Dec. 8, 2011; South Bend, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish forward Jack Cooley (45) celebrates after a basket in the second half against the Maine Black Bears at the Purcell Pavilion. Notre Dame won 87-78. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-US PRESSWIRE

Notre Dame 55, West Virginia 51


Notre Dame fought off a very tough team today by the name of West Virginia. The Irish advance to 8-3 in the Big East, while West Virginia falls to 6-6. This game was definitely a must win for Notre Dame. WVU, like Notre Dame, is a bubble team and whoever won this game has a great advantage over one another in the NCAA Tournament drawing. 

Player of the game: Jack Cooley

Despite the fact that he was going up against one of the best frontline’s in the Big East and the fact that the student section was all over him, Jack Cooley stepped up and recorded his 7th double-double of the season. Cooley had 21 points and 12 rebounds and commanded the down low post when he was in. Cooley ran into some foul trouble early but it never affected his play later in the game.

Here’s what head Coach Mike Brey had to say about Cooley’s play.

“I think (Jack Cooley) took it as a challenge. We talked about their front line. I thought Jack was fabulous tonight. He guarded but he also knew he could move around them a little bit. He has quicker feet to get there and get some buckets. The way he got some offensive rebounds tonight was amazing.”

Box Score:

Notre Dame Fighting Irish
J. Cooley, F 33 7-9 7-10 12 0 3 21
P. Connaughton, F 29 0-3 0-0 4 1 0 0
S. Martin, G 40 5-7 0-0 2 0 3 12
E. Atkins, G 39 3-9 0-0 4 1 2 7
J. Grant, G 39 4-17 2-2 2 3 2 12
A. Dragicevich 16 1-2 1-2 4 3 1 3
M. Broghammer 4 0-0 0-0 1 0 0 0
Totals   20-47 10-14 31 8 11 55
  42.6% 71.4%  
West Virginia Mountaineers
K. Jones, F 40 6-15 1-1 12 1 1 14
K. Miles, F 7 0-2 0-0 1 0 0 0
D. Kilicli, C 37 8-14 0-0 5 0 3 16
D. Bryant, G 40 0-6 0-0 2 8 0 0
J. Hinds, G 31 8-12 0-0 4 1 1 17
G. Browne 32 2-6 0-2 4 2 5 4
A. Brown 6 0-3 0-0 0 0 0 0
P. Williamson 4 0-0 0-0 0 0 1 0
D. Rutledge 3 0-0 0-0 1 0 1 0
Totals   24-58 1-3 33 12 12 51
  41.4% 33.3%  

Surely, this is a big road win for the Irish. They have to bounce back and play stronger on Saturday if they want these wins to mean anything later down the road. Their next opponent is Depaul. A 2-9 conference team that must be beaten.

 

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Key to the win: Clutch shooting

 

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