College men’s basketball: No. 20 Notre Dame beats BYU 78-68

Associated Press

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Notre Dame's Eric Atkins (0) drives past BYU's Cory Calvert (23) during the first half of their NCAA college basketball game in the consolation round of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic at the Barclays Center, Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012, in New York. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)

No. 20 Notre Dame 78,
Brigham Young 68

Jack Cooley had 19 points and 13 rebounds to lead No. 20 Notre Dame to a 78-68 victory over BYU in the third-place game of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic on Saturday night in New York.

“I’m very, very proud of our team because we invested a lot of energy last night and had our hearts broken,” Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said.

“We were moping around a little bit today and rightfully so. By pregame meal at 3 o’clock we had our heads up and I was impressed with our maturity because we were in a battle. We were down seven in the second half and we found a way to get out of here with a win.”

Jerian Grant had 19 points — 17 in the second half — and Eric Atkins added 16, including the 3-pointer that gave the Fighting Irish a cushion after the Cougars had pulled within 63-61 with 4:28 to play.

Atkins hit the 3-pointer 28 seconds later, which was the fifth of six attempts from beyond the arc in the second half after the Irish had gone 1-of-7 from there in the first half.

Atkins stole the ball near midcourt and went in for a layup that made it 68-61.

That was Notre Dame’s last field goal of the game as the Irish went 10-of-12 from the free-throw line the rest of the game.

No. 17 Memphis 65,
Samford 54

Adonis Thomas scored 16 points and Antonio Barton added 14 points and Memphis escaped with a victory over Samford in an opening game of the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament in Tennessee.

Joe Jackson added 13 points, four assists and three steals for Memphis (2-0), which converted all eight of its free throws in the final minute to preserve the victory.

Tim Williams led the Bulldogs (1-3) with 21 points and six rebounds, connecting on 7-of-11 shots. Raijon Kelly added 12 points on 4-of-6 shooting and five assists.

Samford was within 54-51 with 4:21 left, but Memphis’ free throw shooting in the final minute made the difference.

No. 23 San Diego State 60,
Missouri State 44

Jamaal Franklin scored 15 of his 22 points in the first half to put San Diego State up early, and James Rahon hit a key 3-pointer late over host Missouri State.

The Aztecs led 39-30 midway through the second half before the Bears rallied. Missouri State (1-1) pulled within 41-37 on Anthony Downing’s basket with 7:13 left.

But the Aztecs (2-1) pulled away thanks to 3-pointers on consecutive possessions from Rahon and Chase Tapley.

It was the second consecutive win for San Diego State since the Aztecs lost the season opener against Syracuse.

Franklin finished with a double-double with 10 rebounds.

Missouri State was led by Downing’s 16 points. Keith Pickens, who missed the season opener to rest injured knees, had nine points and six rebounds.

The Aztecs, playing the equivalent of an 11 a.m. game West Coast time, appeared groggy much of the first half and then found themselves engaged in a defensive battle usually seen in the Bears’ Missouri Valley Conference.

The Aztecs outrebounded the Bears 52-34.

Missouri State is in a rebuilding mode just two years after winning the MVC regular-season title.

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