NOTRE DAME, Ind. – It was an exhibition and Monday night Notre Dame did what good teams do in exhibition games – dominate – in a lopsided 111-52 win over visiting Quincy University it its exhibition opener at Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center.
Quincy University is a Division II member that plays in the Great Lakes Valley Conference. With an enrollment of roughly 1,300, the school is located in Quincy, Ill. The Hawks finished last season with an 18-9 overall record, including an 11-7 GLVC mark and a third place conference finish.
Quincy head coach Marty Bell is a South Carolina alum. The Hawk’s return four starters from last year’s squad, including Chris Babbitt (10.0 ppg/4.9 rpg), Scott Hahn (7.0 ppg/4.0) and Ryan Stuckman (6.5 ppg/1.6). Babbitt was Quincy’s third-leading scorer a year ago.
The game started at a lethargic pace, with Notre Dame opening on an 8-0 run. Cooley scored six of his team’s first eight points. He could have had even more, but missed a pair of free throws after being fouled by Jordan Wilson. Scott Martin added the other bucket and the Irish led 8-2 at the first media timeout with 15:29 to play in the first half.
The lead continued to swell with three other players, Jerian Grant, Eric Atkins and Garrick Sherman, all cracking the scoreboard. A 9-0 run after Quincy’s first bucket by Ryan Stuckman gave the Irish a 17-point lead at 19-2 with 11:26 to play in the half.
Fighting Irish freshman Cameron Biedscheid had back-to-back baskets, one of them a three-pointer, to put ND up 27-6 at the 7:42 mark. Quincy quickly responded with five straight points to cut the deficit to 16, but shots by Cooley, Sherman and a three by Atkins bumped the lead right back up to 20 points.
The advantage swelled all the way to 33 after another three from Biedscheid with less than a minute to play in the half. The Irish settled for a 31-point lead with a 52-21 lead at the intermission.
Cooley led all scorers with 16 first half points on 7-of-9 shooting. Biedscheid was next at 10 points, including a 2-for-6 mark from behind the three-point line. Scott Hahn led Quincy with five points.
Quincy was 3-for-12 (25-percent) on three pointers, while Notre Dame was rusty as well at 4-for-12 (33-percent). The Irish made up for it though by going 19-for-33 from the field overall (57-percent). They held Quincy to 8-for-24 (33-percent) shooting. The Irish out-rebounded Quincy 24-7. Nine different Hawks combined to commit a total of 13 first half fouls.
The second half picked-up where the first half left off – with the Irish again dominating and at times toying with the Hawks. Martin and Pat Connaughton each drilled threes to start the scoring for Notre Dame before Hahn answered with a trey of his own to make it 58-24 Irish. Babbitt hit a pair of free throws at the 17:54 mark, but that would be their last points for a long stretch.
Notre Dame went on a methodical 24-0 run over the next 8-plus minutes as the lead swelled to 58 points. Jans Kennedy broke Quincy’s long scoring drought when he hit a layup and converted a three-point play after a foul by Sherman. Kennedy scored seven of his team’s next 10 points, but the Irish kept scoring as well. ND hit the century mark with a 100-39 lead when Connaughton hit a jumper after an offensive rebound.
Cooley, Notre Dame’s top scorer from last season, led all scorers with 21 points. He was 9-for-12 from the floor while also pulling down seven rebounds. He was one of six Irish players to reach double digits in scoring. Grant had 19 points, Atkins added 17 and Connaughton, Biedscheid and Sherman each scored 12.
Atkins was a perfect 3-for-3 on three pointers, while Grant hit three long balls with just one miss. Connaughton and Sherman each grabbed eight rebounds.
Kennedy and Geoffrey Hartlieb led Quincy with nine points apiece. Hahn added eight. Hartlieb was 3-for-7 from the floor, all from three-point range.
Notre Dame shot 62-percent for the game, including 24-of-36 (66-percent) in the second half. An 8-for-16 three-point mark in the second half raised their overall tally to 11-for-27 (just under 41-percent) from beyond the arc for the night.
The Fighting Irish are coming off a 22-12 overall record last season that included an 11-7 Big East Conference mark.
Brey presented the local chapter of the American Cancer Society a check for $5,000 before the start of the game. His signature mock turtle neck was pink in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Notre Dame concludes its exhibition slate this Friday with a home game against Cardinal Stritch. The game tips-off at 9 p.m. after Friday night’s football pep rally. The regular season begins a week from Saturday (Nov. 10) with a home game against intrastate rival Evansville. Tip-off for that game is still TBA.