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Notre Dame pulls away late, tops Bryant 70-59

2013-12-09T21:00:00Z 2013-12-09T21:55:23Z Notre Dame pulls away late, tops Bryant 70-59The Associated Press The Associated Press
December 09, 2013 9:00 pm  • 

SOUTH BEND | Jerian Grant hit a late 3-pointer and scored 23 points Monday to help Notre Dame scrap out a win over Bryant, 70-59 in the second round of the Gotham Classic at Purcell Pavilion.

Two days after pumping in 25 and knocking down two late jumpers to hold off Delaware, Grant drilled a three from the left corner with 1:28 to play, then blocked a Dyami Starks shot on the other end.

Pat Connaughton had 17 points and 11 rebounds for the Irish (7-2) and Garrick Sherman also chipped in a double-double with 14 points and 13 boards.

Alex Francis scored 17 points and Joe O'Shea finished with 13 for Bryant (6-4). Starks, the Bulldogs' leading scorer at 23.4 points per game coming in, had 12.

With Notre Dame up by 6 with 4:07 to go, Bryant's Corey Maynard was called for an intentional foul on Demetrius Jackson, but the Irish only managed one free throw out of the sequence.

Maynard then hit a 3-pointer on the other end to cut Notre Dame's lead to four points.

But as the clock wound down under two minutes, Eric Atkins eventually found Grant in the corner to knock down his only field goal of the second half after five straight misses.

Turnovers on three straight possessions early in the second half aided a 7-0 Bryant run that got the Bulldogs within six points, and a Starks 3-pointer with 13:13 got them within five, which they would do three different times in the second half.

But the Irish worked the ball down low to Sherman on back-to-back offensive trips, and he converted on both to push Notre Dame's lead back to nine with 6:07 to play.

Two 3-pointers from Starks bookended a 10-0 Bryant run in the first half that put the Bulldogs up 17-12, 11:39 into the game.

O'Shea hit consecutive 3-pointers to get the Bulldogs back up by 4 with 8:27 left. Notre Dame outscored Bryant 18-2 from that point to close out the half, including 11 straight, punctuated by Grant's breakaway slam off a Bryant turnover.

The Irish led by 12 and Grant had 15 points and six assists at the half.

Butler 100, Manchester 41: Kellen Dunham scored 15 points and Khyle Marshall added 14 Monday night, leading Butler to a record-setting 100-41 over Manchester.

The 59-point margin broke the school's modern-day mark for most lopsided victory. The previous record came in an 87-33 win over Indiana-South Bend on Nov. 2, 2008.

Butler (7-2) also reached the 100-point mark for the first time in more than 12 years, improving to 5-0 at home and 6-0 in games played in Indiana this season.

Manchester (1-8), an NCAA Division III school, just couldn't match up with bigger, stronger Butler as it lost for the fourth straight time.

Brad Dolezal scored 14 points to lead the Spartans but none of his teammates reached double figures.

Butler seized control over the final 12 minutes of the first half, outscoring Manchester 33-12 to take a 48-24 halftime lead.

Arizona moves to No. 1 in AP poll: Some coaches shy away from a No. 1 ranking early in the season, worried about the impact it will have on their players' psyche.

Count Arizona's Sean Miller as one who embraces it.

Arizona moved up to No. 1 in The Associated Press' college basketball poll for the first time since 2003 on Monday, an honor Miller views as not only recognition for what the Wildcats have done this season, but validation for the direction the program has taken in his five years in the desert.

"There's tremendous satisfaction, no question," Miller said. "Embracing the fact that we're No. 1 is something I'm doing, our staff is doing and really our team is doing. It's an honor a lot of teams would love to have. It's something where no matter what happens the rest of the season, at some point we were ranked No. 1 in the country."

Coming off a hard-fought home win over UNLV, Arizona (9-0) received 63 first-place votes from the 65-member national media panel to earn the No. 1 spot in a season for the sixth time. The Wildcats are the Pac-12's first No. 1 team since UCLA in January 2006.

Syracuse, which received the other first-place votes, and Ohio State moved up two places to second and third, while Wisconsin jumped four spots to fourth. Michigan State, which had been No. 1 for three weeks, dropped to fifth after losing 79-65 at home to North Carolina.

Louisville was No. 6, followed by Oklahoma State, Duke, Connecticut and Villanova.

North Carolina moved back into the poll at No. 18 after a one-week absence. Colorado and Missouri are in the Top 25 for the first time this season. UCLA, Michigan and Dayton fell out of the rankings.

Arizona was sixth in the preseason Top 25 after Miller added another stellar recruiting class to a team that reached the Sweet 16 of last year's NCAA Tournament.

Long, athletic and versatile, the Wildcats already have an impressive list of victories, including Texas Tech, San Diego State on the road and Duke in the championship game of the NIT Season Tip-off at Madison Square Garden.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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