SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Demetrius Jackson led four players in double figures with 18 points and No. 14 Notre Dame beat Hartford 87-60 on Tuesday night.
Jerian Grant shook off a minor leg injury in the first half to finish with 15 points in Notre Dame’s final nonconference game of the season. Pat Connaughton added 16 points and Zach Auguste scored 13 of his 15 in the second half for the Irish (13-1).
Already leading the nation in field goal shooting, the Irish hit on 53 percent from the field, knocked down 13 3-pointers, and led by as much as 30 in the second half.
Mark Nwakamma led Hartford (7-6) with 16 points and 6 rebounds. Yolonzo Moore II added 12 points.
Hartford led 10-3 early and hit seven of its first nine shots. The Hawks’ advantage was two after seven minutes when Nate Sikma hit a 3-pointer, but they missed their next three shots. The Irish went on an 8-0 run in that stretch, capped by Austin Torres’ three-point play with 10:24 left in the half to put Notre Dame up four.
Grant limped to the Irish locker room, favoring his left leg, with 1:42 left before halftime and the Irish leading by 11.
Jackson responded without his backcourt mate by driving the lane for a powerful dunk. The 6-foot-1 Jackson also added a pair of free throws, while grabbing a steal and blocking a shot on the other end in the final seconds of the half to give Notre Dame a 15-point lead.
Grant returned in the second half showing no signs of discomfort. He drove hard down the lane for a layup four minutes in, and his 3-pointer with 12:52 left gave the Irish a 21-point lead.
Jackson wowed the home crowd a few minutes later with a scoop through traffic, and his 3-pointer with 10 minutes to go put the Irish up 25.
Notre Dame: The Irish finished nonconference play with just one loss, by one point to Providence on Nov. 23. They’ll face the cream of the ACC crop in January, including No. 2 Duke and No. 3 Virginia at home, and a trip to No. 19 North Carolina next Monday.
Hartford: This was the first-ever meeting between the programs. The Hawks are also still looking for their first win against an ACC opponent.
Notre Dame hosts Georgia Tech on Saturday.
Hartford is at Texas A&M on Saturday
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