“Power”, by The Weather Station
Found on their Self-titled album
Released October 6, 2017 via Paradise of Bachelors Records
In first meeting between intrastate rivals since the mid 1970’s, the Cardinals post their first ever win in 10 attempts against the Fighting Irish
Ball State was hanging on for dear life in the second half on Tuesday night at the Purcell Pavilion in South Bend, Indiana.
The Cardinals led 67-58 with 6:45 left on the clock. Notre Dame’s shooting was just as cold as the weather did just less than 18 hours before with the dramatic cold front that pushed temperatures from a springlike 60 on Monday to just below the freezing mark and 50 mile per hour wind gusts throughout most of Tuesday.
Most importantly, the Cardinals stayed persistent on the rebounding end–winning the battle in the paint decisively 40 to 26 (13 to 4 in offensive rebounds). Second chance points were also tilted in the Cardinals’ favor, outscoring Notre Dame 14-3.
But like most ranked teams, they often find a way to keep the games competitive. Bonzie Colson was active on the glass, as Ball State made three straight careless turnovers. A few buckets later, Matt Farrell calmly drained a three pointer to tie the game with under 20 seconds left to play.
The play of the night belonged to Kokomo native Tayler Persons. He hit a 25 foot trey from the left wing with 1.7 seconds remaining to give Ball State an 80-77 upset of eighth ranked Notre Dame. It was Ball State’s first win in ten tries against the private school and it was the Cardinals’ first victory against a ranked team since beating UCLA way back in 2001.
Persons wound up with 24 points on 10 of 19 shooting, but only hit 2 of 5 attempts from behind the arc. Tahjai Teague had 13, while Sean Sellers chipped in with 11 and Kyle Mallers had 8.
Notre Dame was led, of course by Bonzie Colson. He had a game high 26 points, along with six rebounds, two steals, and one blocked shot in 38 minutes of action. Matt Farrell had another nice game with 14 points, while Martinas Geben had 12 and Rex Pflueger notched 11 points.
“We missed a lot of open looks…We’ve got some work to do.”
Notre Dame Head Coach Mike Brey in post-game press conference, seen on the Irish Sports Daily website
Another telling stat was the free throws made. Ball State toed the line 16 times and converted on 14 attempts, while Notre Dame hit only 19 of 26 from the charity stripe. Coming off Coach Brey’s first ever ejection of his 23 year career on Sunday, the Irish have lost two of their last three after winning an ocean away in Maui. Coach Brey mentioned to his team it is “part of the ebb and flow of a season.”
Big picture–expect the Irish to drop down several slots in terms of where they will be seeded in the NCAA Tournament. For Ball State, they will wrap up their five straight games against schools from Indiana when undefeated Valparaiso pays a visit to the land that made David Letterman once made famous in Muncie a long time ago. That game is this coming Saturday.
Also, speaking of Coach Brey–he will have a homecoming Saturday at Delaware. Those Blue Hens teams went 99-52 from 1995 through 2000. That game will start at 7 p.m. Eastern time.
Jimmy V Classic produced some excitement, but both games ended up with margins being double digits
Villanova had all highlight reel plays at Madison Square Garden. In front of an ESPN audience, and the Wildcats leading 64-51 in the second half…6’7″ junior guard Mikal Bridges slashed down the lane and made a monster right-handed dunk over 6-11 center Jacob Larsen. IMHO–probably will be the dunk of the decade, unless someone does it even better during NCAA Tournament play.
On the ensuing possession, Josh Perkins of Gonzaga tried to do one better, but Bridges blocked the ball out of bounds and sent the mostly pro-Villanova MSG crowd into a frenzy.
The closest Gonzaga got in the second half was seven points, but no more. Villanova shot an impressive 52 percent from the floor and became the first team in 65 games (nearly two full calendar years) that Gonzaga’s defense allowed that high of a percentage. The final score was 88-72, and at times did not feel even closer than the final margin would indicate.
Zach Norvell, Jr. had 22 to lead Gonzaga, but you can chalk this game as a “quality loss” for the Zags.
In game two, it was all Syracuse from the start against a former Big East foe in UConn 72-63.
The other major upset occurred in the Big Ten
Minnesota came into Tuesday night’s game ranked 14th in the nation, but did not play true to form. The Gophers were held to only 32.4 percent shooting from the field as they dropped a tough game on the road in Nebraska by a 78-68 count. Leading the charge was Glynn Watson, Jr. with 29 points and 9 rebounds, going 9 of 17 from the field.
Nebraska ended up shooting 25 of 53, good enough for 47.2 percent, while the Golden Gophers could barely hit the side of a barn–hitting on only 22 shots out of 68 attempts.
And just before I called it a night, unranked Arizona upset seventh ranked Texas A&M in handing the Aggies their first loss of this young season by a score of 67-64.
Hope to be back again later in the week, with hopefully a blog and a short podcast at that time. Please have yourself a good night and have pleasant dreams.