Notre Dame 93, Seton Hall 74By Jack McCarthy, The Sports Xchange | The SportsXchange – Sat, Jan 5, 2013 2:30 PM EST
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Scott Martin scored a season-high 22 points and Jack Cooley collected his 10th double-double of the season as Notre Dame overpowered Seton Hall in the second half for a 93-74 Big East victory Saturday afternoon. The Irish (13-1, 1-0 Big East) claimed their 11th straight victory as Martin hit six of seven 3-point tries and Cooley had 19 points and 13 rebounds in Notre Dame's conference season opener in front of 8,523 fans at the Joyce Center. Eric Atkins collected 17 points and 10 assists while Jerian Grant added 13 points for the winners, idle since an 89-67 home win over Niagara on Dec. 1. Seton Hall's Fuquan Edwin, who hit a game-winning basket on Wednesday at DePaul, shared top scoring honors with Aaron Cosby with 21 points apiece. Eugene Teague had 17 as the Pirates (12-3, 1-1) saw a seven-game winning streak snapped. Notre Dame's 93 points was a season high and its biggest offensive output since a 92-67 win over Chicago State on Nov. 26. The Irish, ranked 19th by AP and No. 21 in the USA Today coaches poll, started to pull away late in the first half and opened the first minutes of the second with a 10-3 run. Martin had a pair of 3 pointers as Notre Dame's lead reached 54-39. He had his fifth at the 16:57 mark as the Irish lead hit 17 points at 58-41. Martin had another at 14:28 for Notre Dame's biggest lead at 66-43. Seton Hall never got closer than 15 points the rest of the way largely against Irish reserves. The game was competitive early. Notre Dame jumped to an early 8-3 lead, but Edwin hit seven straight points over a span of 1:32 for a 10-8 Pirates lead at the 14:03 mark. The match then settled into a nip-and-tuck pattern with three lead changes and three ties. But Seton Hall also struggled from the field with 8 of 22 shooting (36.4 percent) and four turnovers through 13 minutes while Notre Dame found a rhythm and opened a 25-20 lead. The Irish lead hovered in the three- to five-point range until Cameron Biedscheid hit a 3-pointer and Cooley added five points in an 8-2 run that opened a 35-25 advantage. The double-digit lead was short-lived as Seton Hall hit six straight -- including an Edwin steal and layup -- that trimmed the Pirates' deficit to 35-31 with 2 minutes left. Notre Dame, however, had three of the last four baskets of the half for a 44-36 halftime lead. Atkins had two buckets to close the half with a game-high 14 points. The Irish shot 35 of 62 (56.5 percent) from the field -- including 12 of 18 on 3 pointers. Seton Hall closed at 29 of 64 (45.3 percent). The challenge stiffens for Notre Dame with three games in an eight-day span starting Monday at No. 14 Cincinnati. The Irish are back home next Saturday against Connecticut. Seton Hall hosts No. 4 Louisville next Wednesday. Notes: Notre Dame leads the all-time series 19-8 and has 10 wins in the last 11 meetings. ... Seton Hall's recent seven-game winning streak included last Wednesday's 73-72 victory at DePaul on Edwin's score with just 7 seconds showing. That conference season-opening win was Seton Hall's first since 2004. ... Notre Dame ranked seventh in the nation in field goal shooting, entering Saturday with a 61.8 percentage from the floor (63 of 102). The Irish were 75 percent (18 of 24) on Dec. 21 against Niagara. ... Cooley, an Irish senior forward, moved into a temporary tie for the national lead with Sienna's O.D. Anosike with his 10th double-double of the season. He's also scored in double figures in nine straight games. ... The Pirates last beat the Fighting Irish on Feb. 11, 2010, a 90-87 decision in Newark, N.J.
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