Jaquon Parker scored 11 points, all in the second half, and Jeremiah Davis III added 10 as Cincinnati (12-3, 2-0) snapped a three-game losing streak against the Fighting Irish (9-6, 1-1).
Jerian Grant scored 17 points and Jack Cooley finished with a double-double on 15 points and 11 rebounds to lead Notre Dame, which never led. The game was tied once, at 2-2 with 17:39 left in the first half.
The Bearcats' Big East home opener drew a season-high crowd of 10,142, including Basketball Hall of Fame member Oscar Robertson, who occupied his courtside seat for the first time in nine games at Fifth-Third Arena. The previous high was 7,021 for a 73-69 win over Marshall on Nov. 25.
Gates, a pre-season second-team All-Big East pick, entered the game with 14:31 left in the first half and scored all six of his points in 12 minutes before halftime, helping the Bearcats take a 31-21 lead into the locker room. The first-half scoring was the second-lowest of the season for Notre Dame, which shot just 32.1 percent (9 for 28) overall and 1 for 10 on 3-pointers before halftime. The Irish scored 20 in a 69-58 loss to then-No. 18 Indiana on Dec. 17.
Parker, scoreless in 14 minutes in the first half after setting a career-high with 21 points in Cincinnati's 66-63 win at then No. 22 Pittsburgh on Sunday, made three 3-pointers in the first 2½ minutes of the second half to help the Bearcats open up a game-high 17-point lead, 43-26. Notre Dame got no closer than eight points.