Jan. 30, 2013
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) - Cameron Biedscheid scored a season-high 18 points, 15 in the second half, and Jack Cooley added 17 points and 16 rebounds to lead Notre Dame to a 65-60 win over Villanova on Wednesday night.
"What more can you say about Jack Cooley," Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey said. "I have never seen a guy so relentless. He is going after balls. I don't know how he has the energy to do it, but he continually does it. How he set the tone for us physically in the middle is just amazing."
After going 1 of 2 from 3-point range in the first half, Biedscheid was 4 of 5 in the second. Overall, the Fighting Irish (17-4, 5-3 Big East) were 9 of 21 from 3-point range and survived going more than 13 minutes without scoring a 2-point basket. Villanova (13-8, 4-4), coming off back-to-back victories last week against then-Top 5 teams Syracuse and Louisville, was just 3 of 11 from 3-point range.
"We did a really good job of defending the arc, the three-point line, which is where they had so much success in their two great wins last week," Brey said. "And we got into enough of an offensive rhythm to create a little bit of separation. We certainly had great contributions, [Cameron Biedscheid] coming along. It was a matter of time before that guy gets going, and I love what Zach [Auguste] gave us, the energy Zach gave us off the bench. As we're re-inventing here, we're finding new stuff, and it was a little bit of Cam tonight, and who knows who could be giving us energy Saturday."
Mouphtaou Yarou led Villanova with 20 points, Darrun Hilliard scored 14 and JayVaughn Pinkston had 11.
Biedscheid, a freshman, scored in double figures in a Big East game for the first time to spark the Irish.
Notre Dame improved to 17-4 overall (13-2 at home) and 5-3 in BIG EAST play this season ... the Irish are off to a 5-3 start in the BIG EAST for the third straight season
Tonight was the 35th meeting all-time between Notre Dame and Villanova ... the Wildcats lead the series 18-17, but the Fighting Irish have won the last three encounters ... Notre Dame is 10-8 at home against Villanova
Jack Cooley (17 points, 16 rebounds) and Jerian Grant (12 points, 10 assists) both notched double-doubles ... it was the fifth time this season (second in BIG EAST play) that at least two Fighting Irish players recorded a double-double in the same game
The Irish had 20 assists on their 24 made field goals ... it was the ninth time this season (second in BIG EAST play) Notre Dame had 20 or more assists in a game
Notre Dame only had six turnovers ... the Irish have had fewer than 10 turnovers in a game seven times this season (five times in BIG EAST play)
Notre Dame trailed 31-29 at halftime ... the Irish are 3-3 this season when trailing at the intermission ... Notre Dame has overcome halftime deficits to win the last two contests
Eric Atkins (Jr./G), Pat Connaughton (So./G), Jack Cooley (Sr./F), Jerian Grant (Jr./G) and Tom Knight (Sr./F) started tonight's contest ... it was the second straight game - and second time overall this season - that quintet has started ... the Irish are 2-0 with that starting lineup ... Atkins, Connaughton and Cooley have started all 21 games this season, while Grant has 20 starts and Knight has started two games
Notre Dame is 48-3 in its last 51 home games ... the Irish are 22-3 in their last 25 BIG EAST home contests
Notre Dame wore gold jerseys for the second time this season ... the Irish have won both games when wearing gold
A three-pointer from Jerian Grant in the first half upped Notre Dame's streak of consecutive games with a made three-pointer to 463
Cameron Biedscheid (Fr./F)
Jack Cooley (Sr./F)
Jerian Grant (Jr./G)
Tom Knight (Sr./F)