Following Flynt - The Ride Continues

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When the halftime buzzer sounded, it looked like Notre Dame's eight-game winning streak would hang in the balance until the closing minutes. Or so we thought....

The Irish used a 28-7 run over the first 9:59 of the second half to open up a 23-point lead, on the way to an big 71-44 victory. Notre Dame's defense held West Virginia to just 16 points in the half, setting a team record for the fewest points allowed in the second half of a BIG EAST contest (the previous mark was 18 against Pittsburgh in 2010).

Perhaps more impressively, the ninth straight victory set a program record for consecutive BIG EAST wins, besting the mark set during the 2000-01 season. The current 12-3 BIG EAST start also breaks a record from that season, which was head coach Mike Brey's first at Notre Dame.

Jerian Grant led all scorers with 20 points on 8-for-11 shooting, including 4-for-5 from behind the arc. The sophomore also threw down a pair of impressive dunks that brought the Purcell Pavilion crowd to its feet.

Scott Martin contributed 15 points, while Eric Atkins and Jack Cooley scored 13 points apiece.

Pat Connaughton, the star of Saturday's comeback win, was held scoreless on 0-for-2 shooting. But the freshman's off-evening says a lot about this year's team. On any given night, any player might step up to lead the Irish offensively, and that's one of the things that makes the 2011-12 squad so special. The future right-handed pitcher was 0-for-2 from the field, but picked up five rebounds and dished out four assists.

Notre Dame continues to build its March resume, improving to 20-8 with the win. The Irish will now hit the road for a pair of games - returning to the hardwood on Saturday against St. John's at Madison Square Garden. Catch the game on ESPN2 beginning at noon ET. On Monday, they'll take on Georgetown at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., before returning home next Friday, Mar. 2, for the final game of the regular season.

Stay tuned to UND.com for highlights and coverage from Coach Brey's post-game press conference.

- Josh Flynt ('11)

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