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Tuesday, May 21, 2024
The Observer

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The Observer

Men's Swimming: Welsh leads swimmers for 25 years

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After embarking on his 25th season at Notre Dame and being named the president of the American Swimming Coaches Association, men's swimming and diving coach Timothy Welsh has established this season as one to remember.


The Observer

ND Women's Soccer: And Again

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In front of a sold-out crowd, Notre Dame won its fourth-consecutive NCAA Quarterfinal Friday by beating top-seeded Florida State 2-0 in Tallahassee.


The Observer

Irish fall to Stanford 45-38

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PALO ALTO, Calif. – The game followed the template for nearly every game of 2009 : outstanding performances by Jimmy Clausen and Golden Tate, inconsistent defensive effort, and a last-second finish. And like the 2009 season as a whole, the final game was a disappointment for the Irish, losing to the Cardinal 45-38 at Stanford Stadium.




The Observer

ND Women's Soccer: Rivalry Renewed

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For the sixth straight season, No. 5 Notre Dame is making an appearance in the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament, and for the second straight year, Florida State stands between the Irish and a trip to the College Cup Final Four.



The Observer

Hockey: Irish take two wins from Spartans

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No. 14 Notre Dame improved on a 1-1 shoot out victory at Michigan State Thursday night with a 4-1 rout of the No. 6 Spartans Sunday. The Irish (6-5-3, 3-2-3-2 CCHA) gained five points in the conference standings over the weekend, the most in a weekend this year. "It's the first time we've gotten five points in a weekend," Irish coach Jeff Jackson said. "So that is a positive step for us." Thursday's shoot out was Notre Dame's third on the season, and second in a row. Ohio State topped the Irish in a shoot out on Halloween, earning an extra point in the CCHA standings, and the Irish gained a point in the same manner by beating Northern Michigan in a shoot out Nov. 15. "The shoot out points are certainly beneficial in the conference," Jackson said. "That is what we are playing for right now, getting as many points in the conference as we can." Freshman goalie Mike Johnson kept the game tied at one despite facing 12 shots in the final 25 minutes of play as Notre Dame committed two major penalties in the third period, earning five minutes of penalty box apiece. "Our penalty killers and Mike played extremely well for us to preserve the tie going into overtime," Jackson said. "The tough thing is that we have been trying to encourage our team to play more physical. … We can't make those penalties but we do have to stay aggressive." Freshman Kyle Palmieri scored the Irish goal during the second period off of an assist from junior Ian Cole. Johnson made 23 saves on 24 Spartan shots. On Sunday Notre Dame did not risk a shoot out. The four-goal offensive outburst set a new season high for goals in one game. "I think we played with more urgency in these last two games," Jackson said of the offensive surge. "We played extremely well in Munn Arena [in East Lansing, Mich.] Thursday night for the first two periods, and then [Sunday] was probably our best 60-minute performance of the season." Three of the Irish goals were in even-strength play, a scenario where Notre Dame has struggled to score in all season. Junior Calle Ridderwall and Palmieri both got the Irish on the board in the first period, and freshman Riley Sheahan added another goal in the second. Senior Kevin Deeth sealed the win with a goal on an empty net in the final minute. Junior netminder Brad Phillips started for Notre Dame Sunday, and held the Spartans (9-2-3, 6-1-2-0) to one goal on 28 shots. "[Phillips] played well last week against Northern Michigan which allowed us to get that shoot out victory," Jackson said. "Because of that he deserved to come back out." In splitting starts between Johnson and Phillips this weekend, Jackson continued a trend of not clearly picking one as his go-to guy this season. "As long as they are both playing well [I'll keep using two different goalies]," Jackson said. "If somebody emerges as the go-to guy you'll know it when it happens." The game was played in Fort Wayne, Ind., as the Irish wanted to get some playing time in at the site of this year's NCAA Regional, Jackson said. "It was a good opportunity for us to play in the venue that is hosting the NCAA Regional this year," he said. "As the host institution, I'm hoping we're there. We have a lot of work to do before we get there."


