“We didn’t get back defensively in the second half. They just packed it in knowing we couldn’t make a shot. And we didn’t," said WVU head coach Bob Huggins. "When it starts going south, it's hard to get it turned."
Notre Dame outscored West Virginia by 35 in the second half after leading by just two at halftime.
The Irish shot a staggering 61.4 percent and hit nine threes, and the Mountaineers just didn’t have an option on defense. That is the best shooting percentage vs. a Huggins-coached team. It is the best vs. WVU since Jan. 14, 2003.
"I've never had a team give up 60 percent shooting. Never," Huggins said. "They can shoot. We can't."
Notre Dame used a mash-up of man-to-man and zone defense that confused WVU’s young guards. Senior forward Kevin Jones had 15 points and eight rebounds. He pulled down his 1,000th career rebound, as well. Senior guard Truck Bryant had 10 points.
WVU falls to 17-11 overall and 7-8 in the Big East Conference. The Mountaineers didn’t help their resume as an NCAA tournament bubble team. No. 10 Marquette comes to Morgantown on Friday.
Player of the Game
5 offensive rebounds
The Irish went on a 12-4 run to open the second half and take a 42-32 lead, as the Mountaineers had trouble handling the Irish switching from a man-to-man to a zone defense.
That lead extended to 50-34 – a 20-4 run – before the Mountaineers would hit a shot after a more than five-minute drought. Freshman point guard Gary Browne ended that with a jumper with 11:59 to play.
The Mountaineers took a 9-4 lead on a three from Hinds.
With 10:58 to play in the first half, Notre Dame was called for an offensive foul that sent off Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey who was called for a technical.
Bryant hit the free throws to take its largest lead at 17-11.
At that point, the Fighting Irish went on an 8-2 run to tie the game at 19.
The rest of the half went back and forth, but the Irish was able to take a 30-28 lead into the half.
In the first half, ND shot eight less times but made one more shot. It shot 63.2 percent led by 11 from forward Jack Cooley. WVU shot just 40.7 percent.
Despite being on the bench, freshmen Aaron Brown and Keaton Miles did not play for the first time this season. However, freshman guard Tommie McCune was on the bench after one-game suspension. He played and actually scored two points.
Notre Dame was led by guard Jerian Grant who scored 20 points. Guard Martin Scott had 15. Guard Eric Atkins and Cooley both had 13 points.
WVU was 1-of-11 from 3-point range.