MAUI, HI – The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are now 4-0 on the year after they won 83-56 against the Chaminade Silverswords in their opening game of the 2017 Maui Jim Maui Invitational Tournament.
This was the second time the Irish have faced the Silverswords, who are based out of Honolulu, Hawaii and play in Division II. Notre Dame leads the all time series 2-0.
The Irish will now face their second power conference opponent of the year after wins against the DePaul Blue Demons and a few smaller schools, in the Mount St. Mary’s Mountaineers, the Chicago State Cougars, and now the Silverswords.
Notre Dame will take on the LSU Tigers in the semi-finals, who used a late comeback in the second half to knock off the Michigan Wolverines in the final game of the quarter-finals on Monday night, 77-75.
Matt Farrell opened the game with a three, which was the beginning of a big night for the senior point guard. Notre Dame tried to start fast and take this game out of reach early, but Chaminade responded to every bucket made on them.
Dantley Walker and Erik Scheive of the Silverswords made key three pointers that kept their team in it against a fast and athletic Notre Dame team.
The Irish found their groove, going on a 9-0 run, and leading 26-14, but Chaminade came back, capped by a Brett Reed three point buzzer beater to send the Silverswords into the locker room with a boost of momentum.
At the half, the Irish only led 38-29, after the Silverswords really started to connect with their shots.
Chaminade came out of the second half looking to build off of their strong finish to the first half, hitting a quick three to be within six points of the Irish. The Silverswords had some early looks that caught Notre Dame off guard, but couldn’t capitalize.
Notre Dame responded quickly with a Bonzie Colson layup in traffic, who before that, hit most of his shots outside of the paint, followed by a three pointer by Matt Farrell.
The Irish started to settle in and built a 25-point lead off of a 12-0 run, dominating on the boards and hitting their shots. Notre Dame shot 53.8% from the field in both halves, and 45% from three overall.
After getting hot in the first half and shooting 33.3% from three point range, the Silverswords struggled in the second, hitting 12-of-36 (33.3%) shots from the field and 2-of-14 from three (14.3%).
Great defense and discipline were on display by Notre Dame, as they kept Chaminade away from the free throw line. The Silverswords only took four free throws, hitting one of four, while Notre Dame was able to draw out fouls after pounding the ball inside. The Irish went 18-26 from the charity stripe; not their best performance.
Notre Dame went on to win their first game of the Maui Tournament, 83-56, behind Bonzie Colson and Matt Farrell’s combined 50 points.
Farrell went 9-for-12 from the field, dropping a career-high 27 points and dishing out four assists, while Colson scored 23, grabbing eight boards and blocking three shots.
D.J. Harvey contributed double-digit figures, adding 12 on the night; T.J. Gibbs recorded seven points, three assists, three steals and four rebounds.
The Irish will have no time to enjoy the sun as they are back in action on Tuesday to take on LSU in the semi-finals. Notre Dame has not been tested thus far this season and will look to prove their #13 ranking against the Tigers.
Tip-off is set for 10:30 PM EST on Tuesday November 21st, broadcasting live on ESPN.
– R. Scarfone