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Notre Dame's offense searches for answers

Notre Dame was held to less than 60 points for the fifth time this season in Saturday's 69-58 loss to No. 18 Indiana (10-0) in the Crossroads Classic at Indianapolis' Conseco Fieldhouse.

The Irish's low point total has not worked out well for them this season, as Notre Dame is 1-4 in games when it is held in the 50s. And with the Big East season just around the corner, coach Mike Brey said he has to figure out how to get his offense going.

"That's kind of baffled me a little bit," Brey said. "I do think we have some guys that can put it in the basket. I think we have to figure it out, keep tweaking what we do offensively to take advantage of it. We get good low-post stuff for a while then we stale. Then we get them out there and ball screen. I think sometimes we do so much different things to try and jump start us, we are confusing them. That's something I need to look at, maybe we need to simplify this thing a little bit more."

Keeping thins simple should help Notre Dame (7-5) from having another awful shooting night like it did against Indiana.

The Irish shot 38.1 percent from the floor and matched a season-low with 16 field goals. Notre Dame's offense got so bad that the Irish went 14:33 in the first half without making a basket.

Irish guard Eric Atkins scored a team-high 15, and guard Jeran Grant added 14. Grant said he thinks Notre Dame is trying to be too perfect on offense and that has led to some shooting struggles this year.

"I really think guys had a couple shots that they passed on trying to get a better look," Grant said. "I think sometimes, we need to take the first open look that we have. Sometimes, we try to pass the ball around too much when guys are open already."

Whatever the problems are on offense, Notre Dame will have one more game to figure it out before conference play begins. The Irish play host to Sacred Heart on Monday, and they begin Big East play with a home game against Pittsburgh on Dec. 27.

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