No. 23 Virginia beats Notre Dame 66-57 in ACC opener



Virginia’s momentary shakiness towards surging Notre Dame reminded Cavaliers coach Tony Bennett of a toy from the Nineteen Seventies.

“Weebles wobble, however they don’t fall down,” Bennett mentioned after the No. 23 Cavaliers relinquished virtually all of an 11-point second-half lead, then pulled away late for a 66-57 victory over the Combating Irish on Wednesday night time.

“Our younger guys don’t know what that’s,” Bennett mentioned of the old-time toy, “however we wobbled a pair instances, however we didn’t fall down.”

Kihei Clark had 19 factors and 5 assists as No. 23 Virginia continued its string of dominance over Notre Dame.


The Cavaliers (5-2, 1-0) improved to 12-0 in Atlantic Coast Convention openers below Bennett and 10-0 in ACC regular-season matchups towards the Irish.

Jay Huff scored 15 factors for Virginia. Sam Hauser added 13 factors and 10 rebounds.

Notre Dame (3-5, 0-2) fell regardless of a career-high 28 factors from Nate Laszewski. The junior ahead hit 8 of 11 photographs from the sphere with 4 3-pointers to go along with 8 of 10 on the line.

Juwan Durham added 19 factors for the Irish.

“Durham and Laszewski damage us,” Bennett mentioned. “We’ve obtained to sort of shore up towards a few of these good fours and fives (positionally).”

“Our two large guys did play nice,” Notre Dame coach Mike Brey mentioned. “We’ve obtained to construct on that though we didn’t win the sport.”

The Cavaliers led at each rely besides 2-2 and had been up 35-24 by early within the second half, however the Irish twice clawed inside one level, the final time at 47-46 with 8:26 remaining.

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Notre Dame additionally had an opportunity to tie it at 54, however Cormac Ryan’s broad open 3-pointer rimmed round and softly out.

“I believed Cormac’s 3 within the nook that was midway down was key,” Brey mentioned after Ryan completed the night time scoreless on 4 makes an attempt. “We missed that one, (then) they made one (a 23-footer by Trey Murphy III), and that was sort of our final shot.”


Virginia: The Cavaliers, after plunging from No. 4 within the preseason ballot to No. 23 within the newest one, bounced again on the heels of their 98-75 loss towards No. 1 Gonzaga on Saturday. Now they play six of their subsequent eight at residence as they appear to climb again up the rankings.

Notre Dame: The Irish prolonged their doubtful program file for consecutive losses towards ranked groups to 25, together with 0-4 this season. They’ve not defeated a Prime 25 membership since edging No. 6 Wichita State 67-66 in November 2017. 5 at present ranked groups are on ND’s remaining schedule, too, though none larger than Florida State at No. 18.


Bennett praised the supportive noise coming from the Virginia bench after he felt his group went flat on the sideline in addition to on the courtroom towards Gonzaga.

The Cavaliers had even practiced a pair cheers going into Wednesday’s sport.

“We went old skool,” Bennett mentioned. “We requested a few of the guys what had been a few of your finest chants once you had been in AAU or highschool.”

With largely empty arenas throughout the pandemic, bench noise has an opportunity to turn into extra pivotal, in accordance with Bennett.

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“That is in contrast to something so far as ambiance,” Bennett mentioned. “(Bench noise) is actually vital.”


The Irish, trailing 30-23 on the time, misplaced beginning guard Trey Wertz to a left ankle damage with 30 seconds to go within the first half.

Brey estimated that Wertz may miss “a pair weeks.”

The junior switch from Santa Clara simply gained eligibility on Dec. 16. He had averaged 12.7 factors and three.3 assists over his first three video games for Notre Dame.

Wertz had only one level towards the Cavaliers earlier than getting damage.


Virginia: The Cavaliers host No. 24 Virginia Tech on Saturday in a showdown between rivals smack subsequent to one another within the rankings.

Notre Dame: The Irish are scheduled to play Saturday at Pittsburgh, however the sport stays in jeopardy after the Panthers’ contest towards Duke on Tuesday was postponed when Pitt introduced a constructive COVID-19 take a look at inside its program.



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