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More luck for Irish, who upend No. 8 Kentucky
South Bend, IN (Sports Network) - Eric Atkins scored 16 points to lead four Notre Dame players in double figures, as the Fighting Irish upended No. 8 Kentucky, 64-50, on Thursday night as part of the Big East/SEC Challenge.
Jerian Grant and Jack Cooley netted 13 points apiece and Cameron Biedscheid added 10 points off the bench for Notre Dame (7-1), which has won 41 of its last 42 games at home.
Julius Mays paced Kentucky (4-2) with 16 points, while Nerlens Noel chipped in 10 points and seven rebounds for the Wildcats, who had won three straight since a Nov. 13 loss to Duke.
Kentucky, playing its first true road game of the season, held a 12-6 edge after a Mays 3-pointer five minutes into the contest, but Notre Dame countered with an 11-2 surge to take a three-point lead at the midpoint of the first half.
An Atkins jumper with just over three minutes remaining before intermission pressed the edge to 10, and after a Noel tip-in, Grant buried a triple to make it 34-23 in favor of Notre Dame with 1:48 left in the half.
Jarrod Polson's layup in the lane just before the halftime buzzer trimmed Kentucky's deficit to 36-25 at the break, but the Irish quickly distanced themselves over the final 20 minutes.
Scott Martin scored eight of Notre Dame's first nine points in the second half, including a step-back three from the top of the key to press the Irish lead to 45-31 just under five minutes into the period.
Kentucky countered with four straight points to cut the margin to 10, but Notre Dame ripped off the next 10, highlighted by 3-pointers from Biedscheid and Grant to make it a 55-35 margin just before the midpoint of the second half.
The lead never dipped below double-digits the rest of the way, and the Irish held the Wildcats scoreless over the final 2:35 to complete the victory.
The Wildcats had won 11 of the last 12 meetings ... Notre Dame improved to 46-0 at home in the month of November under coach Mike Brey ... The Irish have won 12 straight in South Bend ... Martin finished with eight points for the Irish.
11/29 21:33:14 ET
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