Fighting Irish post another lopsided win

Notre Dame’s Elijah Burns goes up for a shot as LSU’s Duop Reath defends during the first half of a 92-53 victory for the Fighting Irish on Tuesday. The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photos

Notre Dame’s Elijah Burns goes up for a shot as LSU’s Duop Reath defends during the first half of a 92-53 victory for the Fighting Irish on Tuesday. The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photos

LAHAINA — Notre Dame came to the Maui Jim Maui Invitational with one thing in mind.

After a dominant 92-53 win over LSU on Tuesday in a semifinal game at the Lahaina Civic Center, the Fighting Irish are one victory from their goal.

“I told our guys when we practiced in here on Saturday, with what our program has done and how it’s thought of nationally, we should have our name up on that wall (as champions),” Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said. “We talked about that and I think Matty (Farrell) and Bonzie (Colson) have really talked about that.”

The Irish (5-0), 13th in The Associated Press rankings, will face No. 6 Wichita State for the title today.

LSU (3-1) will play Marquette for third place.

LSU’s Skylar Mays attempts to get off a first-half shot between Notre Dame’s Elijah Burns and Rex Pflueger.

LSU’s Skylar Mays attempts to get off a first-half shot between Notre Dame’s Elijah Burns and Rex Pflueger.

“We play a heck of a team, obviously, in Wichita State,” Brey said. “I think it’s a great matchup. They’re really good and we’re excited that we get to play for a trophy.”

Notre Dame opened with a win over Chaminade, and its combined margin of victory in its first two games of the tournament is 66 points. The record for total winning margin for a Maui champion is 90, set by North Carolina last year.

T.J. Gibbs scored 26 points to lead the Irish to their second Valley Isle championship game — they lost to eventual national champion North Carolina in 2008.

“We just did what we usually do,” Gibbs said. “I think (for me), it was more just trusting my teammates. They were doing all the work, I just had to hit the easy shots.”

Notre Dame shot 33-for-64 (51.6 percent) from the field, and limited LSU to 19-for-52 (36.5 percent). The Irish forced 17 turnovers while committing just six.

Notre Dame coach Mike Brey lets the officials know he doesn’t like a first-half foul call.

Notre Dame coach Mike Brey lets the officials know he doesn’t like a first-half foul call.

Notre Dame outscored LSU 19-4 off turnovers, 12-8 on second-chance points, 7-2 on the fast break and 21-16 off the bench. The lead for the Irish reached 39 points in the final minute.

“I wish I could bottle that for the rest of the season,” Brey said. “I thought we really played well on both ends of the floor. Our experience, I think, showed. I’m just thrilled with our defense.”

Farrell had 17 points and seven assists; Colson had 12 points, 11 rebounds and five steals; and Martinas Geben scored 10 points. Gibbs and Far­rell combined to go 10-of-20 from the 3-point line.

Duop Reath led the Tigers with 17 points, but no one else scored more than eight. Reath shot 6-for-10, while the rest of the Tigers went 13-for-42.

“That was a really tough night for us,” said LSU coach Will Wade. “I mean, they’re a phenomenal team. We were outclassed in every way. We’ve got to respond the right way and get ready to go tomorrow.”

LSU’s Brandon Sampson grabs his ankle after being hurt early in the game.

LSU’s Brandon Sampson grabs his ankle after being hurt early in the game.

The Tigers’ Brandon Sampson suffered an ankle injury in the game’s opening minutes and did not return.

* Robert Collias is at rcollias@mauinews.com.

NOTRE DAME (92)

Geben 4-4 2-3 10, Colson 5-11 1-3 12, Farrell 5-14 3-3 17, Gibbs 9-15 2-2 26, Pflueger 2-5 2-2 6, Gregory 0-1 0-0 0, Burns 2-3 0-0 4, Torres 0-0 0-0 0, Mooney 3-5 1-3 9, Djogo 1-1 0-0 3, Nelligan 0-0 0-0 0, Harvey 2-4 0-1 5. Totals 33-63 11-17 92.

LSU (53)

The Tigers’ Randy Onwuasor is guarded by Matt Farrell of the Fighting Irish in the first half.

The Tigers’ Randy Onwuasor is guarded by Matt Farrell of the Fighting Irish in the first half.

Reath 6-10 4-5 17, Sims 2-4 0-0 4, Waters 2-7 2-2 8, Mays 3-11 1-1 8, Sampson 0-1 0-0 0, Epps 1-7 0-0 3, Combs 0-0 1-2 1, Kiir 0-0 0-0 0, Alexander 1-4 0-0 2, Vial 0-1 0-0 0, Onwuasor 3-4 0-0 7, Edwards 0-2 0-0 0, Graves 0-1 0-0 0, Rachal 1-1 1-2 3. Totals 19-53 9-12 53.

Halftime–Notre Dame 40-24. 3-Point Goals–Notre Dame 15-32 (Gibbs 6-10, Farrell 4-10, Mooney 2-2, Djogo 1-1, Harvey 1-3, Colson 1-3, Gregory 0-1, Pflueger 0-2), LSU 6-23 (Waters 2-4, Onwuasor 1-1, Reath 1-1, Mays 1-4, Epps 1-5, Vial 0-1, Graves 0-1, Sims 0-1, Edwards 0-2, Alexander 0-3). Fouled Out–None. Rebounds–Notre Dame 35 (Colson 11), LSU 30 (Mays 7). Assists–Notre Dame 18 (Farrell 7), LSU 9 (Onwuasor 4). Total Fouls–Notre Dame 10, LSU 15.

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