Second Half a Breeze For Irish

Notre Dame erupts for 60 second-half points in 33-point blowout win over Army Saturday afternoon at the Purcell Pavilion.

South Bend -- Notre Dame shook off an opening half in which it missed 19 of 30 shots from the field including eight of nine from long range to subdue Army, 93-60 Sunday afternoon at the Purcell Pavilion.

Leading by just eight, 33-25 at the break, Mike Brey's Irish scored 15 of the second stanza's first 21 points to take a 48-31 lead just after the half's initial official timeout. 5th-year senior center Garrick Sherman scored 10 of Notre Dame's 15 during that span with senior guard Jerian Grant assisting on four buckets and dunking home another.

The Irish maintained a comfortable 16-19 point advantage for the first 11 minutes of the second half before Army guard Josh Herbeck drilled a corner three-point shot to cut Notre Dame's lead to 13, 64-51. Grant answered 20 seconds later with a wing three of his own and the now 4-1 Irish extended the lead thereafter, peaking at 88-55 with just under three minutes remaining.

Army's turnovers were the root cause, their hosts finding 31 points off turnovers.

"We needed some energy, we came out kind of flat," said Grant of a slow start that included a lead of just 21-18 near the six-minute mark. "The way Pat's rebounding, he can play the four (power forward). He's strong at 6'5" 6'6" and it helps us spread the floor then get out and be able to run."

Army stayed close in the opening half thanks in part to a 21-16 advantage on the glass, but 13 turnovers in the first 20 minutes negated any momentum from the visiting Knights.

Sherman and Grant paced the Irish with 19 points apiece, the latter adding a team-high seven boards while Grant contributed eight assists and six steal with just one turnover. The duo connected on a combined 14 of 19 shots from the field.

Nine Irish played more than 10 minutes. Sophomore center Zack Auguste scored 12 off the bench on six of seven shooting and most important, provided a first half lift when the offense stagnated. Mike Brey's bench contributed 34 points and 16 rebounds in a combined 67 minutes.

"I'm glad Zack's back," said Sherman of his fellow big man's recovery from an early October broken wrist. "It wasn't as fun to go to practice without Zack to compete against when his hand was hurting. He played great today. He's back to where we saw him in the summer and where we know his talent level is. He played like that today."

Sherman and Grant helped the Irish to a 52-28 scoring advantage in the paint though second chance points were a non-factor with the hosts holding just an 8-6 edge.

Sophomore guard Dylan Cox led Army with 11 points on five of eight from the field. He added eight rebounds, and five assists. The Knights hit just 20 of 56 shots absent Cox's effort. Army misfired on 20 of 25 three-point field goal attempts while the Irish connected on six of eight offerings from long range in the second half, 7 of 17 on the afternoon.

Notre Dame out rebounded Army 39-34 after a 21-15 halftime deficit on the glass. The Irish received 17 assists from their guard trio of Grant, senior Eric Atkins (13 points on 5-16 shooting), and freshman Demetrius Jackson, who finished with 11 points in 24 minutes.

The 4-1 Irish have a week off for the Thanksgiving Holiday before facing Cornell next Sunday at the Purcell Pavilion. Army fell to 1-4 in defeat. Top Stories