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Men’s Basketball: Irish fall to Missouri in K.C.

Eric Prister | Monday, November 21, 2011

In his first game back from suspension, fifth-year forward Tim Abromaitis scored 22 points on nine of 19 shooting against No. 21 Missouri.

But the Tigers’ offense was too much for Notre Dame to handle, scoring 52 first-half points on the way to a 87-58 win in the semifinals of the CBE Classic in Kansas City, Mo., on Monday.

“Flat out, men versus boys,” Irish coach Mike Brey said to the Associated Press. “They’re really good, they’re really mature. It was the varsity playing the JV at times.”

A Missouri 14-3 run early in the first half gave the Tigers a 13-point lead. The Irish were able to cut it to seven, but Missouri pulled away late in the first half and went into the locker room up 15. The Tigers shot 58.2 percent from the floor in the victory.

Abromaitis added a team-high eight rebounds to his 22 points, and was joined in double figures by senior guard Scott Martin, who threw in 12 for Notre Dame and added five rebounds. Irish upperclassmen combined for 38 of the Irish points in their first loss of the young season.

“It felt good for a couple possessions,” Abromaitis said. “It’s nice to be back playing, but they’re a great team. It was kind of like being thrown into the fire.”

After scoring 52 in the first half, the Tigers did not slow down, opening the second half on a 10-3 run. They capitalized on easy baskets, scoring 44 points in the paint.

The Irish struggled shooting the ball from beyond the arc, connecting on just four of 16 shots from distance. They also recorded 12 turnovers and only eight assists.

Missouri senior guard Marcus Denmon led the way for the Tigers, scoring 26 points on nine of 11 shooting. Sophomore guard Phil Pressey added 17 in the victory.

“I’m going to be saying this all year: ‘He’s just very talented,'” Tigers coach Frank Haith said. “He had a nice pace, a nice rhythm to his game tonight.”

Sophomore guard Eric Atkins and freshman guard Pat Connaughton each chipped in seven for Notre Dame. Connaughton also grabbed five rebounds.

The Irish will need to rebound from the loss quickly when they take the court tonight against Georgia at 7:45 p.m. in Kansas City, Mo.


Contact Eric Prister at eprister@nd.edu