SOUTH BEND – For a game that ended up a 33-point blowout, Notre Dame coach Mike Brey wasn’t exactly pleased with his team’s effort Sunday afternoon.
At least not with half of it.
Army hung around until the Irish turned it on in the second half of a 93-60 non-conference victory, their second in three days.
I liked our energy level much better in the second half than in the first half, Brey said. I was disappointed in our juice in the first half.
Jerian Grant had 19 points, eight assists and six steals to lead Notre Dame (4-1). Garrick Sherman added 19 points and seven rebounds as the Irish forced 22 Army turnovers and held the Black Knights (1-4) to 5-of-25 shooting from 3-point range.
Dylan Cox scored 11 points to lead Army, which has lost three straight.
The Black Knights, who came in averaging nearly 34 3-point attempts per game, missed their first nine 3-pointers before Kyle Wilson finally connected with 14:04 to play.
We hugged the arc, big-time, Brey said. You were going to have to take that away, or it could have got really interesting.
Up by just eight at halftime, Sherman scored 10 straight points for the Irish early in the second half to get their lead up to 13.
We just came out with more of a sense of urgency, Sherman said. We started off kind of slow. We coasted a little bit, and coach got on us and fired us up.
Sherman was 7-for-9 from the floor and did most of his work down low where the Black Knights didn’t have an answer for his size and quickness around the basket.
He got some easy buckets, said Army coach Zach Spiker. To his credit, he got the ball where he could score, and he made plays.
Notre Dame’s Eric Atkins was just 2-for-13 from the floor before he connected on a 3 with 14:35 left. His second 3 came near the start of an 18-0 Irish burst that put the game away, pushing their lead to 33 points with 3:40 to play. Army did not hit a field goal for over 6 minutes before ending the run.
We were just sloppy and looked disinterested, Atkins said of the Irish start.