GAME NOTES: The Indiana Hoosiers and Notre Dame Fighting Irish are set to tangle in the third installment of the Crossroads Classic at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
Notre Dame is back in action after winning two of three games as the host school in the Gotham Classic regional rounds this past week. The Fighting Irish won the first two games over Delaware and Bryant, before falling to North Dakota State on Wednesday, 73-69.
Meanwhile, Indiana sits at 8-2 overall and has won three of its last four, including Tuesday's 81-54 rout of Oakland. The Hoosiers are a perfect 7-0 at home this season.
Indiana leads the all-time series, 48-21. The Hoosiers notched a 69-58 win over Notre Dame in the first Crossroads Classic two seasons ago.
Indiana leads the nation in rebounding margin (+15.9) and is second with 48.2 rebounds per tilt. The Hoosiers are also sixth nationally in field goal percentage defense (.362). Sophomore Kevin "Yogi" Ferrell leads the way with 16.4 ppg and is a 40.6 percent shooter from the perimeter, up from 30.3 percent as a freshman. Noah Vonleh has been named the Big Ten Freshman of the Week three times and is averaging 12.8 points. He tops the Big Ten with 10.0 rebounds per contest. Transfer Evan Gordon is averaging 20.5 points on 17- of-21 shooting over the last two games. He had a season-high 26 points in the win over Oakland. Defensively, the Hoosiers held Oakland to 32.2 percent shooting from the floor in that game as they led virtually from wire to wire.
The Irish were simply outplayed by visiting North Dakota State earlier this week, as they shot just 35.7 percent from the floor and were careless with the basketball in the final minute of a tight game. NDSU shot 50.9 percent from the floor and held a significant 40-22 edge in points in the paint. Pat Connaughton led Notre Dame with 21 points in the losing effort, while Garrick Sherman recorded a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Eric Atkins (12 points) and Demetrius Jackson (11 pts) rounded out the team's double-digit scorers. On the season, Jerian Grant paces the squad with 18.7 points per game and is a 40.5 percent shooter from beyond the arc (17-of-42). Sherman (14.1 ppg, 7.7 rpg) and Connaughton (13.9 ppg, 7.1 rpg) have been instrumental on the low blocks.
This is an interesting matchup between two storied programs. Give a slight edge to the taller Hoosiers.
Game Date and Time