Cooley leads No. 22 Notre Dame past Niagara 89-67

Cooley leads No. 22 Notre Dame past Niagara 89-67
December 21, 2012, 9:02 pm
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Notre Dame guard Jerian Grant, left, drives the lane as Niagara guard Tahjere McCall defends during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game on Friday, Dec. 21, 2012, in South Bend, Ind. (AP Photo/Joe Raymond)


SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) Jack Cooley had 24 points and 15 rebounds, both season highs, to lead No. 22 Notre Dame to an 89-67 win over Niagara on Friday night.

The 6-foot-9 senior jumped out to a quick start, tying his season-high game total of 20 points by halftime. The Fighting Irish led 42-34 at the break.

Niagara (5-7) committed 11 fouls in the first half and the Irish (12-1) took advantage, hitting 12 of 14 (86 percent) free throws. Cooley made half of those and was perfect from the stripe.

The Irish got rolling as the game wore on, shooting a season-high 62 percent. They put the game away with a 23-7 run during a 7-minute span midway through the second half, extending their lead to 20.

Antoine Mason led the Purple Eagles with 17 points.