Jan. 21, 2017
By Robby Hamman
NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- Senior forward V.J. Beachem was superb in Notre Dame's (17-3, 6-1) 84-66 win over Syracuse (11-9, 3-4 ACC) on Saturday inside Purcell Pavilion. The senior poured in a career-high 30 points on 12-of-22 shooting and added seven rebounds, two blocks, an assist and a steal to complete his terrific performance.
The win over Syracuse is Notre Dame's first when squaring off against the Orange in ACC play. The Irish also improve to 12-0 when playing in Purcell Pavilion this season. The 18-point win is the largest for Notre Dame over Syracuse since defeating the Orange 83-63 on Jan. 21, 1998 at Notre Dame.
Juniors Matt Farrell and Bonzie Colson also impressed in the winning effort. Farrell was Notre Dame's second leading scorer on the day with 15 points and he produced a game-high nine assists. Colson notched his 12th double-double of the season with 14 points and 14 rebounds. His 12 double-doubles lead the ACC in the category.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Notre Dame's tandem of Beachem and Farrell put on an offensive clinic in the first half of Saturday's game, as the two combined to shoot 11-of-17 from the field for 28 points. The Irish jumped out to a quick eight-point lead at 12-4 and pushed it to double figures at 26-14 with 7:48 remaining in the half. Over a five minute stretch in the first Beachem scored 15 of Notre Dame's 17 points, including 10 straight. Syracuse managed to score the last five points of the half to trim Notre Dame's lead to nine at the halftime break with the score being 41-32.
The Irish scored nine of the first 11 points to start the second stanza, pushing their lead to 16 points at 50-34. Notre Dame cruised for the remainder of the game, never allowing the lead to dip below double digits the rest of the way. The Irish took their largest lead of the afternoon at 78-56 with 4:12 left in the second, as the team went on to win by a final of 84-66.
NOTRE DAME PLAYER OF THE GAME
Beachem's 30 points are the most by an Irish player in a game this season. The Fort Wayne, Indiana, native shot 12-for-22 from the field, including a 6-of-10 effort from beyond the arc. Beachem has now made six shots from distance three times in his career. The forward's 30-point performance is the first since Colson totaled 31 against Duke on Jan. 16, 2016.
Syracuse has brounght out the best in Beachem, as last season he scored 20-plus points in a game for the first time in his career against the Orange. He finished with 22 points on 8-of-13 shooting, including 5-of-8 from three-point range, and added four rebounds.
STAT OF THE GAME
Notre Dame continued its excellent free-throw shooting for the season on Saturday, making 15-of-16 attempts for a percentage of .938. The Irish have now shot 90 percent or higher with at least 15 makes from the charity stripe on three occasions this season. Colson led the way by making all six of his attempts and fellow big man Martinas Geben finished 5-of-6 against Syracuse.
RIVERS NAME RAISED TO RING OF HONOR
David Rivers, an All-American guard at Notre Dame, first-round NBA draft selection and Euroleague Championship Most Valuable Player, was inducted into the Notre Dame Athletics Ring of Honor at halftime of today's game.
The sixth-leading all-time scorer at Notre Dame, Rivers led the Irish to four consecutive NCAA tournament appearances from 1984-88 while scoring 2,058 points and handing out 586 assists. Rivers’ arrival on campus prompted a move to an up-tempo attack for the Irish during his four seasons, where he dazzled Irish fans with his ability to score in the open floor, shoot from long distance and make behind-the-back passes look routine.
Rivers currently runs ‘David Rivers Camps,’ a program designed to encourage higher learning in pursuit of academic excellence through clinics, motivational speaking and camps in Italy, France, Greece and Rivers’ hometown of Jersey City, New Jersey.
The Ring of Honor was established in 2010 by the University of Notre Dame Athletics Department to honor former and present men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball coaches and players who have made distinguished and noteworthy contributions during their careers at the University.
Previous Ring of Honor inductees include Austin Carr, Luke Harangody, Adrian Dantley, Digger Phelps, Tom Hawkins and Troy Murphy for men’s basketball, while Ruth Riley and Skylar Diggins represent the women’s basketball team. The women’s team will add current assistant coaches Niele Ivey and Beth Cunningham to the Ring of Honor this season as well.
NOTES OF THE GAME
- Notre Dame improves to 20-28 against Syracuse in the all-time series.
- With 11 makes from beyond the arc, the Irish have now recorded 10-plus three-pointers in a game for the 10th time this season.
- Notre Dame outrebounded Syracuse 39-28, marking its best rebounding margin (+11) in ACC play this season.
- The Irish finished with 20 assists in the victory, marking the most the team has produced in ACC play this season. Notre Dame has dished out 20-plus assists in seven games this season.
- Farrell finished in double figures in points for the 16th time this season.
- Farrell led the team in assists with nine and has now dished out six or more assists in 13 games this season. His nine assists are the second most he has recorded in his career.
- With 11 points, Steve Vasturia has tallied double digits in the scoring column 17 times this season, including eight straight outings, and 67 times in his career.
- Beachem scored a career-high 30 points. The senior has now finished with 10-plus points in 16 games this season.
- Colson's 14 points mark his 18th outing this season with at least 10 points. Colson has now recorded double-digit rebounds in 13 games this season after posting 14 on Saturday.
The Irish at back in action in Purcell Pavilion on Tuesday, Jan. 24, as they host Virginia at 8 p.m. To purchase tickets visit UND.com/BuyTickets.
Robby Hamman joined Fighting Irish Media as athletics communications assistant director in September 2016, coordinating efforts for the volleyball and men's lacrosse program. Hamman is a 2010 graduate of Bethel College, where he earned bachelor's degrees in sport management and business administration, and earned his master's degree in business administration from Defiance College in 2013.