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Monday, May 27, 2024
The Observer

Irish unable to keep up with Auburn in Brooklyn

Notre Dame men’s basketball team traveled to Brooklyn, New York, on Thursday to face the Auburn Tigers, one of the top teams in the SEC. The game was part of the Vivid Seats Legends Classic, an annual in-season tournament that features Notre Dame, Auburn, St. Bonaventure and Oklahoma State this year. Just before the game, St. Bonaventure pulled off a razor-thin upset over Oklahoma State, defeating them 66-64.

After a disappointing loss to Western Carolina at home on Saturday, Notre Dame looked to rebound in the Barclays Center. However, the Irish fell behind early and were unable to recover. Led by star freshman point guard Aden Holloway, the Tigers expanded their lead to 15 with 3:51 remaining in the first half.

Notre Dame showed a lot of fight toward the end of the first half and closed the period out strong. Freshman guard Braeden Shrewsberry, who entered Thursday’s contest 1-10 from three, provided the Irish with a much-needed spark. He knocked down two key three-pointers and scored 10 points in the first half to help trim the deficit down to six going into the break. Freshman guard Markus Burton also contributed to the effort, knocking down a mid-range jumper with six seconds left in the half. The momentum seemed to favor Notre Dame going into the break.

Despite their strong close in the first, the script flipped on the Irish coming out of the break. Within the first three minutes of the half, Auburn’s lead ballooned to 17 points as the Tigers went on an 11-0 run. From there, things went from bad to worse for Notre Dame. Auburn used a balanced attack to open up the game midway through the second half. The main problem for the Irish was their three-point shooting. Notre Dame finished two for 26 (7.7%) from beyond the arc. These low numbers are starting to become an unsettling trend, as the Irish also posted poor shooting performances in their previous two outings. Auburn eventually cruised to an 83-59 victory.

While the end result featured a lopsided margin, there were bright spots for Notre Dame on Thursday night. Sophomore forward Tae Davis and junior guard J.R. Konieczny both finished in double figures with 13 and 18 points, respectively.

Despite the loss, the Irish remain in Brooklyn for another day and will face Oklahoma State in their second game of the Legend Classic. Friday’s game will take place at 4:30 p.m. ET and can be watched on ESPNU.

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