College

Cooley, Notre Dame Cruise Past Sacred Heart 106-65

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish mascot fires up the crowd before the 2011 NCAA Women's Final Four championship game against the Texas A&M Aggies at Conseco Fieldhouse on April 5, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish mascot fires up the crowd before the 2011 NCAA Women’s Final Four championship game against the Texas A&M Aggies at Conseco Fieldhouse on April 5, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Jack Cooley scored 19 points and pulled down eight rebounds, leading hot-shooting Notre Dame to a 106-65 win Monday over Sacred Heart.

Cooley, who also blocked three shots, was 7 of 7 from the field and 5 of 6 from the line. Jerian Grant added 15 points and seven assists for the Fighting Irish (8-5), who shot 61 percent (35 of 57) from the field, including 53 percent (9 of 17) on 3-pointers, in recording their 27th consecutive home victory. Eric Atkins scored 13 points, and Alex Dragicevich and Joey Brooks had 12 apiece.

Notre Dame got 27 points at the free-throw line on 34 attempts, to only 15 for Sacred Heart.

Shane Gibson scored 22 points for the Pioneers (6-7), leaving the senior 11 points shy of 1,000 for his career.

With a victory in its final nonconference game of the season, Notre Dame improved its record against current Northeast Conference teams to 26-0.

Sacred Heart led by as many as many as seven points in the first half, but the Irish responded with a 9-0 run to take a 32-30 lead. They took advantage of eight first-half turnovers by the Pioneers, ultimately leading 48-37 at halftime.

Notre Dame made 17 field goals in the first half — one more than in the Irish’s previous game, a loss Saturday to Indiana. They kept up the hot shooting in the second half, opening with an 11-0 run for a 59-37 lead.

The Irish used the same starting lineup as in Saturday’s game, but better shooting from the floor proved to be the difference.

(TM and © Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)