Notre Dame Uses 2nd Half Run to Beat WVU - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Notre Dame Uses 2nd Half Run to Beat WVU

Posted:

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) -- Swiftly and convincingly, No. 20 Notre Dame pulled away with the kind of resolve that has characterized the Irish's transformation during a head-turning nine-game winning streak.

Using balanced scoring and defensive quickness, the Irish coasted to a one-sided 71-44 victory over West Virginia on Wednesday night after leading by two points at halftime.

"I thought our offensive efficiency was excellent in the second half. When you had a chance to put somebody away this group has shown a cruelty to go for the jugular," coach Mike Brey said after the Irish secured his sixth straight 20-win season.

"That's what I really love about us. I think that can help us in March."

Jerian Grant scored 20 points and had a couple of acrobatic dunks, Notre Dame made 9 of 16 3-point attempts, shot 61 percent overall and outscored West Virginia 41-16 in the second half.

Scott Martin added 15 points and Jack Cooley and Eric Atkins had 13 each for the Irish, who were not expected to be contenders after losing three starters from last season and then Tim Abromatis early this season to a knee injury.

The Irish (20-8, 12-3 Big East) have not lost since Jan. 16 at Rutgers and are 15-1 at the Purcell Pavilion. It's the first time in program history Notre Dame has won nine straight Big East games.

"They really wanted that record," Brey said. "It's really special for this group to do it."

The Irish went on a 17-4 run to start the second half to break it open.

"We just got into a rhythm and once this team gets into a rhythm I think we can beat a lot of teams," said Grant, whose emergence has been one of the big keys in Notre Dame's tear.

"We just got flowing and obviously our defense held them to 16 points in the second half."

The Mountaineers (17-11, 7-8), meanwhile, are going in the other direction with six losses in eight games. Kevin Jones had 15 points for West Virginia, which shot just 31.5 percent and made only 6 of 27 field goal attempts after halftime. And the Mountaineers misfired on 10 of their 11 3-point attempts.

It was an ugly second half.

"They got us in transition and then we panicked and took quick shots," West Virginia coach Bob Huggins said.

"Quick shots and bad shots -- that's a recipe for what happened. We got so many young guys that they panicked. ... We're not athletic. We're probably the most non-athletic team in the league. When you're non-athletic you start taking some quick shots and all of a sudden they're running at you, you've got problems."

Notre Dame's quickness began to show in the first 5 minutes of the second half after the Irish led 30-28 at halftime.

Atkins' three-point play, a steal leading to a dunk by Grant and Grant's 3-pointer after an offensive rebound built a 10-point lead. After a timeout, Atkins hit a jumper and Martin connected on a 3-pointer and the 17-4 run put the Irish up 47-32.

Grant took off on a dunk attempt with just less than 10 minutes to play and lost the ball on his way to the rim. But he hustled and came up with the ball in the corner and hit a 3-pointer to give the Irish a 58-35 lead.

"I kind of lost the ball. But I got it back," Grant said with a smile.

Just to show how things have been going for the Irish, Cooley tossed up a shot after a timeout had been called and it swished through late in the first half. He scored nine of his 11 points in the final 5 minutes of the first half as the Irish shrugged off a sluggish start and took a two-point lead behind 63 percent shooting.

West Virginia's Darryl Bryant, scoreless in the first meeting between the teams, a 55-51 Irish win in Morgantown on Feb. 8, had 10 points in the first half and none in the second.

  • SPORTSMore>>

  • Countdown To Friday Night: Bland Co

    Countdown To Friday Night: Bland Co

    Bluefield, WVWVVA-TVBland Co went 0-10 in 2013. Certainly not the mark the Bears were expecting. But, 2014 is a new year, and this veteran team looks to make a splash and win some games. A.J. Good has more.More >>
    Bluefield, WVWVVA-TVBland Co went 0-10 in 2013. Certainly not the mark the Bears were expecting. But, 2014 is a new year, and this veteran team looks to make a splash and win some games. A.J. Good has more.More >>
  • Countdown To Friday Night: Montcalm

    Countdown To Friday Night: Montcalm

    Bluefield, WVWVVA-TVMontcalm is a small school with a small roster, but don't let that fool you. The Generals are full of fight and experience. Though several freshman will be forced to play, Montcalm could be poised for a big 2014. A.J. Good has more.More >>
    Bluefield, WVWVVA-TVMontcalm is a small school with a small roster, but don't let that fool you. The Generals are full of fight and experience. Though several freshman will be forced to play, Montcalm could be poised for a big 2014. A.J. Good has more.More >>
  • Cato And Shuler Got 1 Year Left Together

    Cato And Shuler Got 1 Year Left Together

    Bluefield, WVWVVA-TVRakeem Cato and Tommy Shuler both come from Miami, both went to the same high school, and both choose to come to Marshall. The two are best friends both on and off the field. The tandem is poised to break several Marshall and national records, and 2014 could be their best yet.More >>
    Bluefield, WVWVVA-TVRakeem Cato and Tommy Shuler both come from Miami, both went to the same high school, and both choose to come to Marshall. The two are best friends both on and off the field. The tandem is poised to break several Marshall and national records, and 2014 could be their best yet.More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WVVA.
All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, Terms of Service and Mobile Privacy Policy & Terms of Service.

Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's public inspection file should contact Administrative Assistant Audrey Sluss at (304) 324-0659. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at fccinfo@fcc.gov.