The Observer

ND Women's Swimming: Individuals shine at unscored meet

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The Irish swam well and gained confidence over the weekend in the Hoosierland Invite, an unscored meet that gives an opportunity for teams to look at their individual performances. Notre Dame won 11 out of the meet's 21 events and posting two NCAA B-cut times. "Top to bottom, I'm just pleased with the program," Irish coach Brian Barnes said. "We came out here with the intention to really have fun, and that's what happened. We came out of this meet with some NCAA ‘B' times, so it's just a confident moment. Our team is gaining confidence and we're improving and it's a lot of fun." Junior Katie Casey and freshman Kim Holden each posted times on the final day of the meet. Casey posted her time in the 200-yard butterfly, a race in which she finished second with a time of 1:59.46, and Holden was victorious in 200-yard backstroke, posting her B-cut time of 1:57.98. The Irish entered the meet with the goal of improving individually, and did just that, as most of the swimmers improved or stayed consistent with their times so far this season. "We went in there with good energy and great attitude and great teamwork," Barnes said. "Really it's about individual performance and individual improvement and monitoring our own improvement within our own team. As a result, we kind of gained some momentum and had a pretty good weekend." The Irish got off to a good start on the first day of the three-day meet, winning four of the six events on day one. Junior Amywren Miller and senior Ashlee Edgell posted individual victories in the 50-yard freestyle and the 200-yard individual medley, respectively, while both the Irish 200-yard freestyle relay and 400-yard medley relay teams also achieved the top spots. Notre Dame went on to win three out of the seven events on the second day of the meet, earning two individual victories and one from the 200-yard medley relay team, which won its event by a full second. Junior Samantha Maxwell won the 100-yard breaststroke while Holden, Casey and junior Kellyn Kuhlke finished in the top three spots in 100-yard butterfly. Maxwell was victorious again on the third day, winning the 200-yard breaststroke by two seconds, while Miller, along with junior Delia Cronin and senior Megan Farrell, led a one-two-three finish in the 100-yard freestyle. It was Casey and Holden who stole the show on the final day, however, by posting their NCAA B-cut performances. "I just think the girls are realizing that this is November, and we peak in February and March," Barnes said. "If they're seeing this kind of improvement now, I really believe they're hungry for more. I think they have a glimpse of the potential of this team." The Irish next head to Hawaii after Christmas for a winter training trip before competing again on Jan. 9 in a dual meet against Northwestern, which will take place in the Rolfs Aquatic Center. "I was really happy with our senior class and their leadership," Barnes said. "If this team stays motivated and stays confident and comes into it and works hard, I should get out of their way and allow them to be successful."


The Observer

SMC Basketball: Irish fall to Cardinals in Big East Tourney

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Saint Mary's moved its record to 2-1 this weekend as it traveled to the Bluffton University Tip-Off Tournament, losing Friday to Wheaton College and defeating Oberlin in the consolation final Saturday. "We struggled our first game because we could not hold our lead during crucial possessions," sophomore forward Kelley Murphy said. "However, we improved as a team the next game by our aggressive defense, and smart offensive conversions by attacking them with our inside game." Friday saw the Belles fight the Thunder up until the last minute, when Wheaton went on a 5-0 scoring run to win the game 78-73. The two teams traded the lead 13 times and were tied on 12 occasions. Four different Belles players scored in double digits. Sophomore forward Jessica Centa led Saint Mary's with 14 points. Sophomore guards Maggie Ronan and Patsy Mahoney each put in 12 points, while Murphy added 11. Senior forward Anna Kammrath led the Belles for rebounds with nine, followed by Murphy with eight. Junior guard Liz Wade led in assists with six. Saint Mary's and Wheaton were tied at 42 at halftime, but the Belles were able to hold onto the lead for most of the second half before the Thunder tied it again with 2:57 left with a three-pointer. Kammrath took back the lead at 2:30 with a layup, but it wasn't enough to hold onto for a win. The Thunder outscored the Belles by seven points in the final 1:37 of the game. "We hope to continue improving our defense and communication in every game and every practice," Murphy said. Saturday afternoon saw a change in pace for the Belles as they defeated Oberlin 74-37.  Taking control early in the game with a 10-0 run, Saint Mary's never looked back. The Yeowomen gained on the Belles within five points, but fell behind as the Belles pushed their lead to 37-16 at the half. Saint Mary's outscored Oberlin 54-8 in the paint and 37-9 off turnovers as they shot over 40 percent from the floor. Murphy led the Belles with a career-high 19 points and 10 rebounds for her first double-double. She was also named to the All-Tournament Team for her performance throughout the weekend. Kammrath had eight points and a game-high 13 rebounds to add to the Belles win. Every member of the Belles team scored in the win. Up next for Saint Mary's is North Central College in Naperville, Ill. The Belles will take on the Cardinals at 6 p.m. Saturday.  


