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Notre Dame turns 13-0 start into rout of Virginia


J.R. Konieczny and Carey Booth scored 17 points each to boost Notre Dame to a 76-54 Atlantic Coast Conference victory over Virginia on Saturday in South Bend, Ind.

Markus Burton added 15 points and eight assists as Notre Dame (6-7, 1-1 ACC) went wire-to-wire to beat Virginia for just the fourth time in 21 meetings.

With Konieczny hitting three 3-pointers in the first 2:19, the Fighting Irish sprinted to a 13-0 lead and the Cavaliers never recovered.

Booth also had nine rebounds and Konieczny added eight boards to lead the Fighting Irish to a 40-27 edge on the glass.

Reece Beekman had 15 points and four assists and Ryan Dunn added 13 points to pace Virginia (10-3, 1-1), which made 38.2 percent of its shots from the floor and only 2 of 11 (18.2 percent) from beyond the arc.

Notre Dame entered shooting 26.7 percent from 3-point range, the worst among power conference schools.

But in the first half, the Fighting Irish made 7 of 10 shots from distance and 69.6 percent of its tries overall against the Cavaliers’ vaunted defense, which came in ranked No. 2 in Division I in scoring defense (54.3 points per game).

Notre Dame cooled off in the second half but still shot 51.0 percent from the floor and 11 of 23 (47.8 percent) from the arc.

In the opening minutes, Konieczny ended Notre Dame’s first three possessions with 3-pointers, including one as he leaped to catch a pass and flung the ball immediately, banking the shot off the glass to beat the shot-clock buzzer.

With Virginia missing its first seven shots and Burton adding a 3-pointer 4:04 into the game, Notre Dame had a 13-0 lead.

Late in the half, Burton sliced through a pair of defenders for a driving layup and followed with a 3-pointer to stretch the Fighting Irish’s lead to 19 points on their way to a 41-24 edge at the half.

The Cavaliers twice cut the deficit to 10 in the second half, including at the start of the period when they scored the first seven points, as Dunn had two buckets to sandwich a 3-pointer by Andrew Rohde. But the Fighting Irish had all the answers.

Midway through the half, Notre Dame wrapped it up with a 15-2 run fueled by a pair of 3-pointers by Booth, who also had a layup during the spree which stretched the lead to 63-40 with 8:26 left.

Reserve Tony Sanders Jr. hit a 3-pointer to max out Notre Dame’s lead at 76-48 with 1:43 left.

–Field Level Media

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