Friday, November 3, 2017

Back Home Under The Dome- No. 14 Notre Dame 88, Bethel College 59

Photo Credit: Chantel Shetler - Chantel Shetler Designs

Jon Opiela
Twitter: @jonopiela24 

SOUTH BEND, Ind.— The No. 14 Notre Dame Fighting Irish hosted the Bethel College Pilots in an exhibition game on Friday night.  The Bethel College Pilots begin the season ranked No. 22 in NAIA Division II and made the three mile trek from Mishawaka, Ind. to Notre Dame. With a sellout crowd on hand, the game was the first exhibition to sellout at Notre Dame since 1985.  The Irish entertained the sellout crowd en route to a 88-59 blowout over Bethel.

“I thought they played great. I certainly have a lot of respect for the Bethel program being in this community for a long time,” Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey said on his opponents.  “Mike and Ryne [Lightfoot] have done a great job with that program.”

The Pilots kept the contest close late into the first half, until the Irish finished on an 8-0 run.  Notre Dame took a 44-28 lead into the break. 

Notre Dame’s Matt Farrell took a shot to the face  and needed four stitches in the first half.  Farrell returned to play after halftime and finished with 10 points and 7 assists.

Preseason ACC Player of the Year Bonzie Colson lead the Irish with 15 points and 7 rebounds in the first half of play.  Guard Rex Pflueger added an impressive 6 rebounds in the first 20 minutes of play.

After halftime, Bethel began battling back and cut the Irish lead back down to just single digits.  Midway through the second half, the Irish went on a 24-1 run over 7:06 to take complete control of the game. 

“We got to the bonus quick so we were scoring from the foul line.  And then, we defended pretty well and then we changed to play a zone and that gave them problems. 

Colson picked up where he finished last season, adding his second double-double in two games this season.  Bonzie finished the game with 19 points and 11 rebounds.  Martinas Geben also recorded a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds. 

Sophomore guard T.J. Gibbs added an 18 point performance, including a perfect 10-10 from the free throw line.

The Irish struggled with their three-point shooting all night, connecting on just two of 20 attempts.

“I think we just struggled a little bit.  That comes with the territory – we haven’t played too many games yet,” said Gibbs. “I think once you get in the rhythm of playing games more weekly, that’s going to be something we can really hit on”

Trey'von Covington, Tanner Shepherd, and Gage Ott all finished with double-digit scoring for the Pilots

The Irish begin the regular season at DePaul on Nov. 11 before returning home to take on Mount St. Mary’s and Chicago State.