STPETE
ND

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No. 24 Notre Dame beats Saint Peter's 63-55.

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) Notre Dame coach Mike Brey described the 24th-ranked Fighting Irish's 63-55 victory over Saint Peter's on Wednesday night as a ''grind.''

The Irish managed to close out their non-conference schedule with the less than impressive win thanks to V.J. Beachem's 18 points.

The focus now turns to Atlantic Coast Conference play.

''Now we're in a fist fight for two-and-a-half months,'' Brey said.

The Irish head to Pittsburgh on Saturday for a game that could look much different than the slow-paced matchup with Saint Peter's

Steve Vasturia added 11 points for the Irish (11-2), who were looking for a more complete effort, but were outscored in the second half for the fifth straight game.

The Irish finished 22 points below their average of 85.3, but held the Peacocks to 35.7 percent shooting from the field.

''They're hard to play against because you're guarding for 25 seconds on every possession,'' Brey said. ''One of the reasons we scheduled them is, it's very Virginia-like on both ends of the floor.''

In his first start of the season, Nick Griffin led Saint Peters (5-7) with 16 points.

Notre Dame came in leading the nation in turnovers at 8.8 per game, but committed 14 for the second straight game.

''We got the win, even though it was an ugly win,'' said Bonzie Colson, who had 10 points and eight rebounds. ''These games definitely prepare us for the ACC.''

Consecutive 3-pointers by Vasturia and Matt Farrell to open the second half helped Notre Dame extend its lead to 18 points. But the Irish missed their next 10 shots from deep, and Griffin's 3 with 5 minutes left cut the lead to nine.

''I thought our energy for 40 minutes was very good,'' Saint Peter's coach John Dunne said. ''We needed to make more shots, but our effort was really good.''

A flagrant foul on Trevis Wyche with 4:05 left sent Farrell to the free throw line, but he missed the first one, snapping a streak of 31 consecutive makes for the Irish guard dating to last season.

Colson scored in the lane on the ensuing possession, pushing Notre Dame's lead back to 12 with 3:50 to play, and the Irish held on from there.

''I think it will be a reference point game for us,'' Brey said. ''You couldn't get away, it's exhausting playing defense, and it affects your offense, but this was good.''

BIG PICTURE

Saint Peter's: Already with two MAAC games in hand (1-1), the Peacocks closed out their non-conference slate against Notre Dame. Saint Peter's was picked to finish fourth in the conference.

Notre Dame: After finishing the first semester with a collective 3.1 GPA, the Irish have no school requirements for the next three weeks and can focus solely on basketball as they begin their ACC schedule.

STREAK BUSTERS

Before Farrell's free throw shooting streak ended, the biggest surprise of the first half came with 54 seconds left when Notre Dame guard Rex Pflueger committed his first turnover of the season, ending a run of 217 minutes without a miscue.

''We got all the streaks out before Saturday,'' Brey said, then joked, ''I should probably take Pflueger's scholarship, he threw two away.''

POLL IMPLICATIONS

The Irish moved up one spot to No. 24 on Monday after a 15-point home win over Colgate last week. They'll face an early ACC test next week when they host No. 6 Louisville on Jan. 4.

UP NEXT

Saint Peter's: The Peacocks return home for a MAAC matchup against league-leading Monmouth.

Notre Dame: The Irish kick off ACC play Saturday with their first true road game of the season at Pittsburgh.

