. The Mountaineers are content playing the slow-down game and are shooting 47 percent. Da'Sean Butler is picking right up from his heroics last night against Cincinnati. He has a dominating 11 points for the Mountaineers.
The Irish, meantime, who need to score on the majority of their possessions if they want to shorten the game, have only connected on 34 percent. West Virginia is forcing the Irish to the arc and Notre Dame isn't connecting, hitting only four 3-pointers on 15 chances.
More critical WVU has 17 rebounds to Notre Dame's 11. Each board represents another chance for the Mountaineers or one less opportunity for the Irish to score.
If the Irish are going to win this game, they absolutely have to shoot better -- and more -- they need to get Luke Harangody involved. He's taken just one shot and has only three points. Yes, Notre Dame won without him before. But they need him now.