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No. 20 Irish bounce back, hold off BYU

NEW YORK – Notre Dame was facing one of the tough situations that come up for college basketball teams in late November: winning a consolation game in a tournament.

The 20th-ranked Fighting Irish responded to its semifinal overtime loss to Saint Joseph’s a night earlier by beating Brigham Young 78-68 in the third-place game of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic at the Barclays Center on Saturday.

“I’m very, very proud of our team because we invested a lot of energy last night and had our hearts broken,” Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said.

Jack Cooley had 19 points and 13 rebounds, Jerian Grant had 19 points – 17 in the second half – and Eric Atkins added 16, including a 3-pointer that gave the Fighting Irish (3-1) a cushion after the Cougars (2-2) had pulled within 63-61 with 4:28 to play.

“Notre Dame did what they do and that’s they made possessions really long, they executed really well, they hit their free throws and they turned us over,” BYU coach Dave Rose said.

Sophomore Tyler Haws had 21 points for the Cougars, 15 in the second half.

“They’re a tough defensive team and they have tough guys who made it tough on us,” Haws said. “We didn’t make much of some opportunities but we have to learn from this and get better.”

Brandon Davies had 12 points for BYU as he was limited for the second straight game because of foul trouble. He played 19 minutes against Notre Dame.

“The early foul trouble definitely made it tough on us because he is such a huge part of what we do and we have to have him on the court,” Haws said of Davies. “He’ll learn from this and he will play smarter the next game.”

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