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Notre Dame 73, Marquette 65

The SportsXchange

NEW YORK -- For the second consecutive night in the Big East Conference tournament, Notre Dame won a game with little production from its top player.

Jack Cooley, who posted 19 double-doubles this season, scored only six points Thursday, but thanks to teammates Pat Connaughton, Jerian Grant and Garrick Sherman, the 24th-ranked Irish were able to bump off 12th-ranked Marquette 73-65 in a quarterfinal matchup.

Notre Dame, seeded sixth, meets second-seeded Louisville in the semifinals on Friday.

Connaughton led the Irish (25-8) with 18 points. Grant scored 17 and Garrick Sherman tossed in 16 points off the bench.

Eric Atkins added eight points for the Irish, including a critical three-point play that gave Notre Dame a 62-54 lead with 2:59 to play. Connaughton's 3-pointer upped the Irish's lead to 65-57 with 2:24 left.

Cooley, who fouled out, had six rebounds and two assists. He totaled only two points in the first-round win against Rutgers on Wednesday.

Marquette (23-8) received 16 points from Jamil Wilson and 14 from Junior Cadougan.

The Irish led 29-25 at halftime without the benefit of the scoring touch from Cooley.

Tom Knight and Connaughton picked up where they left off on Wednesday against the Scarlet Knights. Knight led the Irish with eight first-half points and three rebounds, and Connaughton contributed six points and a steal before the break. The duo combined for 39 points in the 69-61 victory over Rutgers.

Marquette led 17-4, but the Irish fought back, outscoring the Golden Eagles 25-8 over the final 10:46 of the half.

NOTES: Marquette posted back-to-back 14-4 seasons in the Big East Conference. ... With a deep rotation, the Golden Eagles feature six players who contribute at least 6.4 points a game. ... Marquette junior forward Davante Gardner earned the conference's Sixth Man Award. ... Notre Dame wore its Adidas lime green uniforms with camouflage shorts and matching sneakers. ... Notre Dame only shot 41.5 percent overall in Wednesday's second-round meeting with Rutgers, but it connected on 10 of 17 from 3-point range. On Thursday, the Irish shot 46.6 percent overall, including 4-for-11 from long distance. ... Thursday was the first time Marquette and Notre Dame met in the conference tournament since the sixth-seeded Golden Eagles beat the third-seeded Irish 89-79 in the 2008 quarterfinals.
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