Constantly, fans are reminded about the perils of the Big East Conference, when one of the lower teams in the conference threatens a team in the upper echelon. Notre Dame’s battle with DePaul was just another example in a long line of examples. Typically, Notre Dame handles the Blue Demons. This contest took overtime for the Irish to prevail.
Notre Dame held a large lead throughout the majority of the game. DePaul jumped out to an early 7 point lead before Notre Dame rallied to take a lead that was as large as 12 points. But, in the second port of the second half, the Blue Demons rallied to take the lead with 1:24 left in the contest. Jerian Grant made two free throws down the stretch to tie the game at 70. Both the Blue Demons and Irish missed three points attempts to finish out regulation.
In Overtime, the Irish were dominant, outscoring DePaul, 9-1. Eric Atkins was key in the extra period, chipping in 7 of Notre Dame’s 9 overtime points. He finished the ball game with 16 points, 5 assists, 4 steals and 3 rebounds.
Notre Dame’s Offense was driven by an All-Big East type of performance by Jack Cooley. Cooley contributed his best game of the season since his 24 point, 15 rebound performance. On Saturday, Cooley scored 26 points and added 16 rebounds. He also added 3 blocks on the Defensive side of the ball.
Cooley and Atkins contributed 40 of Notre Dame’s 79 points. Starters Jerian Grant and Pat Connaughton scored 10 and 8 points. Freshman Cam Biedscheid, the star of Tuesday’s game, added 7 points. Zach Auguste, a newcomer to the lineup, played 14 minutes. This total is the most Auguste has played all season. He scored 6 points, the most since his 12 point performance against Kennesaw State.
Notre Dame moved into 3rd place with the win behind Syracuse and Marquette. The Irish move on to play #6 Syracuse on Monday night in the Carrier Dome. The Orange are coming off a 10-point loss to Pitt.