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Men’s Basketball

Irish set to take on Detroit Mercy at home after narrow loss to Boston College

| Tuesday, December 10, 2019

After falling to Boston College at home, the Notre Dame men’s basketball team is rallying to compete against Detroit Mercy on Tuesday evening. The Irish are coming into the game with a 6-3 overall record and a 0-2 record in the ACC. The Irish are hoping a game against a longtime rival will motivate the men to recover from a two-game losing streak after losses to Maryland and Boston College.

Allison Thornton | The Observer
Irish senior forward John Mooney jumps up for a tip in during Notre Dame’s 64-62 overtime win over Toledo at Purcell Pavilion on Nov. 21.

This is the 54th time the Irish will face off against the Detroit Mercy Titans (1-7), in a rivalry more than 100 years old. The first game between these two opponents was played on Notre Dame’s campus in 1912. The Irish were victorious in the first meeting against the Titans, winning with a final score of 32-19. Since then, Notre Dame leads the series 41-12. Only four of Notre Dame’s losses have come at home and the Irish are looking to, once again, protect their house on Tuesday. 

The Irish won the last time that the teams met, which was on Nov. 14, 2011. Many players have come and gone from Notre Dame’s roster since then. Head coach Mike Brey is preparing to matchup against a Detroit Mercy with a new, young squad.

Detroit Mercy’s head coach Mike Davis took over at the start of the 2018-2019 season. Before coaching the Titans, Davis was the head coach for the University of Indiana Hoosiers and the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Brey squared up against Davis’ team on five occasions — four times against the Hoosiers and once against the UAB Blazers.

Heading into this game, the Irish have a lot to boast. Notre Dame senior forward John Mooney leads the nation in rebounds with an average of 13.5 per game. This season, Mooney has accumulated highs of 16 and 18 rebounds on multiple occasions and also recorded 28 boards against Marshall. Additionally, the Irish center is tied for fifth in the country with six double-doubles this season alone.

Also in the Irish men’s arsenal for this game is a consistent defensive performance, both home and way this season. Notre Dame basketball is recognizable for its clean defense. Currently, the team is ranked third in the country in personal fouls per game. The team is averaging 12.1 per game, third only to the reigning national champions, Virginia and Weber State.

This game also marks a milestone in Brey’s Irish coaching career, as it puts him one game closer to the 800 game mile-marker. The game against Detroit Mercy will be Brey’s 799th standing in front of the Irish bench.

The Irish showed their bench is not very deep against Boston College. Brey is having to utilize every player on his roster in order to keep his team in range of competition. The wound of losing sophomore Robby Carmody for the season is still fresh. There is much to see regarding if and how this Notre Dame team will be resilient in the face of adversity. 

In the post game press conference against Boston College, Brey expressed that the senior leaders on the team will need to step up and lead against Detroit Mercy. The game is expected to be intense, and the Irish men are eager to regain dominance of their home court. 

Tip off is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Purcell Pavilion.

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