SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Colin Falls scored all of his 19 points in the first half, leading Notre Dame to an 18-point halftime lead Tuesday night as the Fighting Irish (No. 23 ESPN/USA Today) rebounded from a heartbreaking loss at DePaul two weeks ago to beat the Blue Demons 78-54.
The Irish (21-6, 9-5 Big East), who squandered a one-point lead at DePaul on Feb. 8 in the final 20 seconds with a costly turnover, left nothing to chance on Tuesday. They jumped to an 8-1 lead to start the game and continued to build on it for much of the game. They led 40-22 at halftime and extended the lead to 64-39 midway through the second half on a 3-pointer by Rob Kurz.DePaul (16-12, 7-7) shot just 34 percent, including two air balls, and was 2-of-19 from 3-point range.The Irish were 9-of-18 on 3s, led by Falls -- who had the ball stolen in the loss at DePaul -- with four 3-pointers.Notre Dame held Wilson Chandler, who had a season-high 25 points and 14 rebounds in the game at DePaul -- and a game-saving shot block at the buzzer -- to 4-of-13 shooting for nine points and nine rebounds. Sammy Mejia led DePaul with 17 points and Draelon Burns scored 11.Kurz was 5-of-6 from the field, including making all three 3s he shot, to finish with 15 points. Tory Jackson scored 13 points, including three baskets in a row for the Irish after the Blue Demons cut the lead to 12 points five minutes into the second half. Jackson also led the Irish in rebounding with nine.Luke Harangody and Russell Carter added 13 points each as Notre Dame shoot 49 percent.The victory was the 17th straight home win this season for Notre Dame, the first time in school history the Irish have won 17 at home in a season. DePaul fell to 3-5 on the road.