NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Each passing game is starting to look like the last. Notre Dame fought off a second straight pesky opponent - this time Bryant - in Monday night's 70-59 win at Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce center in the second preliminary round game of the Gotham Classic.
The Bulldogs came into the game shooting just under 31% from 3-point range in nine games this season, but they hit 6-of-15 (40%) in the first half alone before ending up 9-of-23 (39%) for the game.
"You know what's amazing?" Irish head coach Mike Brey asked rhetorically after the win. "Everybody shoots the heck out of the ball in this building."
"We'll take it," Brey said of the win. "It was kind of a grinding, ugly one, but (it was) a good experience."
The Irish jumped out to 7-0 and 9-3 leads on 3-for-6 shooting from the field. Jerian Grant had three assists on the three field goals. The Irish went cold from the floor and Pat Connaughton, who had six early points, picked up two quick fouls as Bryant went on a 10-0 run to take a 17-12 lead. A pair of 3-pointers by Bulldog guard Dyami Starks sparked the run.
Grant scored five points in a two-plus minute span to help the Irish regain the lead at 21-19. His first two points in the spurt came after hitting 2-of-3 free throws. He made the first two and missed the third, but Tom Knight grabbed an offensive rebound to set-up a three from the right wing by Connaughton - his third of the night at that point.