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Key Players
Min. Per Game
Pts. Per Game
Ast. Per Game
Reb. Per Game
Field Goal %
Three Point %
Free Throw %
+ 1 Chazz Patterson made 2nd of 2 free throws 17.0
+ 1 Chazz Patterson made 1st of 2 free throws 17.0
  Shooting foul on John Mooney 17.0
  Offensive foul turnover on Matt Ryan 30.0
  30-second timeout called 34.0
+ 3 Nick Griffin made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Trevis Wyche 34.0
  Defensive rebound by Quadir Welton 44.0
  Temple Gibbs missed 2nd of 2 free throws 44.0
+ 1 Temple Gibbs made 1st of 2 free throws 44.0
  Personal foul on Chazz Patterson 44.0
  Defensive rebound by V.J. Beachem 57.0
Team Stats
Points 55 63
Field Goals 20-56 (35.7%) 24-49 (49.0%)
3-Pointers 7-24 (29.2%) 6-19 (31.6%)
Free Throws 8-11 (72.7%) 9-13 (69.2%)
Total Rebounds 28 37
Offensive 4 3
Defensive 21 30
Team 3 4
Assists 10 15
Steals 8 5
Blocks 2 6
Turnovers 7 14
Fouls 12 12
Technicals 0 0
16 PTS, 2 REB
18 PTS, 5 REB, 3 AST
12T
away team logo St. Peter's 5-7 233255
home team logo 24 Notre Dame 11-2 333063
Team Stats
away team logo St. Peter's 5-7 62.9 PPG 35.7 RPG 9.4 APG
home team logo 24 Notre Dame 11-2 68.7 PPG 39 RPG 12.8 APG
Key Players
00
N. Griffin G PPG RPG APG FG%
00
V. Beachem F PPG RPG APG FG%
Top Scorers
N. Griffin G 16 PTS 2 REB 0 AST
V. Beachem F 18 PTS 5 REB 3 AST
35.7 FG% 49.0
29.2 3PT FG% 31.6
72.7 FT% 69.2
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
N. Griffin 16 2 0 5/9 4/8 2/2 0 28 0 1 1 1 1
N. Enechionyia 8 0 0 3/5 2/4 0/0 2 16 0 0 1 0 0
Q. Welton 5 8 4 2/11 0/0 1/4 1 33 1 1 0 0 8
T. Wyche 4 1 4 1/8 0/3 2/2 3 30 1 0 1 0 1
C. Patterson 2 4 1 0/2 0/1 2/2 2 24 2 0 1 1 3
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
N. Griffin 16 2 0 5/9 4/8 2/2 0 28 0 1 1 1 1
N. Enechionyia 8 0 0 3/5 2/4 0/0 2 16 0 0 1 0 0
Q. Welton 5 8 4 2/11 0/0 1/4 1 33 1 1 0 0 8
T. Wyche 4 1 4 1/8 0/3 2/2 3 30 1 0 1 0 1
C. Patterson 2 4 1 0/2 0/1 2/2 2 24 2 0 1 1 3
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
A. Portley 9 4 0 4/9 1/4 0/0 1 27 2 0 2 0 4
Q. Taylor 7 3 1 3/6 0/1 1/1 0 18 1 0 0 1 2
C. Baker 2 3 0 1/3 0/2 0/0 1 10 1 0 1 1 2
S. Idowu 2 0 0 1/2 0/1 0/0 1 7 0 0 0 0 0
M. Ndiaye 0 0 0 0/1 0/0 0/0 1 7 0 0 0 0 0
C. Jones - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. William - - - - - - - - - - - - -
S. Barksdale - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Turner - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 55 25 10 20/56 7/24 8/11 12 200 8 2 7 4 21
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
V. Beachem 18 5 3 6/15 2/7 4/5 2 34 1 1 1 1 4
S. Vasturia 11 4 3 4/6 2/4 1/2 0 36 0 0 1 0 4
B. Colson 10 8 2 5/11 0/1 0/0 1 32 2 2 2 1 7
M. Farrell 6 4 3 2/5 1/3 1/2 3 31 0 0 4 0 4
M. Geben 4 7 1 2/3 0/0 0/0 1 19 0 2 1 1 6
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
V. Beachem 18 5 3 6/15 2/7 4/5 2 34 1 1 1 1 4
S. Vasturia 11 4 3 4/6 2/4 1/2 0 36 0 0 1 0 4
B. Colson 10 8 2 5/11 0/1 0/0 1 32 2 2 2 1 7
M. Farrell 6 4 3 2/5 1/3 1/2 3 31 0 0 4 0 4
M. Geben 4 7 1 2/3 0/0 0/0 1 19 0 2 1 1 6
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
R. Pflueger 6 1 1 3/5 0/1 0/0 0 18 1 0 2 0 1
T. Gibbs 5 2 2 1/2 0/1 3/4 1 12 1 1 1 0 2
M. Ryan 3 1 0 1/2 1/2 0/0 3 7 0 0 2 0 1
A. Torres 0 1 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 9 0 0 0 0 1
E. Burns 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
J. Mooney 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0
M. Gregory - - - - - - - - - - - - -
N. Djogo - - - - - - - - - - - - -
P. Mazza - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 63 33 15 24/49 6/19 9/13 12 200 5 6 14 3 30