Notre Dame tops BYU in CVC Classic

(Photo by BYU Photo/Jonathan Hardy)

BYU vs. Notre Dame box score

Postgame notes and quotes

PROVO, Utah – No. 20 Notre Dame rallied in the second half to defeat BYU, 78-68, in the consolation game of the Acura Coaches vs. Cancer Classic on Saturday night in Brooklyn, N.Y. 

Tyler Haws played nearly every minute of the game and led the Cougars in scoring for the second night in a row, finishing with 21 points, eight rebounds and four assists. Despite leading by seven in the second half, BYU never really found a rhythm on offense, shooting 38 percent from the field and 21 percent from behind the arc.

Foul trouble plagued the Cougars' big men throughout the game, limiting Brandon Davies to 18 minutes on the night. Davies submitted 12 points, five rebounds and three assists in his limited action as BYU fell to 2-2 on the season.

Davies picked up his second foul less than five minutes into the game and was replaced by freshman Ian Harward. Harward, who didn't play the night before against Florida State, came off the bench before Nate Austin, because Austin had suffered a mild ankle injury in Friday night's loss. The 6-foot-11 Harward took advantage of his opportunity and scored on an 8-foot hook shot on his first attempt. Seconds later, Haws followed with a hanging floater off the glass to give BYU an 11-8 lead with 13:52 to play in the first.

Notre Dame (3-1) took the lead again a couple minutes later with a pair of free throws from Jack Cooley. Cooley had a strong first half, recording a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds in 18 minutes.

Eight minutes into the game, Harward made a jumper from the right elbow to get the Cougars within one again. On the next possession, Brock Zylstra hit his second 3-pointer of the night to tie the game at 16.

After Harward picked up his third foul of the game with 7:37 to play in the first, Austin entered the game and remained on the floor for the remainder of the half. Austin finished the night with four points and two rebounds, playing limited minutes with a sore ankle.

Sophomore forward Josh Sharp chipped in seven points and a career-high 10 rebounds in 38 minutes. Sharp completed an old-fashioned three-point play with 7:27 left in the first period that tied the game at 22. Sharp finished the game with seven of BYU's 16 offensive rebounds.

With 2:23 to go before the half, Zylstra floated a shot over the reach of two Irish defenders that bounced high off the rim before finally dropping through to tie the game at 28. Another Zylstra layup and a pair of free throws by Sharp put BYU up 32-31 at the break.

It didn't take long for Notre Dame to take the lead in the second half, as the Irish scored five points in the opening minute. BYU responded however, and Sharp tied the game at 38 after he retrieved his fourth offensive rebound of the night.

Davies played well on the offensive end to start the second period, establishing position low on the left block before moving to the middle for a mini hook shot. The bucket was part of a 13-2 run by BYU that gave the Cougars their largest lead of the night at 47-40 with 14:45 to play.

Notre Dame switched to a zone defense and went on a 10-0 run to take a 52-49 lead with a 3-pointer from Scott Martin. With Davies confined to the bench with four fouls, Notre Dame extended its lead to seven at 58-51 with a pair of free throws from Cooley. Haws answered for the Cougars by hitting a turn-around jumper from the right elbow, followed by a tip-in by Austin.

Haws kept the Cougars close while Davies was on the bench, making four mid-range jumpers in a five-minute span to pull the Irish out of their zone defense and get the Cougars' back within two points at 63-61 with 4:27 to play. Eric Atkins answered quickly for Notre Dame, though, scoring five straight points to push the lead back to seven at 68-61.

Trailing by nine with just under a minute remaining, Craig Cusick got the friendly roll on a 3-pointer from the left wing. After two made free throws by Notre Dame, Haws hit another mid-range jumper from the right elbow to keep BYU within six. It was too little, too late for the Cougars, however, as the Irish hit 10 of 12 free throws to close the game and keep their lead safe.

BYU hosts UTSA at the Marriott Center in Provo on Wednesday. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. MST.

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