Notre Dame used the three-point and free-throw lines to build a 45-38 lead over Saint Francis (Pa.) at halftime at Purcell Pavilion.
Notre Dame pulled out of a slow start about five minutes into the game by stepping behind the three-point line.
Guard Ben Hansbrough and forward Luke Harangody fueled a 12-0 run with three-pointers. Hansbrough hit one and Harangody two in just more than two minutes to make a 7-point tie a 19-7 with 12:54 to play in the first half.
But when the Red Flash cut the Irish's lead to 33-28 with 5:50 to play, Harangody started going to the free-throw line to stay in control of the game.
The senior forward hit 4 of 5 free throws over a 1:20 span, and Hansbrough added a pair of freebies to give Notre Dame a 39-30 edge.
The Red Flash are putting up a better fight than North Florida did in the Irish's 86-65 season-opening win.
But there isn't a sense that Notre Dame is in any real trouble. Saint Francis is hanging in there, but since the Irish's 12-0 run, the Red Flash have not been any closer than five of the lead.
Harangody is leading the way on offense with 17 points. He is 7 for 9 on free throws and hit 2 of 3 three-pointers. Hansbrough has 9 points, hitting 2 of 4 three-pointers and sinking 3 of 4 free throws.
Cedric Latimer has 12 points for Saint Francis.