College

Notre Dame Beats DePaul 79-71 In Overtime

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ROSEMONT, Ill. (AP) — Jack Cooley scored 26 points and grabbed 16 rebounds as Notre Dame beat DePaul 79-71 in overtime on Saturday.

The senior posted his 14th double-double of the season and his fifth straight game with 10 or more boards as the Fighting Irish (18-4, 6-4 Big East) won for the fourth time in five games.

All five DePaul starters reached double figures in points, but the Blue Demons suffered their sixth straight loss despite a gritty second-half comeback.

Eric Atkins scored the first five points of the extra period for Notre Dame and finished with 16 points.

Brandon Young led the Blue Demons (10-11, 1-7) with 15 points. Cleveland Melvin added 13 points and 10 rebounds.

DePaul battled back to regain a slim lead midway through the second half as Notre Dame hit a rut on offense.

Notre Dame led by as many as 12 in the opening minutes of the second half after dominating the paint in the first half.

The Blue Demons, who didn’t attempt a free throw for the first 25 minutes, got back into the game at the foul line only to suffer their second overtime loss in four days.

DePaul fell 79-74 at St. John’s on Wednesday. It’s the first time since the 1987-88 season the Blue Demons have played back-to-back overtime games.

Notre Dame is 1-1 in overtime games this season. The Irish lost 79-70 to St. Joseph’s in November.

Despite aggressive defense that forced seven first-half turnovers, the Irish did not allow DePaul to reach the free-throw line, but only shot 5 for 11 from the foul line themselves.

The Blue Demons did not attempt a free throw until 5:32 into the second half, but were in the bonus by the 10-minute mark and hit 13 of 20 overall. Notre Dame made 21 of 32 free throws.

The Blue Demons jumped out to a 10-3 lead in the first five minutes on a pair of Jamee Crockett 3-pointers, but the Irish went on a 28-10 run over the next 11 minutes and held a 39-30 advantage at the half on 50 percent shooting.

Crockett joined Melvin with 13 points for DePaul. Donnavan Kirk scored 11 and Charles McKinney had 10 points.

DePaul has dropped eight of nine overall after starting the season 9-3 and posting a 5-1 December. The Blue Demons are 6-74 in the Big East since the 2008-09 season.

Crockett’s 3-pointer two minutes into the game marked the 600th straight game the Blue Demons have made at least one 3. . Notre Dame coach Mike Brey tied former St. John’s coach Lou Carnesecca for fourth place on the Big East all-time wins list with 139. . The teams meet again in South Bend on Feb. 13.

(© 2013 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.)