No. 14 Notre Dame Blows Past Hartford, 87-60


The No. 14 Notre Dame Fighting Irish closed out their nonconference schedule with another impressive shooting display, shooting 53 percent against the Hartford Hawks en route to a 87-60 drubbing of the American East opponent.

The Irish (13-1) hit 13 three-pointers, and led by as many as 30, but coach Mike Brey knows the upcoming schedule will be nothing like they have faced in these first 14 games.

"“We’ve been winning by 25 and 30, but those days are over,” Brey said. “We’re going to be in a lot of dog fights.”"

In January, the Irish will host No. 2 Duke, and No. 3 Virginia, as well as a trip to No. 19 North Carolina. after a disappointing inaugural season in the ACC, Notre Dame is expecting a whole lot more from this veteran team. Coach John Gallagher got a good feel for what Notre Dame is capable of in the ACC.

"“They’re as explosive an offensive team as there is in the country,” said Hartford coach John Gallagher. “They speed you up. They got us out of character.”"

Jerian Grant scored 15 for the Irish, and gave the fans a little scare when left the court grabbing his calf before the end of the first half. But it turned out only to be cramping, and he returned in the second half showing no lingering issues. Senior Pat Connaughton added 16 points and seven rebounds, missing out on his third-straight double-double. Zach Auguste added 15, scoring 13 in the second half.

Already leading the nation in FG percentage, the irish hit on 53 percent from the field. After hanging with the irish early on, the Hawks (7-6) quickly found themselves overmatched. Mark Nwakamma scored 16 points while adding six rebounds, while Yolonzo Moore II added 12.

Demetrius Jackson continued to wow the hometown fans, putting down another monster dunk, and later knifing through the lane and finishing with a reverse-layup. Jackson had 18, as four Irish players score 15 or more points, and the Irish have surpassed 70 points scored in every game this season.

The Irish finished the nonconference schedule with only a one-point loss to Providence to blemish their record. Notre Dame will “reopen” conference play with a Saturday matchup against Georgia Tech at Purcell Pavillion.