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Notre Dame's Three-Game Win Streak Ends on the Road, 88-85

Written by: Jhett Garrett | Writer | Twitter/X: @JhettGarrett

Photo by The Irish Tribune

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish fell this past Saturday to the Syracuse Orange, 88-85. This road loss ends the three-game win streak the Irish was on, moving them to 10-17 on the year, and 5-11 in ACC play.

It was a rough first half for the Irish as they found themselves down by as much as 29 points with 2:50 remaining in the period. In the first half alone, Notre Dame turned the ball over 11 times, allowing Syracuse to score 23 of their 49 first-half points off turnovers.

“The 11 turnovers, they outrebounded us in the first half, and then our competitive spirit wasn’t there,” said Notre Dame Head Coach Micah Shrewsberry. The Orange won the boards 12-11 in the first half.

The Irish ended the first half on a 9-0 run, cutting the lead down to 20 after a Julian Roper three. One important storyline in the first half was the lack of production from freshman Braden Shrewsberry. He finished the first half 0-1 from the field in 16 minutes of play. However, Shrewsberry, like the Notre Dame team as a whole, turned it up in the second half.

He finished the game with 18 points on 6-9 shooting from beyond the arc and was a pivotal part of the Notre Dame comeback. scoring just 20 points in the first 17:29 of the game, the Irish scored 65 points in the final 22:31, with Shrewsberry and Markus Burton combining for 42 points in that span. In that same amount of time, the Orange as a team scored just 39 points.

The guard play for the Irish was well beyond exceptional in this one, with both Shrewsberry and Burton continuing to play at a high level. After going just 2-7 from the field in the first half with eight points, Burton finished the game shooting 8-13 and 28 points. He also tacked on eight assists as well as one steal in the ball game, as well as four turnovers. It was yet another good game for the freshman guards, an important factor in the building of this program.

Another young face for the Irish performed well in this one, as sophomore Tae Davis finished with 12 points, seven rebounds, and five assists while shooting 5-8 from the field, and 1-1 from three-point range. It’s his ninth time scoring in double figures this season, and his second time in the last three games. Should he be able to continue to develop his three-point shot, he could be yet another dangerous piece for Notre Dame in the future.

The Orange had four players finish in double figures, with Judah Mintz leading the way scoring 21. Chris Bell, who has been red hot in his last eight games, finished with 18, and both Maliq Brown and former Notre Dame player JJ Starling finished with 14. However, they were all held to nine or less in the second half.

“Proud of our guys for their effort in the second half, but we just didn’t compete with the same fight in the first half,” said Coach Shrewsberry following the heartbreaking loss.

As the Irish head into their final four games of the season, all of which will be tough matchups, they must ride this confidence. Continue to focus on what worked in the second half, and fine-tune that the rest of the way. They hit 10 threes, dominated the boards 19-13, outscored their opponent by 17, and gave up just 39 points to an offense that has threats at every position. That is the kind of team that can play with anyone they step on the floor with.

“When it did show up that’s who we are and that’s who we have to be, and we have to play like that for 40 minutes,” said Coach Shrewsberry. It has been evident all season long that there is potential with this team, and with all the flashes they have shown thus far, the second half on the road against a tough Syracuse team might be the best sign.

For the fans, continue to put your trust in Micah Shrewsberry and Co. As a coach, recruiter, role model, and person, he has the potential to be one of the top guys in the game. Just in year one he has already laid a foundation for what this program will be moving forward, and rebuilding a culture that was all but destroyed last season. Trust the recruiting, trust the coaching, and trust the players that are going to be brought in. Winning basketball will be played in South Bend quicker than most think.

Notre Dame will start their final homestand of the season on Tuesday against Wake Forest at 9:00 P.M. on ACC Network.


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