SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — T.J. Gibbs led five Notre Dame players in double figures with 17 points and John Mooney had his seventh straight double-double in a 82-56 rout of visiting Alabama A&M on Sunday.
Mooney’s 10th double-double of the season – 16 points and 17 rebounds --- came in the last non-conference game for Mike Brey’s Fighting Irish (9-4). Reserve Dane Goodwin had 12 points while Prentiss Hubb and Juwan Durham each had 11 points for Notre Dame.
Gerron Scissum had 15 points, Cameron Alford 14 and Garrett Hicks 11 for Dylan Howard’s Bulldogs (3-8).
The Irish, who dropped a 62-60 decision to Indiana in Indianapolis the Saturday before Christmas, never trailed in taking a 36-18 halftime lead.
Notre Dame built the lead with strong rebounding – a 30-21 advantage with Mooney, second in the nation at 13.1 rebounds per game, grabbing 11 – and 43% shooting (15 of 35). The biggest lead of the first half, 29-10 with 4:39 to go, was forged mostly on a 19-4 run over 8:27.
The Irish found their long-distance shooting eyes early in the second half, with Hubb’s 3-pointer making it 51-29 with 13:36 remaining.
Durham went down near the Alabama A&M bench with 7:56 remaining and went to the locker room after a 3-pointer by Nate Laszewski made it 68-44. The 6-foot-11 junior returned to the bench with ice on his left knee and finished the day with five rebounds and five blocks.
The biggest lead was 30 points on several occasions for Notre Dame, which shot 48% including 39% (13 of 33) from beyond the 3-point line. Alabama A&M shot 30% (23 of 76).
Alabama A&M: Howard played his high school basketball at Fort Wayne (Ind.). ... Harding, used 11 players in the first half but the Bulldogs couldn’t overcome their poor 7-of-36 shooting (19%). A&M, which never led, started 0 for 6 in the first 4:15 and ended the first half 0 of 6 in the last 3:18.
Notre Dame: The Irish entered the game shooting 42% from the field (277th nationally), including 33% (174th) from beyond the 3-point line. Those numbers will have to improve if the Irish, who finished tied for last in the Atlantic Coast Conference last season, hope to overcome their 0-2 start in the league.
Alabama A&M: The Bulldogs open Southwestern Athletic Conference play Saturday at Grambling State and Monday at Jackson State.
Notre Dame: The Irish return to the ACC with two straight road games – Saturday at 1-1 Syracuse and Jan. 8 at 1-1 NC State.
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