(20) Notre Dame (2-0) vs. Saint Joseph's (1-0)
Friday, November 16, 9:30 p.m. (et)
The Sports Network
By Nicholas DeLorenzo, Associate College Basketball Editor
FACTS & STATS: Site: Barclays Center (17,734) -- Brooklyn, New York.
Television: truTV. Home Record: ND 2-0, SJU 1-0. Away Record: ND 0-0, SJU 0-0.
Neutral Record: ND 0-0, SJU 0-0. Conference Record: ND 0-0, SJU 0-0. Series
Record: Notre Dame leads, 1-0.
GAME NOTES: After winning their opening-round games, the 20th-ranked Notre
Dame Fighting Irish and the Saint Joseph's Hawks meet in the semifinals of the
Coaches vs. Cancer Classic at the brand new Barclays Center in Brooklyn, with
the winner moving on to play either BYU or Florida State in the championship
Notre Dame won its 14th consecutive season opener last Saturday against
Evansville (58-49), and it followed that up with a convincing 84-57 victory
over Monmouth on Tuesday to get off to a 2-0 start for the sixth year in a
row. The Irish have won 102 of their last 109 home games, but they depart from
friendly confines of Purcell Pavilion for the first time this season.
Saint Joseph's had just one preliminary game for the Classic, stifling Yale
at home on Monday night, 61-35. The defensive effort was an amazing
accomplished for the Hawks, as the 35 points allowed is their lowest total for
an opponent during the shot-clock era.
Notre Dame won the only previous meeting between these two squads, 68-65, back
in December of 1992.
After shooting just 40 percent from the field in the opener, Notre Dame
bounced back nicely against Monmouth by connecting on better than 53 percent
of its field goal attempts. Despite the improvement, the Irish still aren't
where they'd like to be in terms of three-point shooting as they've drained
just 26.3 percent of their long-range tries (10-of-38). Garrick Sherman was
the unlikely spark plug in the win over Monmouth, scoring 22 points on 8-of-10
shooting while adding nine rebounds in 22 minutes off the bench. Jack Cooley
also narrowly missed a double-double with 16 points and nine boards, and he is
averaging 17.5 ppg and 10.0 rpg in the early going. After winning the Big East
Conference's Most Improved Player award a year ago, Cooley will now assume the
role of top scoring threat in the Notre Dame frontcourt. Pat Connaughton
chipped in with 13 points and handed out five of the team's 24 assists in the
Saint Joseph's record-setting defensive effort was clearly the story in its
opening win, as it held Harvard to just 25 percent shooting and forced five
more turnovers (18) than the Crimson had field goals (13). It was merely an
average night for the offense however, as the Hawks drained 42.9 percent of
their field goal attempts, including a lowly 3-of-14 showing from three-point
range. Langston Galloway was anything but ordinary, as he tallied a team-high
20 points and added six assists and three steals. The junior was named to the
All-Atlantic 10 Conference Second Team a year ago (15.5 ppg) and he will once
again be a crucial part of a very balanced scoring attack. Both Ronald Roberts
(10 points, 12 rebounds) and Halil Kanacevic (11 points, 11 rebounds) recorded
double-doubles. Last year's leading scorer, Carl Jones (17.0 ppg), will miss
this clash as he continues to serve a three-game suspension.
The Hawks have a balanced scoring attack and an experienced starting lineup,
which should make them a legitimate contender in the A-10, but they still
aren't at full strength without Jones, which will make it difficult to topple
the nationally-ranked Irish, even on a neutral floor.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Notre Dame 68, Saint Joseph's 61
11/16 10:37:22 ET
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