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Notre Dame needs OT to edge DePaul

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) - Jerian Grant scored 21 points, including a big three-point play in overtime, to lift No. 21 Notre Dame to an 82-78 win over DePaul on Wednesday night, beating the Blue Demons in overtime for the second time in 11 days.

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It appeared the Irish (20-5, 8-4 Big East) might cruise to victory until the Blue Demons (10-14, 1-10) used an 11-1 run to not only get back in the game but take the lead and the Irish rallied to force the overtime four days after beating Louisville in five overtimes. Grant, who scored 12 points in the final minute of regulation against Louisville, came up big in overtime this time.

Pat Connaughton hit a 3-pointer to give the Irish a 74-70 lead . After Brandon Young hit a 3-pointer to cut the lead to one-point, Grant got the rebound of a miss by Atkins and scored, then made the free throw and the Irish made their free throws down the stretch to hang on to beat DePaul for the eighth straight time.

Jack Cooley added 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Irish and Eric Atkins had 13 points.

Cleveland Melvin led DePaul with 23 points, Brandon Young added 20 and Donavan Kirk added 16 as DePaul lost its ninth straight.

The Irish needed to overcome 10 turnovers and 39 percent shooting in the second half as they appeared to run out of energy after looking as if they were in control. They weren't helped by a lethargic crowd of 8,554, with less than half of the student section filled. The Blue Demons shot 54 percent in the second half after shooting just 38 percent in the first half. Notre Dame had a 44-25 rebounding advantage.

The 11-1 run by the Blue Demons gave DePaul a 58-57 lead with 8:13 to go a 3-pointer by Jamee Crockett. But Grant tied it on a three-point play and moments later came up with a big rebound and passed outside to Eric Atkins, who hit a 3 to give the Irish a 66-63 lead. A jumper by Melvin cut the lead to one with 1:58 left and the Blue Demons tied the score at 66 on a free throw by Young with 1:20 left.

Grant had a chance to win it at the buzzer, but missed badly.

Notre Dame had been in control much of the time, but looked a bit weary from the game against Louisville. DePaul cut Notre Dame's lead to 24-23 when Edwind McGhee hit a 3 and Notre Dame's Pat Connaughton was called for a foul when the ball was in the air, giving the Blue Demons the ball back. But DePaul couldn't get a shot off before the shot clock expired. Notre Dame took then control by scoring eight straight points in 45 seconds.

It started when Garrick Sherman, who didn't play in four of the six games before scoring 17 points in the five overtimes against Louisville, scored inside on a layup. Six seconds later, Sherman stole the ball from Worrel Clahar and then passed to Eric Atkins for a 3-pointer. Biedscheid then scored on a free throw and Jerian Grant added a long fallaway jumper to make it 32-23. The Irish, who outshot the Blue Demons 55 percent to 38 percent in the first half, led 43-32 at halftime.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

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The Associated Press
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