No. 24 Notre Dame beats South Florida 73-65
By MARK DIDTLER
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) 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."
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."
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.
Updated January 26, 2013
We check in for our weekly update from Bill Belichick and get his take on the Pats win over the Texans on the road, the benching of Stevan Ridley, and Antonio Smith's thinly veiled Spygate comments after the Texans lost.
Patriots’ defensive end, Rob Ninkovich, joins Mut and Merloni on a Patriots Monday after the team’s victory in Houston. Rob addresses the postgame comments of Texans’ defensive lineman Antonio Smith and the defense struggling against the run.
Tom Brady joined the show fresh off the teams 9th win of the season in Houston. He dismissed Antonio Smith's spying allegations and told the guys he has already moved on.
Eagle checks in to give Grande and Max a perspective on the Brooklyn Nets after they acquired Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett via trade earlier this summer. He breaks down what he thinks the future holds for the Nets after completing this blockbuster deal.
Sean Grande and Cedric Maxwell take some time and look back at the history between the Celtics and the Lakers, specifically the legendary rivalry between Magic and Bird. Legendary broadcaster, Ian Eagle, checks in to give the Brooklyn perspective as KG and Paul Pierce settle into their new home. Sean and Max also reveal the behind the scenes details surrounding Max’s famous “I got the ball” moment.
In the first hour of this edition of the Celtics Summer Cooler, Grande and Max analyze the trade that sent Fab Melo out of Boston. Also in this hour, Max sets the story straight about his history with Larry Bird.
Rob Bradford and Alex Speier talk with Jon Lester about contract negotiations, losing a teammate like Jacoby Ellsbury, the World Series run, and looking ahead to 2014.
Rob Bradford and Alex Speier are back witht he Hot Stove Show. They talk about Jacoby Ellsbury signing with the New York Yankees, the Red Sox signings of AJ Pierzynski and Edward Mujica, and wrap it up with Red Sox starting pitcher Jon Lester, who talks about the World Series run, losing a teammate like Ellsbury and looking towards 2014.
The Red Sox new catcher, A.J. Pierzynski, joined the show to discuss his reputation as the most hated man in baseball. He also said that he turned down multi-year deals to come and win in Boston.
Shawn Thornton joined the show and discussed the teams long layoff leading into their game tomorrow night in Montreal. He told the guys that he anticipates fighting being a part of hockey for years to come.
Lucic joins Danny Picard to talk some hockey after the team’s overtime win against the Carolina Hurricanes. Danny asks Lucic about David Krejci’s game winner yesterday and hockey outsiders that are trying to change the game.
Shawn Thornton joined the show fresh off his big night at MSG and talked about his recent goal scoring prowess. Shawn said that no matter who his line mates are he is always going to be a fourth liner.
Kirk Minihane answered any and all questions from the listeners and John and Gerry.
The New York Post's Joel Sherman joined the show with his thoughts on jacoby Ellsbury's signing with the Yankees. He said that if it were up to him he would have given the money to Robinson Cano over Ellsbury.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane. They discussed how Ron Burgundy has officially jumped the shark and played sound of him on Dan Patrick.
Peter King joins Mut and Merloni to go across the NFL and address the latest news. He discusses Kubiak's firing, Tomlin's fine, and Dennard's possible suspension.
Brick makes his weekly appearance on Mut and Merloni and discusses the Bruins loss to Montreal and the hit on Johnny Boychuck.
Michael Fabiano, fantasy expert and Yankees fan, gives his opinion on the Cano signing, discusses Julian Edelman's rising fantasy value, and actually suggests starting Ryan Fitzpatrick
We check in with Herm Edwards on the Pats, Stevan Ridley, and a great many things around the NFL.
We stir up a pot of crap when we debate the world cup and the popularity of soccer... pro callers, con-callers, plus Jack Edwards!
We tackle four topics at 4PM.
Ryder talks with WEEI.com's Chris Price about the Patriots upcoming game with the Cleveland Browns, and Stevan Ridley's status on the team.
Alex joins the show and gives his thoughts on the Jacoby Ellsbury deal, and what prospects the Red Sox have to fill the hole left in the lineup, or trade pieces to get a player who can fill the void.
John talks to Rob and gets his thoughts on the Yankees signing Jacoby Ellsbury, the Red Sox signing AJ Pierzynski, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia signing with Miami.
The Red Sox new catcher, A.J. Pierzynski, joined the show to discuss his reputation as the most hated man in baseball. He also said that he turned down multi-year deals to come and win in Boston.More from this show
Kirk Minihane answered any and all questions from the listeners and John and Gerry.More from this show
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane. Today the guys discussed the first ever dog custody battle in New York City.More from this show