RECAP: Fighting Irish Demolish North Carolina A&T; Improve to 8-0

(Source: Notre Dame Athletics)

This game seemed to have been over before it started, as the Notre Dame Fighting Irish pummelled the North Carolina A & T Aggies, 107-53.

After a convincing 92-78 win over the Iowa Hawkeyes last Tuesday, the Irish got some rest before welcoming the Aggies to the Purcell Pavilion.

Some may say this game was destined to be a blow out from the start, as North Carolina A&T ranked 348th in points per game nationally, scoring only 58.7 per contest and shooting just above 50% from the free throw line.

The Irish, on the other hand, rank 18th in the country in points per game, scoring 86.6 points per contest, shooting 40% from three-point range, and are second nationally in free throw percentage, shooting 84%.

Notre Dame did not let the Aggies hang around long, scoring more points in the second half than the Aggies did all game.

The game started off back and forth with the Irish coughing up two turnovers and missing some shots, giving the Aggies an early 4-0 lead.

A three pointer made by point guard Matt Farrell would put the Irish up 12-9, a lead they would not give up for the rest of the game. The Irish led by as much as 21 points in the opening half before heading to the locker room up 45-29.

Notre Dame put the game out of reach early in the second half, going on a 9-0 run in the first two minutes.

The Irish would hold the Aggies to 24 points in the second half, with A&T guard Sam Hunt scoring the team’s final points with four minutes remaining in the game.

Notre Dame would go on to win 107-53, a 54 point victory that will go down as the largest in the history of playing in the Purcell Pavilion.

The Irish moved the ball very well Sunday night, spreading the floor and giving multiple players looks on offense.

As a team, the Fighting Irish shot 56.1% from the field and 54.3% from beyond the arc, while also out rebounding the Aggies, 44-31, and dishing out 29 total assists. The Irish were flawless from the free throw line, going a perfect 14-14.

Bonzie Colson recorded his fifth straight double-double, scoring a conservative 10 points, while grabbing 11 rebounds.

VJ Beachem led the Irish in scoring, recording 19 points, making it the 14th consecutive game in which the senior has scored double digit figures.

Martinas Geben had a fairly productive game, showing great court sense. The Irish big man scored five points, grabbed four rebounds, and recording two assists and one steal.

Guards Matt Farrell and Steve Vasturia, continue to lock down the backcourt, with Farrell scoring 15 points while Vasturia recorded 13 points of his own. Both guards recorded four assists and one steal each.

The bench was much more involved Tuesday night against the Aggies, with eight players seeing court time.

Matt Ryan lead the Irish bench with 17 points, going 5-7 from beyond the arc, while fellow sophomore Rex Pflueger added 10 points, five rebounds, five assists and three blocks.

Freshman guard TJ Gibbs had a day for himself, dropping 12 points, grabbing four rebounds and dishing out seven assists, which included a cross court dart to Pflueger that led to a monster slam dunk.

Notre Dame will host the Fort Wayne Mastodons this Tuesday, December 6th at 9 pm before squaring off against defending national champions the Villanova Wildcats next Saturday.

– R. Scarfone