The Observer

Men's Basketball: Irish extinguish Flames with ease

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Senior Luke Harangody had a season-high 32 points including all ten free throws he attempted to lead Notre Dame over Liberty 91-72 Sunday night at Purcell Pavilion. The Flames kept the game close early, and trailed by only nine points at halftime. The Irish offense ran through Harangody, who had 20 in the first period and was able to draw contact and fouls underneath. Harangody was 10-for-14 from the field in the game. "The thing about Tory [Jackson] and Luke is they're great role models for the young guys in our program," Irish coach Mike Brey said. "They play every game the same way, and every practice the same way, and some of our less experienced guys can learn a lot from that." Notre Dame made only six three-pointers in the game, using their size advantage in the post to get to the line and score. Tyrone Nash also had his best offensive performance of the young season, scoring 12 points. Brey said that he was pleased with Nash's scoring effort, but wanted to see more. Senior guard Tory Jackson scored nine and junior forward Tim Abromaitis scored 12 off the bench for the Irish, who also out-rebounded the Flames 36-21. "I'm really happy with Tim where he's at," Brey said. "I told him the other day its like we have six starters, he's really confident and he should be." The Irish put together a 9-0 run to begin pulling away early in the second half, led by three straight buckets by Harangody. Liberty then trailed 56-40 and the Notre Dame lead was never seriously threatened. The Notre Dame lead then rose as high as 28, as two Tory Jackson free throws made the score 77-49. Senior guard Jonathan Peoples had eight points and three assists, and junior Ben Hansbrough had a relatively quiet day with six points while dealing with a lingering ankle injury. Liberty had five players score in double figures but none tallying any higher than 13 points. Forward Patrick Konan had 10 points for the Flames and did not miss a shot from the floor, but fouled out guarding Harangody. The Irish had just ten turnovers despite a deep rotation and aggressive defense. "When you play a lot of different guys, and a lot of guys are touching it like that, its good [to have just ten turnovers]," Brey said.  "A lot of different guys had the ball in their hands tonight and we only had ten." Brey said ultimately his team's success will depend on their performance on the defensive end. "We're going to score the ball and we're good with the ball; can we get back and defend it and keep the penetration out of our paint?" Brey said. "When we slow that down a bit, we've got a chance every night."  


The Observer

Women's Interhall Football: Champs crowned

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Howard completed its run from worst to first with a 13-7 victory over Pasquerilla West in Notre Dame Stadium Sunday. With almost the entire population of Howard Hall (9-0) lining the sidelines, the Ducks opened the game quickly. Junior quarterback Kayla Bishop led the team down the field on the game's first drive, hitting junior wide receiver Kaitlin Robinson on a series of key conversions. Facing a third down near the goal line, Bishop was flushed out of the pocket to her left and heaved the ball across her body into traffic. Freshman wide receiver Laura Coletti jumped above the crowd and pulled in Bishop's pass for an early 7-0 lead. "I come from a basketball background, which is all about having good hands," Coletti said. "That's what I needed on that play. I just wanted to contribute in whatever situation [coach Kyle Carter] put me in. On that play I just did what I was told." The Howard defense built upon the team's momentum as it stuffed Pasquerilla West (8-1) junior quarterback Simone Bigi on an attempted fourth down run, giving the ball back to Bishop and the Ducks' offense. Bishop wasted no time adding to her team's early lead, hitting sophomore wide receiver Jenny Gassner on a deep corner route to put Howard in front 13-0 after a missed conversion. "Getting the big lead early changed everything," Bishop said. "It was important because we didn't score in the second half so it became more about maintaining our lead with our defense." As the first half winded down, the Purple Weasels showed some fight, executing a two-minute drill that went the length of the field as Bigi hit junior wide receiver Mary Forr for a touchdown with 12 seconds left in the half to make the score 13-7. The second half was a defensive effort, as Pasquerilla West tirelessly attempted to get the second touchdown it desperately needed against the stout Howard defense. Bigi and her receiving corps had a hard time getting past the Howard secondary, led by two-way stars Bishop and Robinson. The Purple Weasels' offensive line also gave up a number of sacks in addition to committing a false start penalty on a key drive. When four last Hail Mary passes dropped to the ground, the Ducks completed the biggest victory in hall history and the "team of destiny" celebrated at midfield of Notre Dame Stadium. "It's inexplicable, how amazing this is," Carter said. "I woke up four years ago one day, and Howard needed a football coach for a game. They were literally the worst team in the league. Since then it's been about getting a new set of freshmen, and teaching them how we play offense and how we play defense. We're building a program and this year we finally had all the pieces in place. It's amazing." After hoisting the trophy, Howard's leader, a junior, offered her plans for next year. "Win again, of course," Bishop said. "We're going to try and come out and have another unbeaten season."


