Putting together winning streaks has been tough for Notre Dame this season. The Irish had won two straight games heading into Wednesday night’s game at Miami, but the Hurricanes snapped ND’s recent run of success with a 71-64 victory at BankUnited Center in Coral Gables.
The Irish (14-13-5-9 ACC) had won two straight heading into their first matchup with the Hurricanes (13-13, 4-9) since 2004. They have won three consecutive games just once all season.
Pat Connaughton led the Irish with 22 points on 8 of 12 shooting overall, including a 6 for 7 night from behind the 3-point arc. The Irish trailed 38-26 at halftime. They shot just 29% (9 of 31) in the first half, while the Hurricanes hit at a blistering 62% clip (12 of 21). Connaughton was the majority of the offense. He shot 4 of 8 for 11 points. The other four Irish starters combined to shoot just 3 for 14.
Demetrius Jackson was back with Notre Dame Wednesday after missing the team’s last two games due to an academic issue. Jackson was 7 of 13 from the field, while hitting three 3-pointers for a 17-point outing. He and Connaughton were the only Irish players to score in double digits.
The Irish closed to within 11 points midway through the second half. Beachem’s jumper made it a five-point game with 2:00 to play and Connaughton nailed his sixth trey of the night to make it 63-59 with 44 seconds to play. Connaughton stole the ensuing inbounds pass after a timeout and found Vasturia in the left corner for another 3 that cut the deficit to just one with 35.2 on the clock.
Rion Brown hit two free throws with 29 seconds left. A Jackson layup made it a one-point game again, but Brown then hit two more free throws to help seal the victory. Miami was 10 for 10 at the free throw line in the second half in what was their first ACC home win of the season. Brown finished with a double-double of 21 points and a season-high 11 rebounds.
Garrius Adams finished in double figures for the Hurricanes with 14 points. Davon Reed added 12.
Garrick Sherman scored just seven points for the Fighting Irish. Since breaking a finger on his shooting hand on Feb. 11 against Clemson, Sherman is 9 for 27 from the floor with a total of 21 points and 16 rebounds.
Notre Dame’s nine ACC losses have been by an average of 7.5 points. Only two of the losses have been by double digits. The Irish are now 1-7 overall and 1-6 in the ACC on the road this season. They conclude their current three-game road trip at Virginia Saturday afternoon. Notre Dame lost 68-53 to the Cavaliers at Purcell Pavilion on Jan. 28.