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Grant's 21 lead Irish to win over St. John's

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Jerian Grant had 21 points and eight assists, Eric Atkins added 15 points and No. 24 Notre Dame held St. John's to 18 percent shooting in the second half in a 66-40 victory Tuesday night.

The Fighting Irish (23-7, 11-6 Big East) ended a three-game losing streak to the Red Storm (16-13, 8-9), who lost for the fifth time in six games. Notre Dame's Cameron Biedscheid and Sir'Dominic Pointer of the Red Storm got in a skirmish with 1:46 left in the game. Both players were given technicals and ejected.

Jack Cooley, who only played 15 minutes was held scoreless Saturday against Marquette because of an illness, went 0 for 2 in the first half against St. John's before scoring 12 points in the second half. He had 13 rebounds in his final home game.

JaKarr Sampson had 12 points and Phil Greene added 10 for the Red Storm, who finished with 10 blocked shots.

St. John's athleticism gave the Irish problems early as the Red Storm outscored the Irish 14-4 in the paint in the first half and had six blocked shots as they took a seven-point lead late in the first half. But the Irish shot their way out of it, making 68 percent of their shots in the second half after shooting 28 percent in the first half.

After the Red Storm took a 28-24 lead on a rebound basket by Jamal Branch, Pat Connaughton hit a jumper then made two free throws moments later to ignite an 11-2 run. Tom Knight muscled up over two Red Storm defenders and Connaughton scored again inside before Grant and Atkins capped the run with 3-pointers to give the Irish a 38-30 lead.

Cooley scored twice inside, the second turned into a three-point play when he was fouled. Grant then hit a 17-foot jumper and a 3-pointer to give the Irish a 48-34 lead.

The Irish continued to pull away, extending the lead to 66-38 on two 3-pointers by Grant.

Notre Dame, which was 1 of 9 from 3-point range in a 67-63 loss to the Red Storm in January, finished 8 of 17.

Notre Dame has won eight straight final home games.

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