The Observer

Men's Soccer: Northwestern foils playoff hopes again

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Despite a dominating statistical second half and a myriad of scoring opportunities, Notre Dame lost to Northwestern 3-1 Sunday in a repeat of last year's NCAA tournament loss to the Wildcats. The loss marks the end of the Irish's season and the beginning of preparations for next year. "It was just [The Wildcats'] day," Irish coach Bobby Clark said. "They certainly made the most of their chances." Notre Dame (11-8-4) fell behind Northwestern (11-4-4) early and was never able to dig itself out of that hole. The Irish outshot the Wildcats 21-8 and held a 10-2 advantage in corner kicks. In the 18th minute, a corner was sent into the box that got caught up in the mass of players in the box. Wildcat midfielder Jack Hillgard emerged with the ball and sent it into the back of the net past senior goalkeeper Andrew Quinn. The score remained 1-0 throughout the first half. "It was 1-0 at the end of the half, and I felt good," Clark said. "We were playing well at that point and we started the second half off well too." And that second half was a dominant performance by the Irish as they outshot their opponents 17 to five and took 10 corner kicks to the Wildcats' zero. "It was one of those games where we lost and we won," Clark said. "It was as well as we have played all year. In the second half, their goalkeeper had to make 10 saves. I am very proud of the way the players played." This dominant statistical performance was a result of the Irish keeping the ball in the Northwestern half of the field for most of the second half. The trouble was that when the Wildcats broke out of their defensive half, they made the most of their chances. Eight minutes into the second half, the Wildcats began to add cushion to their lead. They countered an Irish attack and got the ball into a good position to cross. The goal again came off the boot of Hillgard, with sophomore midfielder Peter O'Neill and junior forward Matt Eliason assisting. That goal put Northwestern up 2-0. The Irish still kept up the pressure, but a second counterattack led to another Northwestern goal in the 67th minute. The ball was again fed across in front of the goal, catching Quinn out of position, and Wildcat junior midfielder Piero Bellizzi was able to tap the ball into the open net, putting Northwestern up 3-0. Although the game was no longer in doubt, the Irish were able to finally break through in the 83rd minute when a loose ball sent into the front of the goal was finished by senior defenseman John Schaefer to crystallize the final tally at 3-1. The Irish were disappointed at losing for the second year in a row, but Clark is said he is proud of the way his team played and believes they got a good shot at winning. "You get your shot at it, and you have to take it," Clark said. "In the end, the thing that really counts is the final score." Northwestern has become somewhat of a postseason nemesis for the Irish, as they have lost in the NCAA tournament to them for two consecutive years. "We always beat them in the preseason friendlies, but that doesn't count," Clark said. "It was one of those games we have lost all year where we thought we could win but weren't able to do it." According to Clark, the Irish are eager to get another crack at Northwestern next year, as they have tentatively scheduled a regular season matchup against them. Clark said he believes that the team had a successful season and the players played up to their potential. "I really like this team," Clark said. "They are a good group. You never really reach your goal unless you win it all, but we played to our potential. My way of evaluating the year is, if you make it to the playoffs it is a good year, if you make it to the final four it is a really good year, and if you make it to the championship it is a great year. We had a pretty good season." Despite the fact that the team will lose many of its 11 seniors, including Big East Player of the Year Bright Dike, Clark believes the team will be ready to compete again next year. "The great thing about coaching college sports is that you graduate players and have to find replacements," Clark said. "We have a strong nucleus of returning players, but it is no use making decisions right now." Clark believes that the Notre Dame players did not disappoint anybody and that they should be proud of the way they played. "They certainly did not let me down, and they did not let themselves down," Clark said. "There is always disappointment when you lose, but I am very proud of the way these players played." Clark also wanted to thank the fans for what he said was the best year of fan support in his tenure at Notre Dame. "It was the best student support I have ever seen all year," Clark said. "It was a really fun year."  


