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Irish To Face #3/2 Buckeyes In Gotham Classic Showcase Game

December 21, 2013
HOOSIER SPORTS 365



NOTRE DAME PRESS RELEASE

IRISH TO FACE #3/2 BUCKEYES IN GOTHAM CLASSIC SHOWCASE GAME IN NYC

  • Notre Dame (8-3) returns to the court following a week off for final exams to face No. 3/2 Ohio State (11-0) Saturday in the showcase game of the BlackRock Gotham Classic at Madison Square Garden. Tip-off is slated for 7:30 p.m. (ET).
  • The Fighting Irish are coming off a 79-72 victory over Indiana last Saturday at the Crossroads Classic in Indianapolis. Notre Dame never trailed in the game.
  • Saturday's contest will be broadcast by ESPN2/WatchESPN with Dan Shulman (play-by-play), Dan Dakich (analyst) and Jeff Goodman (reporter) calling the action.
  • A free audio broadcast will be available on WatchND.tv. Jack Nolan will handle play-by-play duties, while former Irish standout Jordan Cornette will serve as the analyst. The broadcast can also be heard on The Notre Basketball Radio Network headed by WSBT 96.1 FM and 960 AM in South Bend. A complete affiliate list is available on page 5 of this notes packet. The broadcast also is available on Sirius 134/XM 193.

BATTLING THE BUCKEYES

  • Saturday will be the 13th meeting between Notre Dame and Ohio State and the first since a 67-62 Buckeye victory on Dec. 6, 2008, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Ohio State leads the series 7-5.
  • The only other meeting between the two schools since 1973 was a 59-57 Irish victory over the No. 4/6 Buckeyes in Columbus during the 1999 Preseason NIT.

IRISH GETTING FAMILIAR WITH THE BIG TEN

  • Ohio State is Notre Dame's third Big Ten Conference opponent this season. The Irish dropped a 98-93 decision to Iowa in Iowa City on Dec. 3 in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge and then defeated Indiana, 79-72, last Saturday in the Crossroads Classic in Indianapolis.
  • The Fighting Irish are 233-208 (.528) all-time against teams from the Big Ten.
  • Notre Dame is 7-11 against the Big Ten under Mike Brey.

FIGHTING IRISH IN THE GARDEN

  • Notre Dame owns a 58-48 (.547) record all-time when playing inside Madison Square Garden.
  • The Fighting Irish posted an 11-18 record inside the venue in 18 appearances in the BIG EAST Championship.
  • The Irish went 2-2 inside MSG last season (2-1 in the BIG EAST Championship).

SHERMAN STEPPING UP

  • Senior center Garrick Sherman has scored in double-figures in each of the last eight games (a career-best streak). It also is the longest current streak for any Irish player.
  • Sherman is shooting a team-best 54.1% (60-111) from the field. He also is 37-49 (.755) from the free throw line. Heading into the season, Sherman was just 31-47 (66.0%) from the line at Notre Dame and was a career 55.7% (49-88) free-throw shooter.
  • He tallied a career-high 29 points at Iowa on Dec. 3. Those are the most points for any Irish player this season. He was 12-of-18 from the field against the Hawkeyes.
  • On Saturday against Indiana, Sherman posted 16 points on 6-of-7 shooting from the floor in addition to blocking a career-high four shots and pulling down six rebounds.
  • Sherman recorded the first double-double of his career with 14 points and a career-high 13 rebounds versus Bryant on Dec. 9. He followed that up with another double-double as he finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds against North Dakota State.

PAT's IMPACT

  • Junior swingman Pat Connaughton is averaging career-bests of 13.9 points (third-leading scorer) and 7.3 rebounds (second-leading rebounder). He has been in double figures in scoring this season in all but two games (Santa Clara and Army).
  • Connaughton has topped the 20-point mark in two of the last four games. He netted 21 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in the win over Delaware and finished with 21 points in the loss to North Dakota State.
  • His current six-game double-figure scoring streak is the longest of his career.
  • Connaughton leads the team with three double-doubles this season.
  • Connaughton has been in the starting lineup in 61 consecutive games since his freshman season.

TOPPING 20

  • Senior guard Jerian Grant has eclipsed the 20-point mark in three of the last four games and six times overall this season. Grant has scored in double-figures in 10 of 11 games this season and is averaging a team-best (and career-high) 19.1 points per game.
  • Grant netted a career-best 26 points in the season opener versus Miami (Ohio) and scored 25 points against Delaware on Dec. 7 as he connected on a personal-best 10 field goals. He had 23-point efforts versus Bryant and Indiana along with notching 20 points against Santa Clara and Cornell.
  • Grant recorded his first double-double of the season against Iowa on Dec. 3 when he finished with 13 points and 10 assists

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