The Irish will host Colgate on Monday at the Joyce Center. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 PM. Notre Dame has been on a roll at home. The Irish have won 22 straight contests at the Joyce Center. The school record for most consecutive wins at the venue is 24, set back in 1973-74. Starting with Youngstown State on Saturday, Notre Dame plays nine of their next ten games at home with a non-conference game against Kansas State at Madison Square Garden sprinkled in during the stretch. The Irish only have one day of rest in between contests but Brey doesn’t think it’ll be much to overcome.
“We need a good day of practice,” Brey said. “That’s been the best thing since we’ve been here. We’ll just talk a little about Youngstown. We’re not going to watch a lot of tape. Again, the focus has been on us since we’ve been back. 98 percent of the focus will be on us. We’ll talk a little about Colgate and get a good workout in (on Sunday). I love that we play Monday so that we can see if we can build a rhythm here.”
In the win over Youngstown State, Notre Dame came out on fire. The Irish hit 61.8 percent of their shots in the first half and led 53-31 at intermission. Kyle McAlarney, who would end up with 23 points, scored 15 of those before halftime while Luke Harangody, who led all scorers with 25 points and 13 rebounds, chipped in with 14. Notre Dame showed early that being back at home was the right remedy.
“When you’re close to 50 at halftime, I don’t care how many threes people are making,” Brey said. “They’re going to have to be pretty darn good. That means we’re scoring the ball pretty good. It was something that was lacking in our two losses (to Baylor and Georgia Tech).”
Notre Dame was in control of the contest and up by 26 points two minutes into the second half. Youngstown State showed fight with a late run. Down 83-59 with four minutes remaining, the Penguins rallied to make it 84-75. The problem was that it was too little, too late because there was only 30 seconds left on the clock. In the end, the Irish shot 55 percent for the game while holding Youngstown State to 41 percent.
Colgate will come into the Joyce Center at 4-2 after a 81-76 non-conference loss to Dartmouth on Saturday. The Raiders had a eight-point second half lead but could not hold on to the advantage in losing their second straight game. On the year, Colgate has beat Monmouth, Canisius, Texas State and Kennesaw State and lost to both Dartmouth and Marist.
The Raiders only have one player averaging in double figures. Kyle Roemer leads the team in scoring at 20.2 PPG. The 6-3 captain is shooting 42 percent from the field and 40 percent from three-point range. Roemer has taken more than double the shot attempts than any other player on the Colgate roster. Daniel Waddy, a 6-2 senior guard, and Kendall Chones, a 6-7 senior forward, both average nine points a contest. The Raiders only have one player taller than 6-7 averaging 20 minutes a game a more, which could spell trouble against the likes of Harangody and Rob Kurz. Another problem for Colgate: the Raiders have committed more turnovers, 95, than assists, 84.