The Observer

ND Women's Basketball: Defense shines as Notre Dame dismantles Iona 80-45

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Irish coach Muffet McGraw has preached defense to her team all season. On Sunday, it showed. No. 5/6 Notre Dame (3-0) had 21 steals and forced 33 total turnovers Sunday as it cruised to an 80-45 win over Iona (2-2). "I was pretty pleased with a lot of what we did defensively," McGraw said. "I thought we did what we wanted to do." Senior forward Becca Bruszewski set the pace early as the Irish got off to an 11-2 lead to start the game. She finished with 14 points and three rebounds. "I thought Becca got us off to a great start in the beginning of the game," McGraw said. "She came out ready. ... I thought Becca was the key defender in that game." Bruszewski's point total was second on the team behind that of freshman guard Skylar Diggins, who scored 17 points off the bench. She also grabbed four rebounds. The Irish never relinquished their early lead and did not let the Gaels within six for the rest of the game while continuing to widen their lead. However, this was due more to Notre Dame's defensive pressure on Iona than on actual offensive success. The Irish made just 42.4 percent of their shots, but held the Gaels to 35.7 percent shooting. "I thought we were a little complacent," McGraw said. "We weren't as sharp as we needed to be. I thought we were a little lackadaisical." Senior guard Ashley Barlow and sophomore guard Natalie Novosel each had five steals on the afternoon as the Irish placed continued pressure on the Gaels. Notre Dame scored 34 points off of turnovers, in comparison to Iona's 10. For the Gaels, guard Thazina Cook led with 12 points while forward Anna McClean followed with 10. McGraw said she was especially pleased with Notre Dame's containment of McClean, who averaged a double-double in her first three games. "[McClean] is a great player," McGraw said. After a physically punishing 68-67 win Thursday against Michigan State, the Irish were not quite at full strength, McGraw said. "We have not recovered yet," she said. "We practiced OK on Friday and we practiced OK on Saturday but not quite to the level that we'd been working. I didn't feel like there was great intensity and I think that showed tonight." The Irish will have some time to rest before they take action again. They will travel to the U.S. Virgin Islands for the Paradise Jam beginning Thursday.  




The Observer

ND Women's Basketball: ND beats Michigan State

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With the game tied and just seconds to play, the Irish had three chances to take the lead and the third time proved to be the charm. Senior guard Ashley Barlow's free throw with just 10 seconds remaining put No. 5 Notre Dame in front, and the Irish held on for a narrow 68-67 victory over No. 21 Michigan State Thursday night in East Lansing, Mich. "It was just a huge, smart play and [Barlow] came up big for us there," Irish coach Muffet McGraw said. "She did a great job to go after the ball on the miss and was able to make the free throw in a high-pressure situation." The Spartans (1-2) had a chance to grab the lead with 12 seconds to go, but Michigan State center Allyssa DeHaan's layup attempt rolled off the rim and Irish guard Lindsey Schrader grabbed the rebound before being fouled. Schrader went to the line but missed the front end of a one-and-one as the game remained tied at 67. As luck would have it, the rebound fell through the hands of DeHaan and right to into the arms of Barlow, who was immediately fouled on her put-back attempt. After another missed Irish free throw, Barlow stepped up and converted her second opportunity and put Notre Dame ahead for good. The Spartans drove down the court but could not convert on a desperation attempt with four seconds to go. Barlow led the Irish (2-0) with 18 points and seven rebounds behind 3-of-5 shooting from behind the arc. Freshman guard Skylar Diggins added nine for the Irish, who shot 22-of-65, or 34 percent from the floor as a team. After holding a slim advantage for much of the first half, the Irish pulled away to take a 41-33 lead into halftime. Notre Dame pushed that lead to 45-35 early in the second half before Michigan State responded with a 15-2 run to go ahead with 11:52 remaining. "We just stopped guarding them," McGraw said. "We had a few defensive breakdowns and they had a few easy open shots. We panicked a little bit, but we were able to regroup when we needed to." The Spartans held their largest lead of the game at 56-51 before the Irish surged back in front with an 8-0 run with just under nine minutes to play. Despite giving up a big size advantage to the Spartan front court, led by the 6-foot-9 DeHaan, the Irish held their own on the boards and were outrebounded by a slim margin, 45-44. Schrader was a big reason for that, pulling down a game-high 14 rebounds to go along with 12 points. "Schrader and Barlow did a nice job rebounding for us," McGraw said. "But I wasn't happy with the rest of the team. We missed a lot of box-outs tonight and we should have done better." Notre Dame had a much better night in the turnover department, improving upon its performance in the first game of the season. The Irish turned the ball over just 17 times after committing 27 against Arkansas Pine-Bluff, while forcing 21 Spartan turnovers. "[We cut down on the turnovers] a little bit, but we still had some really bad ones," McGraw said. DeHaan, despite facing a number of Irish double teams throughout the night, led the Spartans with 20 points, eight rebounds and four blocks. Lykendra Johnson added 14 points and 12 rebounds for Michigan State in the loss. "I was a little disappointed [in our defense against DeHaan] in that she had a season high and she really hadn't played well in their first two games," McGraw said. Notre Dame returns home to face Iona Sunday at the Purcell Pavilion. Tipoff is scheduled for 2 p.m.


