On Thursday, Notre Dame plays host to the Kentucky Wildcats. However, before that Notre Dame needed to defeat the Chicago State Cougars. Notre Dame did that with an early three point shooting barrage. In the first half, the Fighting Irish were 10 for 16 from downtown. Jerian Grant led all scorers in the first half with 16 points. The Cougars hung tough throughout the first half until the Irish went on 12-2 run at the 8:47 mark. Notre Dame went into the break with a 51-32 lead.
Mike Brey had challenged Jerian Grant to play two complete halves and to be more aggressive. Grant was definitely more aggressive but failed to play two halves like Coach Brey had talked about. Grant had 16 points in the first half but only managed 6 points in the second half.
In the second half, Notre Dame got off to a slow start and failed to match the energy of Chicago State. The Cougars closed within 13 points.From that point on, Notre Dame began to pull away. Notre Dame led 82-51 at the six minute mark. At this point, Brey went beyond his traditional seven man rotation when he went with Zach Auguste and Joey Brooks. At the four minute mark, Notre Dame emptied the bench and Tom Knight, Austin Burgett and Patrick Crowley saw some game action. The Fighting Irish definitely play much better in the first half than in the second half. Notre Dame only outscored the Cougars by 8 points.
Notre Dame had six scorers in double figures on Monday night. Jerian Grant led all scorers with 22 points. Eric Atkins had 13. Martin added 11. Cooley dropped 11. Pat Connaughton scored 10. Garrick Sherman had 12.
Notre Dame now move on to play against the Wildcats on Thursday night in the Purcell Pavilion. This is the biggest test for the Fighting Irish in the non conference. Notre Dame will need to bring their best to beat Kentucky. The game commences at 7:00 pm on ESPN2.