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Irish Insights

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Nice crowd, nice offense ... defense could use some work

Notre Dame finally got the support it wanted in the refurbished Purcell Pavilion.

The Irish's 84-73 win over UCLA on Saturday drew 9,149 fans, despite the snow.

"I would love for the fans to turn out like that for every game," Tory Jackson said. "We really need the fans. The way they got up and cheered was just crazy. There were some plays UCLA couldn't get in, like they were in a rhythm for a while, but our crowd just got so loud they had to call timeouts."

The enthusiastic crowd was treated to all five Irish starters scoring in double figures with Luke Harangody leading the way with 23 points.

Tim Abromaitis scored 17, Ben Hansbrough had 14, Tyrone Nash had 11 and Jackson scored 10.

"You look down at the stat line and everybody is in double figures, and (reserve guard Jonathan Peoples) is almost in double figures (with 9 points), that is a heck of a team effort," Hansbrough said.

What the fans were not treated to, at least in the first half, was a defensive performance that can work in the Big East.

UCLA shot 57.7 percent in the first half. The Irish got a little better in the second half holding the Bruins to 41.9 percent shooting and 49.1 percent for the game.

"We can always do better," Nash said. "We will use this as guidance and improve on this."

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