Perhaps Notre Dame is best served by playing old.
Cormac Ryan had a career high 29 points including seven 3-pointers. 11th-seeded Notre Dame won a grueling First Four victory and late-night flight to defeat sixth-seeded Alabama 78-64-6 on Friday in round one of the NCAA Tournament.
“I was just letting it fly. Once you get it moving, it will continue to move. Ryan stated, “So picked a good evening for it, I suppose.” “To be able grit it out — people were predicting double overtime, long flights, tired legs, and long flights. We were ready to go and were gunning.
Ryan was 10th out of 13 in the field. He made a career best seven of his nine attempts from beyond the arc for Notre Dame (22-4-10), which beat Rutgers Wednesday night in Dayton (Ohio) to earn a trip in San Diego.
Ryan stated that Notre Dame has a seven-player rotation but Ryan suggested that Ryan was able to fly cross-country and play two games in 48 hours.
“We just kind of rolled into California hungry. We were still hungry so the quick trip was a good thing. He said, “It was as if we had just gotten off the court. Put us back on, and we’re ready.”
Blake Wesley scored 18 points, while Paul Atkinson Jr. contributed 13 points and eight boards. The Fighting Irish missed six of their seven first shots, but they went 28 of 47 for the remainder.
“It’s amazing that Notre Dame was able to play in a play in game, go double overtime, fly in as late as they did and play with one-day rest, and give their all,” Alabama coach Nate Oats stated. “Veteran college players are something we talk about in college. It showed today, I believe.”
Alabama (19-14), led by Keon Ellis, who scored 16 points. Jaden Shackelford added 13. Jahvon Quinerly, junior point guard suffered a left knee injury in the first quarter and didn’t return. When he returned to the Crimson Tide bench, his knee was still in an immobilizing brace.
Oats stated that Quinerly’s injury was serious and would be examined by an MRI once the team returns from Tuscaloosa.
Ellis said, “He’s an important part of what we do. Ellis stated that we felt the loss of him.
Notre Dame will face Texas Tech in the West Region’s second round on Sunday. The third-seeded Red Raiders won a convincing 97-62 win over Montana State on Friday.
Halftime saw the Irish lead 41-36. Alabama scored six consecutive points in the second period to pull within 44-42. Notre Dame won with a 17-5 win. Ryan and Wesley had six points each, while Atkinson had five.
Ryan’s last 3-pointer was an off-balance shot in the corner. It put the Irish up to 66-55 with just 4:55 left. With less than two minutes left, Notre Dame had a 16 point lead (76-60).
Mike Brey, who is in his 13th tournament at Notre Dame and his 15th overall, credited his team for its adjustments in the second period. Alabama was held to 12 out of 32. Alabama suffered two scoring droughts lasting more than three minutes.
“Really, the last 30 minutes were defended. They were not able to be defended early. Quinerly will be a different team, which is a good thing. Brey expressed his sadness. “I am thrilled by our resilience and belief in the possibility of surviving and advancing in this tournament.
Neither team led by more that four points for the first 18 minutes. Notre Dame then scored nine consecutive points to take a 41-33 lead with 40 seconds remaining in the first period. Nate Laszewski scored the first five points of the run, including the layup that gave the Irish the lead. Juwan Gary made a 3-pointer that drew Alabama within five minutes at halftime.
Quinerly was on his way to the basket, when Quinerly’s knee buckled three minutes into the match. While being examined by trainers, the junior guard moaningly held his knee in pain while being examined by them. The junior guard was taken to the locker area without having to put much weight on his left foot.
“I feel for Jahvon. He seemed ready to play, I thought. Oats stated that he had practiced for a few weeks.
Quinerly scored an average of 13.8 points per game, which was second for the Crimson Tide. JD Davison, a freshman, took over as the point guard and scored 11 points within 36 minutes.
Notre Dame: The Irish scored 10 3-pointers. This is the sixth consecutive time that they have made double digits in 3s in their past 11 games.
Alabama: Although the Tide made consecutive NCAA appearances since 2006, they lost four straight.
Notre Dame is seeking its first Sweet 16 appearance since 2016.