for this game

Notre Dame downs WVU, sets school record

Feb 23, 2012 - 4:03 AM South Bend, IN (Sports Network) - Jerian Grant scored 20 points and the 20th- ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish set a school record for most consecutive Big East wins with a 71-44 victory over the West Virginia Mountaineers.

Scott Martin added 15 points and six rebounds for the Irish (20-8, 12-3 Big East), who have won nine straight conference games. Jack Cooley and Eric Atkins donated 13 points apiece.

"It means this team is really special," Grant said about the streak. "That's something coming into the game a lot of us knew about, so we definitely wanted to get that record and to get it definitely means a lot for this team."

Notre Dame shot 61.4 percent from the field and outscored West Virginia by a 41-16 margin in the second half.

Kevin Jones ended with 15 points and eight boards for the Mountaineers (17-11, 7-8), who have lost six of eight. Darryl Bryant tallied 10 points.

Jones' jumper and two Bryant free throws gave the Mountaineers a 17-11 lead with 11 minutes remaining in the first half.

But Alex Dragicevich and Grant bookended an 8-2 Notre Dame flurry with three- pointers, making it a 19-19 contest. The remainder of the frame was tight and the Irish took a 30-28 edge into the break.

Notre Dame took control early in the second half, starting the frame on a 28-7 run. Grant tallied 12 points during the surge to help give the home team a 58-35 margin with 10 minutes to play.

"They came out harder than us. They made shots. They made all the necessary plays to win," Jones said. "At the end of the day we did not make shots. We took quick shots. We were not able to rebound the way we wanted to or expected to, and that is why we lost."

Game Notes

The Irish own a 27-12 edge over WVU in the all-time series. When it comes to games played in South Bend, Notre Dame has taken all but two of 19 encounters versus the Mountaineers. The last Mountaineer win at Notre Dame was a 57-55 decision on January 17, 1987...The Irish are 12-3 in Big East play. That is the program's best record through 15 games of Big East play...Notre Dame has reached the 20-win plateau for the sixth straight season. The last time the Irish put together six-straight 20-win seasons was from 1983-89 under head coach Digger Phelps...Cooley also had six rebounds, but his double-double streak ended at four...The Irish improved to 15-1 at home this season...Notre Dame's Pat Connaughton had zero points after scoring 21 against Villanova on Saturday...West Virginia shot just 31.5 percent from the field.