Senior center Garrick Sherman is averaging 10.2 points in nine games played for the Irish off the bench
Irish against Purdue and the Big Ten
Notre Dame improved to 9-1 this year after Saturday’s 81-68 victory over Purdue at the Crossroads Classic in Indianapolis. The program is now 21-20 against the Boilermakers all time and 232-207 overall against teams currently in the Big Ten Conference.
Notre Dame won the rebounding battle 38-33 and led 39-31 at halftime. The Irish are 8-0 this year when outrebounding their opponent and getting to the break with an advantage.
Sophomore guard Pat Connaughton registered a season-high 16 points against the Boilermakers for his 13th double-figure game of his career. His previous best this year was a 13-point effort against Monmouth in the second game of the year. He has scored seven total points in Notre Dame’s previous two games before Purdue.
Junior point guard Eric Atkins also put up a season high, scoring 16 points for his fifth consecutive double-figure outing. Along with his offensive production, Atkins finished with seven assists and two turnovers, upping his total over the last five games to 40 assists and just three giveaways.
Senior center Garrick Sherman, a week after being publicly challenged by head coach Mike Brey, who said Notre Dame’s success this season will heavily depend on the big man’s consistency off the bench, scored in double-figures (11 points) for the fifth time this season. After not playing against Brown on Dec. 8 (knee bruise), Sherman was a perfect 5-of-5 from the field.
Following free throws
Notre Dame finished last season shooting just over 70 percent from the foul line (474-for-673) and 217-for-307 in Big East Play. They’re shooting 64.9 percent (120-for-185) this year after making a season high 24 (of 33 attempts) against the Boilermakers. Of the four ND players that have attempted at least 20 foul shots this year, Sherman by far leads the squad with a 75-percent success rate.