Saturday, December 14, 2019

Notre Dame beats UCLA 75-61. Bruins drop to 7-4 for season

ACC Digital Network

UCLA vs. Notre Dame: The Fighting Irish benefitted from hot shooting as they beat the Bruins, 75-61. Four players scored in double figures for the Irish, led by Prentiss Hubb, who scored 20 in the win. Notre Dame hit 15-of-39 three-pointers and UCLA only made 7-of-16 from behind the arc. The Irish defense held the Bruins to just 35% shooting for the game.


Condensed Game


NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The UCLA men's basketball team dropped a 75-61 decision at Notre Dame in a non-conference showdown on Saturday afternoon at Purcell Pavilion.

In the Bruins' first game at Notre Dame since Dec. 2009, Chris Smith finished with a team-leading 10 points. Shareef O'Neal totaled eight points and a season-high 11 rebounds off the bench.

Prince Ali and Jaime Jaquez Jr. each scored nine points on Saturday, in what marked the 50th meeting in the all-time series between the two schools.

UCLA (7-4) out-rebounded Notre Dame by a 48-40 margin and had 29 points from its reserves.

Notre Dame (8-3) never trailed on its home court, making 15 of 39 attempts from 3-point range. Prentiss Hubbs led the Fighting Irish with 20 points. He scored 17 points in the second half.

Notre Dame's John Mooney had 14 points and a team-leading 15 rebounds. Dane Goodwin scored 14 of his 16 points before halftime.

In the first half, Notre Dame missed on 11 of their first 13 shot attempts before converting from 3-point range on three consecutive possessions to secure a 20-8 cushion with 8:13 to play before the break. The Fighting Irish increased its lead to 14 points with 1:48 to play before UCLA closed the gap, using a 7-0 scoring run to head into the locker room at halftime, trailing 31-24.

Notre Dame scored the first six points of the second half, and the Fighting Irish' lead never fell to fewer than 10 points the Bruins, who remain one victory shy of the 1,900-carer win mark (in program history).

UCLA returns to action at the CBS Sports Classic against No. 17-ranked North Carolina on Saturday, Dec. 21. Game time at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas is set for 12 p.m. (PT). The Bruins' game will be nationally televised on CBS. The second game of the day's doubleheader will feature Kentucky and Ohio State.

Postgame Quotes – UCLA vs. Notre Dame

Notre Dame 75, UCLA 61
December 14, 2019

Mick Cronin, The Michael Price Family UCLA Men’s Head Basketball Coach

opening statement
“Our offense got us beat. Can’t shoot 30 percent from the field, 50 from the foul line. We would have to play a high school team to win with those numbers. They shot 38 percent, but you can’t shoot 30 percent and win. And then you get to the foul line, we’re 7-for-16 in the second half, so what are you going to do? If they’re just going to keep jacking threes, it is what it is, but they shot 38 percent for the game. We kept them off the foul line. We had some bad breakdowns. We’re a young team. We had three or four possessions where it was like… who’s guarding the guy? And that’s our youth. Our inexperience comes out. Young teams, guy gets a little tired—and it’s not just one guy. As soon as one guy gets a little tired, he gets lost. We cover for him and while we’re covering for him, they find the open man, bang, three. Could be in halfcourt, could be in transition. There’s three or four possessions like that. Until we get battle-hardened, we’re just a young team. We’re a work in progress. But up until this point, we’ve been able to score inside. You’ve watched us every game. Jalen (Hill) and Cody (Riley) shooting almost 60 percent, both of them, [and] today, they’re 3-for-16. It’s hard to win that way. Where are we going to get our points?”

on if he has ever coached team with one scorer in double digits
“Oh yeah, shoot, we went to the NCAA Tournament one year at Cincinnati, had nobody average double figures. But we were a great defensive team.”

on his team’s offensive performance
“I thought that Cody and Jalen, today, they were in a rush, they weren’t on balance. When we had our chances, they just didn’t get it in the basket. Three-for-16. I’d say maybe two of those were jumpshots from Cody. The rest, they’re 3-for-14 four feet in. Can’t win. You just can’t win, unless you shoot lights out from three. But we’re 7-for-16. That’s about good for us. About where we should be. Got to make free throws, you got to make layups.”

on limiting “snowball effect”
“Trying to keep these guys positive as much as I can. We don’t have, as you know, we don’t have Jaylen Hands to make threes five feet behind the line. There’s times where I’m just trying to find a lineup where we can generate some offense today. I think, overall, our attitude’s good. Our guys are trying. Right now, we just don’t have that one guy that can just get us 20.”

on Shareef O’Neal
“I thought his effort was great. He was all over the place… Right now, with all our young guys, it’s just like depositing money in the bank that’s going to pay off for us. Whether it’s Shareef, all those guys. Really, other than Prince (Ali) and Alex (Olesinski), we just got a lot of young, inexperienced guys. Even Chris (Smith), where he’s got to be a relied-upon player. It’s new for him. Developing his toughness.”

on what outrebounding opponent means
“Well, that’s an effort stat. We can control effort. We try to do that. You’re always happy with that. I thought [Notre Dame] made some threes—I thought three or four times we made some really not-smart rotations that hurt us. But we weren’t going to win with the offense we had today. It just wasn’t going to happen. I’m just trying, with these guys, it’s all a process. Just trying to teach them what they have to do…”

UCLA redshirt freshman forward Shareef O’Neal

on his performance
“I know that Notre Dame, they weren’t really boxing me out, so I used the best to just crash up to every board, trying to get some positive buckets in there. And I was trying to do my best on defense, and with a lot of older guys on the team, I get taught during the game and during practice, they all tell me where to go if I’m in the wrong place. I just felt like I had a good energy going into the game. I felt good. Just trying to get my feet back under me and learn as the season goes on.”

on if Notre Dame did anything to contribute to missed UCLA layups
“We’re actually a really good shooting team. I think it’s just one of those days. We missed a lot of chippies. We were about 10-for-20 at the free-throw line, I believe. In practice, we work on free throws. We usually make them. I think it was just one of those days. I missed a couple and a couple other people missed a couple. I think it was just one of those days.”

on sticking together in first true road game
“This is my first road game with UCLA and then our first road game this season. Hawaii doesn’t count, it’s kind of a neutral site, but it’s our first [road] game coming in with a hostile crowd. We did a good job of sticking together. There was just a couple possessions in the game where we weren’t on the same page. We’re still working on that. We’re a really good team, but when we’re all together and we’re a really good team, sometimes when we have our… mess ups, that’s when stuff starts going downhill. When we all stick together, we look really good.”

UCLA junior guard Chris Smith

on what went wrong on offense
“We were just stagnant at times. Guards not cutting, including me being the biggest culprit. We weren’t moving. Our bigs were 3-for-16 because we weren’t helping them and keeping the extra guards from digging on them. So, just we weren’t moving and we were looking for fouls at times, as well, instead of playing through it.”

on first-half defense allowing 3-pointers
“Just miscommunications. Guys taking the wrong guy and not talking to each other.”

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