Notre Dame rolls in exhibition game against Nazareth College

College Sports

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame men’s basketball team began the exhibition portion of its 2021-22 schedule with an 87-37 victory over Nazareth College in Purcell Pavilion on Friday evening. 

The Irish were sparked early in the contest by two new faces on the roster. Graduate student transfer Paul Atkinson Jr. came out aggressive early with five quick points, including a three-point field goal, four rebounds and a blocked shot before the media timeout. 

Freshman Blake Wesley was the first sub for Notre Dame and he quickly scored six points, including a steal he tapped into the back court, chased down and finished with a one-handed slam dunk. 

With the Irish up 28-5 at the 12-minute timeout, senior Cormac Ryan took over the reins on offense, hitting back-to-back three-point field goals off two great Notre Dame offensive possessions. At the halftime break, the Irish were up 49-13 and Ryan would lead all scorers with 11 points.

Much like the beginning of the game, Atkinson came out aggressive in the first minutes of the second half, scoring six quick points to put the lead up to 58-21. The lead continued to balloon as the game advanced, helped by a Prentiss Hubb scoring burst with back-to-back three point field goals and the lead stood at 76-28 with 7:37 left. 

Eventually, all 12 available players for Notre Dame saw time in the contest. Sophomore forward Elijah Taylor, in his first action in an Irish uniform after missing last season with an injury, pulled down seven rebounds in 10 minutes. 

NOTES: Notre Dame is now 41-0 in exhibition games during the Mike Brey era (2000-01 – current) • Trey Wertz was unavailable for the game due to a sprained ankle, he is expected back in the line up next Friday in the exhibition finale vs. St. Norbert • J.R. Konieczny joined his South Bend, Indiana, freshman classmate Blake Wesley with a steal and break away dunk in the first half • the best scoring run of the game was an 18-0 stretch by the Irish in the first half • Cormac Ryan led all scorers with 16 points in the game, while Paul Atkinson carded a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds • attendance: 5039

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