Notre Dame outscored DePaul 9-1 in overtime to come away with a hard-fought 79-71 victory at Allstate Arena in Rosemont, IL Saturday afternoon. The Irish blew a nine-point halftime lead as DePaul controlled much of the second half before forcing the extra session where they dominated.
Jack Cooley once again led the way with 26 points and 16 rebounds. Eric Atkins scored 16 points, dished out five assists, and collected four steals. Jerian Grant chipped in 10 points to give Notre Dame three players in double-figures.
Notre Dame found themselves in a dogfight from the outset. The Blue Demons raced out to a 10-3 lead within the first five minutes before the Fighting Irish were able to get going offensively. ND battled back going on a 14-6 run to take the lead at 17-16. They would hold the lead for the next 20 minutes of game action eventually taking a 39-30 lead into halftime.
The second half saw Notre Dame increase the lead up to 10, but then DePaul began their comeback. The Blue Demons would outscore the Irish 20-9 over the next nine minutes to retake the lead 56-55 on a pair of Worrel Clahar free throws with 9:25 left. From there it was a back-and-forth affair with neither team going up by more than two.
Both teams had chances to win it in regulation but Brandon Young missed a three with 41 seconds to go and Jerian Grant misfired on a long three attempt with five seconds to play to force overtime.
In the extra frame, Notre Dame dominated as DePaul missed all four of their shot attempts and three of their four free throw attempts. Eric Atkins scored seven of his 16 to let the Irish coast down the stretch.
Notre Dame has now won four of their last five games to improve to 18-4 overall and 6-3 in the Big East. They'll be back in action Monday night with a huge road trip to #6 Syracuse.