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Notre Dame

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Associated Press
Notre Dame guard Pat Connaughton puts in a dunk during the first half Monday against Monmouth. Connaughton also hit three three-pointers and scored 13 points.

Transfer scores 22 to lead Notre Dame

– Garrick Sherman had a message for his teammates and coaches after putting up some impressive numbers in No. 20 Notre Dame’s 84-57 victory over Monmouth on Monday night.

As he came off the court with the game well in hand, Sherman said the same thing to everyone he high-fived: “It’s about time.”

He finished with a career-high 22 points and seven rebounds.

The Michigan State transfer said he was “embarrassed” by his three-point performance Saturday in the season opener against Evansville and was determined to come out more aggressive against the New Jersey team.

“I think I was a little too passive in the first game, trying to find my role,” the 6-foot-10 senior forward said. “I owe it to Coach (Mike) Brey, and I owe it to this program to start playing better.”

Jack Cooley added 16 points for the Irish (2-0), and Pat Connaughton had 13.

The Hawks (1-1) scored the game’s first four points, but Cooley’s free throw 4 minutes into the game put the Irish ahead for good. Notre Dame stretched its lead to 17 points with 1:31 to go in the first half, before Monmouth’s Andrew Nicholas cut the deficit to 12 with a three-pointer at the buzzer.

Dion Nesmith led Monmouth with 13 points.

The Hawks tried to establish themselves with a strong physical presence early, notching six fouls in the first 4:14 of the game. But Notre Dame forward Scott Martin said they just didn’t have the size to keep that style of play going for long.

“They were trying to throw their weight around,” Martin said. “Unfortunately for them, we were a little bigger and stronger than them.”

Monmouth was outscored 40-20 in the paint and hit only 2 of 11 from three-point range.

The Irish were 6 of 21 on three-pointers, with Connaughton hitting three.