Cooley Scores 22 To Lead No. 23 Irish Over Rutgers
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) – Jack Cooley scored 17 of his 22 points in the second half to lead No. 23 Notre Dame to a 71-53 win over Rutgers on Wednesday night.
Cooley also had 18 rebounds for the Fighting Irish (18-8, 9-3 Big East), who won their seventh straight game. Jerian Grant added 11 points, Eric Atkins had 10 points and eight assists, and Pat Connaughton also scored 10.
Notre Dame’s last loss came at Rutgers on Jan. 16.
Dane Miller scored 11 points as the Scarlet Knights (12-14, 4-8) committed 26 fouls, allowing Notre Dame to pour in 24 points from the free throw line.
Rutgers has lost four in a row and six of seven.
Notre Dame shot only 40 percent from the field, but seven 3-pointers and the high number of free throws helped contribute to the large lead. Notre Dame led by as many as 21 in the second half.
Rutgers shot just as poorly, managing 39 percent. The Scarlet Knights turned the ball over 13 times and lost the rebounding battle 37-35.
Notre Dame took a 33-28 lead into halftime with the help of six 3-pointers, outweighing their 29-percent shooting in the opening half. The Irish went the first 13:52 of the game before hitting a two-point field goal.
Rutgers tallied 12 fouls in the first half and allowed Notre Dame to open up an 11-point lead on a 13-0 run early in the half. The Scarlet Knights were able to keep the game within reach with 41 percent shooting and a 23-17 rebound advantage in the first 20 minutes.
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