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Irish Fight Past Scarlet Knights

Jan 20, 2013, 12:05 PM EDT

It took some last-second defense and a veteran play by Scott Martin, but the #20 Notre Dame men’s basketball team held on for a 69-66 victory over Rutgers on Saturday night at Purcell Pavilion.

Leading by as many as 13 points in the second half, the Irish fought off the Scarlet Knights’ comeback to improve to 15-3 overall and 3-2 in BIG EAST conference play.

With Notre Dame clinging to a 67-66 lead, Martin took a charge against Eli Carter, essentially sealing the game and helping the Irish snap a two-game losing streak.

Jack Cooley scored 19 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, good for his 11th double-double of the season.

Pat Connaughton knocked down his first four three-pointers of the night and finished with 17 points.

During the first timeout of the first half, Notre Dame presented New Jersey Governor Chris Christie with a check for $10,033 to benefit victims of Hurricane Sandy. Christie is a longtime friend of Irish head coach Mike Brey, and the money was raised through the team’s recent online auction.

The Irish return to the court on Monday night against Georgetown at 7:30 pm ET on ESPN.

Check out for a full recap.

About In The Paint

Welcome to In The Paint, the official blog providing in-depth and exclusive access to the Notre Dame basketball programs. With features, videos, photos, commentaries and news from inside the Purcell Pavilion, we are committed to bringing you coverage of the Fighting Irish unlike any you can find elsewhere.

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