No. 19 Gonzaga beats Notre Dame 73-53

By Carey J. Williams

Associated Press

Published: Wednesday, Nov. 30 2011 11:45 p.m. MST

SPOKANE, Wash. — Robert Sacre scored 15 points to lead No. 19 Gonzaga to a 73-53 victory over Notre Dame on Wednesday night.

David Stockton scored 15 points, including three 3-pointers, Kevin Pangos added 12 and Elias Harris had 11 points and 15 rebounds for Gonzaga (5-0). Nine players scored for the Bulldogs, who shot 45.9 percent from the field and made six of 15 3-point attempts.

Jerian Grant scored 16 points for Notre Dame (5-3) and Pat Connaughton added 11. The Irish made 20 of 52 shots, were forced into 17 turnovers and were outrebounded 40-32.

Gonzaga led by as many as 19 points in the first half but Notre Dame closed within 13 at halftime and cut it to 43-34 early in the second half. Tom Knight and Grant scored four points apiece during the Irish's 8-2 run.

Stockton and Pangos hit 3-pointers during a 9-2 Gonzaga run that restored the lead to 52-36 with 11:12 left.

Gonzaga made 5 of 6 3-point attempts in the second half to put the game away.

In its second game after the loss of star forward Tim Abromaitis, Notre Dame was outmatched on the front line. The senior tore his ACL in his right knee at a practice on Nov. 25 and is out for the season. Gonzaga scored 38 points in the paint, compared to just 28 for Notre Dame.

Notre Dame struggled early, making 1 of its first 8 shots and trailed 12-3. Gonzaga extended its lead to 25-8 after a 13-5 run, with baskets from five players. Notre Dame fell behind 33-14 with 2:54 remaining but outscored Gonzaga 8-2 the rest of the half to make it 35-22.

Gonzaga forced 13 first-half turnovers which resulted in 17 points. Notre Dame finished the half making 7 of 24 shots, including just 2 of 9 from behind the arc.

Abromaitis was a big part of the Notre Dame's 83-79 victory over Gonzaga last season. He scored 21 points, including four 3-pointers, and grabbed eight rebounds.

Last season was the inaugural matchup for these programs and this was the final game in the home-and-home series.

Gonzaga improved to 92-6 in the McCarthey Athletic Center.

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