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Notre Dame vs South Florida

No. 24 Irish top South Florida

CBSSports.com wire reports
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TAMPA, Fla. -- Tom Knight helped Notre Dame stop its slide in his first start this season.

Jerian Grant scored 18 points and Knight had 17 as No. 24 Notre Dame beat South Florida 73-65 on Saturday.

Knight, a 6-foot-10 senior, made the most of his chance as the Fighting Irish played without sixth-year forward Scott Martin, who is out indefinitely with a bad left knee. Knight had appeared in just 12 of Notre Dame's first 19 games this season.

"I would have been shocked if he didn't play well," Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said. "He's been around us for a while, so it's nice. You lose a six-year senior and we put in another senior who's been in our program. Certainly helped us."

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Knight had never scored in double digits before, with his previous best being nine points against Sacred Heart on Dec. 19, 2011. He made 8 of 10 shots and pulled down seven rebounds Saturday.

"He's just playing with confidence right now." Grant said of Knight. "A lot of people knew he had it. He's knocking down shots, rebounding, blocking shots, so it's definitely something we need the rest of the year."

Eric Atkins added 13 points and Pat Connaughton contributed 12 for Notre Dame (16-4, 4-3 Big East), which had lost three of four, including a 63-47 loss to Georgetown last Monday.

Notre Dame forward Jack Cooley, who entered averaging 14.8 points, finished with six points and 14 rebounds.

Zach LeDay had 17 points and Anthony Collins added 12 for South Florida (10-9, 1-6).

Notre Dame used a 20-3 run to go ahead 48-40 with 13 minutes to play. Connaughton's 3-pointer broke a 40-all tie before Knight dunked and Grant connected on a 3 to make it 48-40.

"Sometimes I like to get up there and show [our coaches] I can," Knight said. "It was nice to do that. And the dunk was obviously fun too."

South Florida got within 52-48 midway through the second half on LeDay's basket. Notre Dame responded by scoring the next six points, a three-point play by Grant and a 3-pointer by Atkins.

Victor Rudd gave South Florida a 37-28 lead with a dunk on the first possession of the second half.

"A very good offensive team," South Florida coach Stan Heath said of Notre Dame. "They're very skilled. Know how to play. Once they got momentum going second half, we just couldn't get it back."

Notre Dame outrebounded South Florida 34-17.

Collins had 10 points as South Florida grabbed a 35-28 halftime lead. The point guard's three-point play tied it at 28 4 minutes before intermission.

"I'm thrilled ... that's a great win for us," Brey said. "We've been struggling. I'm very proud of our group because at halftime, we could have thought, 'Maybe not today down here in Tampa.' "

Toarlyn Fitzpatrick hit a long-range jumper, JaVontae Hawkins had a tip-in and Rudd made a jumper that put the Bulls up 35-28 in the final minute of the half.

Notre Dame took a 24-18 lead on Connaughton's rebound basket with 8 minutes left in the opening half. The Fighting Irish failed to score during the first-half's final 5 minutes.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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A Zach LeDay bucket midway through the second half gets USF within 4, but the Irish pull away for the win in Tampa. (AP)
A Zach LeDay bucket midway through the second half gets USF within 4, but the Irish pull away for the win in Tampa. (AP)
Scoreboard
Notre Dame #24 (16-4) «284573
South Florida (10-9)353065
ND:J. Grant 18 Pts
ND:J. Cooley 14 Reb
ND:J. Grant 8 Ast
SFLA:Z. LeDay 17 Pts
SFLA:T. Fitzpatrick 4 Reb
SFLA:A. Collins 8 Ast

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PLAYERS OF THE GAME
Notre DameSouth Florida
ND
Jerian Grant
SFLA
Anthony Collins
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
18381228
Notre Dame Fighting Irish
J. Grant, G396-123-338218
E. Atkins, G374-92-214413
P. Connaughton, G-F345-80-032112
T. Knight, F328-101-270417
J. Cooley, F302-42-214146
G. Sherman, C150-12-24022
C. Biedscheid, F92-50-00105
A. Burgett, F40-10-00000
S. Martin, GDid Not Play
M. Broghammer, FDid Not Play
J. Brooks, GDid Not Play
P. Crowley, GDid Not Play
Z. Auguste, FDid Not Play
E. Katenda, FDid Not Play
Totals 27-5010-1132161773
 54.0%90.9% 
South Florida Bulls
A. Collins, G365-81-128212
T. Fitzpatrick, F333-80-04017
V. Rudd, F283-70-01027
M. Brock, G274-72-312211
K. White, F80-20-00000
Z. LeDay, F285-106-640117
J. Hawkins, G184-52-421111
J. Poland, G170-20-00230
J. Omogbehin, C50-00-00010
S. Noriega, GDid Not Play
S. McLendon, GDid Not Play
M. McCloskey, GDid Not Play
M. Abdul-Aleem, GDid Not Play
Totals 24-4911-1414131365
 49.0%78.6% 
ACC
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Duke0-06-023
Miami (Fla.)0-06-015
Louisville0-05-057
N.C. State0-05-055
Virginia0-05-042
Georgia Tech0-03-024
N. Carolina0-03-035
Notre Dame0-05-1114
Syracuse0-04-1144
Pittsburgh0-04-2119
Wake Forest0-04-298
Clemson0-03-2346
Va. Tech0-03-2288
Boston College0-02-353
Florida St.0-02-3140

American Athletic
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Cincinnati0-04-0161
So. Florida0-04-158
Connecticut0-03-15
Tulane0-03-1300
UCF0-03-176
Houston0-02-1127
Temple0-03-262
Tulsa0-03-2258
E. Carolina0-03-3351
SMU0-03-367
Memphis0-01-1156
 
Other games
SYR 71 Final
NOVA 75
OHST 65 Final
PSU 51
LOU 51 Final
GU 53
MD 64 Final
DUKE 84
KSU 67 Final
ISU 73
MINN 44 Final
WISC 45
OKLA 54 Final
KAN 67
NMEX 34 Final
SDSU 55
VAN 59 Final
MIZZ 81
TEMP 71 Final
BUT 83
USC 50 Final
ARIZ 74
UNC 83 Final
NCST 91
WASH 76 Final
ORE 81
SF 52 Final
GONZ 66
MISS 63 Final
AUB 61
FLA 82 Final
MSST 47
LAS 69 Final
VCU 61
BRAD 39 Final
WICH 73