Dec. 6, 2014
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) – Pat Connaughton scored 19 points and Jerian Grant added 15 Saturday to help Notre Dame turn back Fairleigh Dickinson, 75-57.
Coming off the high of beating No. 19 Michigan State, 79-78 in overtime Wednesday, the Irish started slow before pulling away in the second half.
The Knights got within 11 points with 6:40 to play before committing three straight turnovers, then missing its next seven shots from the field. The Irish (8-1) used a 9-0 run in that span to push their lead to 20 with less than three minutes to play.
Mustafaa Jones hit 4-of-6 from 3-point range and led Fairleigh Dickinson (3-4) with 16 points.
The Knights went 1-of-8 from the field to open the second half, leading to an 8-2 run for Notre Dame. The Irish led by 18 seven minutes into the second before Jones and Connaughton traded 3-pointers on consecutive possessions to keep it from becoming a runaway.
In the first meeting between the schools, Fairleigh Dickinson did its best to slow the tempo down, mixing an active zone defense with a pesky press to keep it close.
The Irish struggled from deep early, hitting just 2-of-11 from 3-point range in the first half, but the second of those 3s was Grant’s shot from the wing with four seconds left to give Notre Dame a 10-point lead at halftime.
Up just one point with 7:48 left in the first, the Irish used an 11-2 run over the next 4:27 to widen the gap.
Notre Dame: After committing a season-low four turnovers in their overtime win against Michigan State, the Irish matched that mark just over 12 minutes into the game against FDU.
Fairleigh Dickinson: Coming off a career-high 29 in a win over Princeton, Matt MacDonald was held to nine points on 3-of-9 shooting.
Notre Dame hosts Mount St. Mary’s on Tuesday.
Fairleigh Dickinson visits St. John’s on Wednesday.