"Thing 1, Thing 2 and Thing 3 - they come to play," Thompson said. "They have a lot of big-game experience and they make me look good. They've been through so many fights and battles before, they know when to step up, and I'm thankful and blessed to have all three of them."
Early on, Notre Dame was able to hang in and led most of the way through the first quarter, shutting down Tug's first few possessions.
The Irish hung around for much of the second quarter as well, pulling within three after a pair of Justin Goff free throws made the score 30-27.
But that is where the Panthers' huge run started, and an 8-0 spurt before the break propelled Tug to a more-comfortable 11-point halftime lead and the rout was on to begin the third quarter.
"I thought for the most part in the first half we stuck with them," Notre Dame coach Jarrod West said. "A few timely turnovers right before the half kind of put us behind the 8 ball. Coming out in that third quarter they turned it up defensively. They switched and their 2-2-1 gave us more problems than I thought it would.
"Once a team like that gets rolling, it's hard to fight back. They're a very good team."
Hayden Sturgell scored 12 points off the bench for the Panthers and Thomas Baisden added 10.
Goff scored 14 points to lead the Irish (14-9) and Cal Cistaro added 13.
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