Notre Dame MBB's struggles continue in blowout loss to Virginia
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Whichever way you frame it, youth vs. experience or a struggling offense against perhaps the nation's toughest defense, Notre Dame men's hoops was no match for No. 3 Virginia on Saturday.
The Irish struggled early, and despite putting up some fight in the second half, fell 82-55 to drop to 1-6 in ACC play.
“They are men that have won together and are polished," Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey said of the Cavaliers. "We are the exact opposite right now, searching and trying to build it. So that was a perfect storm today that hit us right between the eyes.”
That perfect storm took hold from the tip, as Virginia jumped out to a 12-0 lead. It took Notre Dame more than six minutes to score its first points.
Indianapolis native and 2016 Indiana Mr. Basketball Kyle Guy led the early run for Virginia, who led by 17 at halftime. He tallied 15 points in his return to the Hoosier State.
“I'm so proud of Kyle," said Virginia head coach Tony Bennett. "He has all those people watching him since he was grade school, junior high player, high school. And they watched him do what he did today – shoot that ball. A beautiful stroke and quick release. He’s such a great ambassador for our program. I love it when a guy can come home and there’s a lot of people, family and friends, to watch him.
The Irish did show some signs of life in the second half, pulling within 12. However, the duo of Ty Jerome and DeAndre Hunter kept the Irish at arm's length, with 32 combined points.
Once that final push was thwarted, the lead ballooned to the 27-point margin that Notre Dame now has to try to forget, and forget quickly.
“You're hoping you could be more competitive," said Brey, "but we don’t have much time to dwell on it with what’s happening on Monday night.”
That's a meeting with No. 2 Duke, another top-five opponent awaiting the Irish. Tip at 7 p.m.