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5 keys to Notre Dame's loss to Iowa State

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For more on college athletics, follow Pete DiPrimio via Twitter at pdiprimio.

Turnovers cost Fighting Irish

Saturday, March 23, 2013 - 9:46 am

Notre Dame couldn't take care of the ball, couldn't defend the three-point shot and couldn't advance past Iowa State. The Irish lost 76-58 at University of Dayton Arena in Friday's second-round action.

Here are some of the keys to the defeat:

1. Turnovers

Notre Dame had 14 in the first half and 17 for the game. You can't win that way and the Irish didn't. Iowa State only had six.

2. Shaky defense

When Notre Dame had to clamp down, it struggled. That was exemplified at the end of the first half, when it gave up an uncontested last-second layup to fall behind 35-23.

3. Iowa State's fire-at-will offense

The Cyclones never met a shot they wouldn't take, especially from long range. If they had hit more of their one-footers, this game would have been over by halftime. In reality, it was. Iowa State was 29-for-59 (49.2 percent) from the field, including 9-for-21 from three-point range.

4. Poor guard play

Notre Dame guards Eric Atkins and Jerian Grant combined for five turnovers, five points and one assist in the first half. Their second half was a little better. They finished with 16 points, four assists and seven turnovers. They were 5-for-18 from the field.

5. Transition defense

Notre Dame forgot how to play it. It gave up nine fast-break points in the first half while scoring none. It finished with two compared to Iowa State's 12.