Jan 31, 2013, 10:25 AM EDT
During the early part of the Irish season, freshman Cam Biedscheid scored in double digits four times and looked poised to make a big impact off the bench during BIG EAST play.
But through the first part of the conference schedule, the St. Louis native struggled to find his rhythm, going a combined 3-for-23 from the field in the past four games.
On Wednesday night, Biedscheid broke through in a big way. The freshman scored a career-high 18 points, sparking the offense with 15 in the second half and helping lift Notre Dame to a 65-60 win over Villanova at Purcell Pavilion.
On a night where Eric Atkins and Pat Connaughton (the team’s third- and fourth-leading scorers) couldn’t quite find their shooting stroke, Biedscheid knocked down five three-pointers and provided the Irish with a much-needed boost offensively.
Jack Cooley (17 points, 16 rebounds) and Jerian Grant (12 points, 10 assists) also had big games in front of the home crowd. Cooley’s performance was good for the 13th double-double of the season and 26th of his career. It was Grant’s second of the 2012-13 campaign and third during his time at Notre Dame.
After scoring 17 points on Saturday at USF, Tom Knight once again stepped up in his new starting role. Knight notched 10 points, hit a couple of key mid-range jumpers and made a monster block on Villanova forward Mouphtaou Yarou. The senior forward is quickly becoming a fan favorite and putting the tiny New England town of Dixfield, Maine on the map.
Notre Dame is now 17-4 overall and 5-3 in BIG EAST play. It’s a big weekend ahead for the Irish, as they embark on their first of two swing trips. They will take on DePaul on Saturday (2 pm ET on ESPN2), before heading to Syracuse for a Big Monday showdown against the #6 Orange (7 pm ET on ESPN).
Upon returning to South Bend, there will be a few days to prepare for the Feb. 9 showdown against #12 Louisville, which is sure to be an exciting night with ESPN’s College GameDay coming to town.
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