SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Pat Connaughton scored 18 points to lead No. 22 Notre Dame to a 74-62 victory over IPFW on Monday night.
Connaughton more than doubled his 7.9 points-per-game average and had six rebounds and five assists.
Notre Dame (10-1) led 40-28 at halftime then opened the second half with a 9-5 run over the first 4:21, capped by a two-handed stuff by Jack Cooley off a full-court fastbreak pass from Jerian Grant. The Irish extended their lead to 19 points on a layup by Garrick Sherman with 13:35 to play.
Cooley had 14 points and eight rebounds, while Scott Martin scored 13 points on 3-for-5 shooting from 3-point range for the Irish, who shot 52 percent for the game.
Luis Jacobo and Joe Edwards both scored 11 points for the Mastodons (5-7).
Connaughton was 7 of 9 from the field, repeatedly driving strong to the hoop and taking his defenders off the dribble with apparent ease. His finger roll in the lane off an assist by Grant made it 23-14 with 8:24 left in the first half.
He hit a layup while drawing foul with 5 seconds left in the first half, then hit the free throw to increase Irish lead to 40-28.
Martin got the Irish off to a fast start, hitting two of his first three 3-point attempts, both from the corner.
IPFW asserted its athleticism early in the game, scoring three of their first four baskets on tip-ins. IPFW outperformed Notre Dame in steals, 3-point percentage, free throw percentage, bench scoring and points off turnovers, and they turned the ball over less than the Irish .
But the Mastodons couldn't overcome their poor shooting, hitting just 36 percent from the field in the first half. They improved their accuracy to 41 percent in the second half but it wasn't enough to chip away at the deficit.
Each time IPFW seemed ready to spark a run with an explosive offensive play, Notre Dame answered at their end with one of their own.
Edwards' floater in the lane cut the lead to 28-21 with 4:35 to go in the first half. But then Grant responded with a 10-footer in the lane 38 seconds later.