The Observer

Men's Basketball: Second-half surge propels squad to win over Long Beach St.

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After a close first half that saw 12 lead changes and the Irish clinging to a two-point lead, Notre Dame came out hot in the second half and was able to overcome an athletic Long Beach State 82-62. "It was kind of like a Big East game in the first half," senior forward Luke Harangody said. "They were hitting shots and getting in the lane. In the second half we came out, and we were aware that we were the better team, and when we needed to put them away, we did." Harangody led the Irish with 29 points and 12 rebounds over a team-high 37 minutes, but it was senior Ben Hansbrough that sparked the Irish out of the break, scoring seven points and adding two assists during Notre Dame's 17-6 to start the second half, a lead which they held throughout the rest of the game. "I told [Hansbrough] at halftime," Irish coach Mike Brey said. "I said, ‘We're going to run the first thing for you. I want you to curl it and get to the basket right away.' We just wanted to see if we could get him going. Luckily he gets in there and gets a bucket and now he's starting to feel part of it. His drives are really important for us; that's an important thing in our offense now." Hansbrough finished the game with 11 points and a team-high seven assists, and was one of five Irish players to record double-digit points. He went down twice during the game, first after a hard fall while going up for a rebound, and then later after rolling his ankle, but was able to recover, playing 34 minutes for the Irish. "Hansbrough is like one of the hybrid Cadillac trucks — he brings it all," senior point guard Tory Jackson said. "He can drive, but also he's a guy that can spread the floor, so when I drive, I can kick it out to him and get my assists. He's a great shooter, so having him to be in that attack mode early like he was today, and kind of get me into a rhythm to take shots, it keeps my confidence going. He set the bar today, driving to the hole, getting fouled, getting rebounds. He set the bar high, and having him as that other guide is very good for me." Jackson scored 13 for the Irish and added three steals, but it is his role as orchestrator of the offense that will make him so crucial for Notre Dame as the season progresses. "I talked to [Jackson] about just keeping it really simple," Brey said. "He doesn't have to make high degree of difficulty plays, just orchestrate the team. When he's playing like that, he's really a key for us, and I've tried to reinforce that for him. He hasn't forced things, he's anchored us defensively, and he's really a great voice in the huddles out there when I can't be in them. We have to keep that going, and that's really important for us, but I sure like the rhythm he's in." Long Beach State struggled to shoot the ball consistently throughout the game, shooting 41 percent from field goal range on the night. The 49ers' two leading scorers, sophomores Larry Anderson and T.J. Robinson, paced the team with 20 and 16 points, respectively, but the rest of the team shot just 26 percent for the game, which kept them at a distance from Notre Dame in the second half. "The difference in the game was them coming out in the second half and turning up the pressure, and us not being able to handle it," 49ers' coach Dan Monson said. "I'm disappointed in how we responded at halftime. In the locker room, I said, ‘You're going to have to stand up to them because they're going to come at you,' and to let them score the first six times to start the second half and just take control of the game that easily was the most disappointing thing." Junior Tim Abromaitis also stepped up for the Irish, scoring 11 points off the bench in 22 minutes of play. He has scored double-digits in each of Notre Dame's first three games this season. "[Abromaitis] continues to be big for us," Brey said. "He had some big, in-traffic rebounds, and he continues to make big shots and we need him to do that. His teammates, especially the seniors, started the process this summer. They knew how much we needed him and they stayed on him hard." Notre Dame will look to keep up their momentum with two home games against Liberty and Kennesaw State before travelling to the UIC Pavillion in Chicago, Ill. for the Chicago Invitational Challenge on Nov. 27 and 28. "This has been good to have the uniforms on every other day, and really evaluate who we are, and who guys are and trying to develop some identity," Brey said. "We're trying to get better each game, just trying not to get ahead of ourselves, and we have two more games to try and improve on some things before we head over to Chicago for the [Chicago Invitational Challenge]."