Fittest loser
Article updated: 12/20/2012 8:36 AM

Jack Cooley leads No. 22 Notre Dame past Kennesaw State

Notre Dame guard Scott Martin, left, punches the ball away from Kennesaw State forward Brandon Dawson Wednesday during the first half in South Bend, Ind.

Notre Dame guard Scott Martin, left, punches the ball away from Kennesaw State forward Brandon Dawson Wednesday during the first half in South Bend, Ind.


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By Associated Press

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Jack Cooley scored 14 points and pulled down 13 rebounds to lead No. 22 Notre Dame to an 85-57 victory over Kennesaw State on Wednesday night.

It was Cooley's fifth double-double in the past seven games, and he is tied for second nationally in that statistic.

Notre Dame's Jerian Grant also scored 14 points in a game that got away from the Owls early in the second half.

The Owls (1-9) closed out the final 4 minutes of the first half on a 9-4 run, capped off by Markeith Cummings' 3-pointer as the first-half buzzer sounded, cutting the lead to 34-28.

But Notre Dame (11-1) started the second half on a 17-5 run over the first 8:18, leading 53-33 after that span. The run included six points from Grant, four from Garrick Sherman, four from Cooley and a 3 by freshman Cameron Biedschied.

Aaron Anderson led Kennesaw State scorers with 16 points and Cummings had 15.

The Irish started the game on a 16-9 run over the first 7:40, including two 3-pointers by Pat Connaughton, one by Eric Atkins and one by Scott Martin. Four of their first six baskets were 3s.

The Irish outrebounded the Owls 36-17 and outscored them 44-28 in the paint.

Connaughton and freshman Zach Auguste both scored 12 points for Notre Dame. Atkins had 13 assists.

Auguste scored his 12 points in 12 minutes. He entered the game with 8:39 to play and hit a short putback, was fouled on the play, and hit the free throw. The next trip down the court, Auguste hit a two-handed slam off a feed from Atkins, stretching the Irish lead to 26-16.

Grant took a hard fall with 4:52 left after a scary collision with Jordan Montgomery of the Owls. Grant stole a pass near midcourt and drove hard to the hoop when Montgomery fouled him while trying for the block. Both players crashed to the court and were down for several minutes. Both went straight to the locker room without returning.

After the game, Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said Grant suffered a bruised hip, and he hoped he would be ready for their next game Friday when they host Niagara.

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