SOUTH BEND, Ind. – It was no surprise the Notre Dame defeated Presbyterian in men’s basketball Monday, but the Blue Hose put a scare into the Fighting Irish, who won, 63-53.
Down by double digits in the second half, PC cut the Notre Dame lead to just two in the second half, but the Fighting Irish used a late run to push back.
The Notre Dame scoring balance was extraordinary. Four players scored between 10 and 13 points, led by Rex Pflueger with the latter total. Juwan Durham pulled down 15 rebounds to go with his 11 points.
Cory Hightowerled the Blue Hose with 15 points and eight rebounds.
Notre Dame jumped out to a 7-0 lead before a Ben Drakethree-pointer at 17:38 ended the drought. A three by Cory Hightowerat 13:55 knotted the game at 11-11, but a ND 11-4 run put the home team on top 22-15 with 10:55 on the clock. Trailing by seven with 9:50 left, the Blue Hose scored 10 straight to jump ahead by three, 28-25, 6:23 remaining. The lead was short-lived as the Fighting Irish closed out the half with a 14-3 run to retake the lead and go into the locker room leading 39-31.
A Pflueger three-pointer gave Notre Dame a 48-37 edge with 13:41 to go. PC outscored Notre Dame 12-3 over the next five minutes to make it a two-point game, 51-49, with 8:56 left. It was all Notre Dame the next five and a half minutes, using an 11-1 run to jump back out to a 62-50 lead. Owen McCormack'sthree-pointer with just under a minute left cut it to nine, but Notre Dame free throws kept the home team on top at the end, 63-53.
Notre Dame shot 43.8 percent from the field in the first half and recorded eight three-pointers, while PC was 48.1 percent in field goals, with four 3-pointers. The Blue Hose shot 35.7 in the second half for a game total of 41.8. PC finished with five 3-pointers, 33 rebounds, and 12 turnovers. The Fighting Irish shot 41.2 percent for the game and pulled down 33 boards, with 10 turnovers.
PC dropped to 1-3 on the young season, while Notre Dame improved to 4-1.
The Blue Hose head to Hamden, Conn., Nov. 22-24, to take part in the Bobcat Invitational. PC faces Sacred Heart Friday at 5 p.m., Quinnipiac on Saturday at 6:30 p.m., and Albany on Sunday at 1 p.m.