Pretty Good Purcell Pavilion
Notre Dame improved to 12-1 this season (10-0 at home) after Friday’s 89-67 victory over Niagara. The Fighting Irish are on a 10-game win streak after slipping up in overtime against St. Joseph’s in Brooklyn back on Nov. 16. It’s the longest win streak for the Irish since they won 10 straight games during the 2007-08 season (Nov. 24-Jan. 5) and the third win streak of at least 10 games in head coach Mike Brey’s 13-year tenure in South Bend.
Notre Dame is 110-7 in its last 117 home games and 45-1 in the last 46 home contests, with 16 straight home wins dating back to last season. The Irish have won 28 consecutive non-conference home games and are 69-1 in their last 70 non-league home contests. For what it’s worth, Notre Dame lists average attendance as 7,656. The actual figure is probably closer to 6,000 people per game so far this season.
Notre Dame shot a season-best 62.0 percent (31-for-50) from the floor against Niagara after a previous season-high 61.5 percent (32-for-52) on Wednesday against Kennesaw State. The Irish have shot higher 60 percent only three times this year, the other coming against Chicago State (61 percent). The effort Friday was the highest shooting percentage for the Irish since a 62.1-percent (36-for-58) effort in a 108-62 win over Northern Illinois on Dec. 8, 2007. The Irish shot 75.0% (18-24) from the field in the second half Friday.
Things have gotten considerably better at the foul line to close out December and the nonconference schedule. Notre Dame shot 86.4 percent (19-for-22) from the free throw line against the Purple Eagles Friday and is 32-for-37 (86.5 percent) at the stripe in the last two games.
Though he’s attempted far fewer foul shots than most of the squad’s starters, freshman forward Cameron Biedscheid has made
17 of 20 free throws for a team-best .850 shooting percentage. There’s a reason, Brey said, Biedscheid was chosen to go to the line when Purdue was called for a technical on Dec. 15 in Indianapolis.
Bounce Around The Big East
Notre Dame is one of five Big East Conference programs ranked among the Associated Press top 25. The 22nd-ranked Fighting Irish are joined by No. 3 Syracuse (10-0), No. 5. Louisville (10-1), No. 11 Cincinnati (11-0) and No. 15 Georgetown.
Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim celebrated his 900th career victory Monday when the Orange beat Detroit 72-68. Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski (936) former Indiana and Texas Tech head coach Bob Knight (902) are the only other men's Division I coaches to win that many games.
Notre Dame is second in the league in shooting percentage (.510) behind Pittsburgh (.525) and leads the Big East in 3-point percentage (.387). The Irish are also second in defensive rebounds (30.8 per game) behind Pitt (25.3) and in assists per game (19.5) behind the Panthers (19.8).