"I got that feeling that it was too easy for us in the first
half, we got too comfortable and now Notre Dame is back in the
game," Bennett said. "But then I thought that we really got
The Cavaliers scored the first nine points of the second half and
held the Irish at arm's length the rest of the way at Purcell
Guard Malcolm Brogdon led all scorers with 16 points and center Mike
Tobey added 14 as Virginia improved to 16-5 overall, 7-1 in the
Atlantic Coast Conference. Forward Zach Auguste and guard Demetrius
Jackson each scored 10 points for the Irish, who dropped to 11-10
overall, 2-6 in league play.
"I think that's the best team in the league, the most confident team
in the league," Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said. "They thoroughly
beat us down."
Contributing to that beatdown were 20 Irish turnovers, 13 of them
coming in the first half. Virginia also hit 28 of its 52 shots (53.8
percent), and outscored the Irish 32-22 in the paint.
"You look at one of those," Brey said, "and you're kind of amazed it
only counts as one loss."
Notre Dame trailed 32-12 with 4:33 remaining in the first half when
it made its run to make it more interesting at the intermission.
Still, Brey wasn't hanging on the end-of-half play.
"I don't even think we deserved that," Brey said.
As well as Virginia played on offense, it was defense that helped
set the tone. Virginia limited Notre Dame's two leading scorers — center Garrick Sherman (15.2) and guard Eric Atkins (14.2) — to a
combined 14 points, Sherman with eight and Atkins six. The plan?
"We know they're good shooters, but let's at least bother their
shots and try to block them out," Bennett said.
Leading by 10 at halftime, Virginia surged in the opening minutes of
the second half, using an 18-5 spurt to break the game open.
Guard London Perrantes opened the half with a 3-pointer and Tobey
capped the spurt with a dunk to make it 52-29.
"We were patient and we came out and took some really great shots,
and we were in pretty good position defensively," Bennett said.
[to top of second column]
If there was a bright spot for Notre Dame, it was the play of
Jackson, who was removed from the starting lineup in place of fellow
freshman Steve Vasturia. Jackson, who did not attempt a shot in last
Saturday's loss at Wake Forest, hit three of his five shots.
"The coaches and my teammates did a great job encouraging me and
telling me to be aggressive, so I wanted to go out and do that,"
The downer? Brey can sense that his team, which has lost six of
seven in league play, is feeling the effects of the skid.
Particularly his veteran cast of Atkins, Sherman and guard Pat
"I think my main focus is my three veteran guys — keep their heads
up," Brey said. "I think they're worn down by it a little bit."
Virginia, which won four in a row and seven of eight, seems to be
surging. Tuesday's game was played after hectic travel forced them
to fly to Chicago and bus to South Bend.
"I think that speaks to our maturity and our focus that we've
developed this season and not letting things crack our unity whether
it's outside circumstances or really anything else," Brogdon said.
"We just come out and try to play Virginia basketball every night."
NOTES: Notre Dame freshman G Steve Vasturia made his second career
start, replacing classmate Demetrius Jackson as a starter. In 22
minutes during Saturday's loss at Wake Forest, Jackson did not
attempt a shot from the field ... Notre Dame assistant coach Anthony
Solomon played for the Cavaliers from 1983-87 ... The teams met for
the seventh time. Their previous matchup came in the championship
game of the 1992 Postseason NIT. Virginia won that game, and it
entered Tuesday's contest with a 5-1 series lead ... Virginia's 6-1
start in ACC play entering Tuesday night was its best since an
identical start in 1982-83, when Ralph Sampson played for the
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.