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Gibbs scores 21 points, Notre Dame cruises through Panthers 80-72

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T.J. Gibbs scored 21 points and John Mooney had his 18th double-double of the season as Notre Dame beat Pittsburgh 80-72 on Wednesday night.

Mooney scored 17 points with 10 rebounds. Juwan Durham and Nate Laszewski each had 11 points for coach the Fighting Irish (14-8, 5-6 Atlantic Coast Conference). Gibbs was 8-of-13 shooting, including 5-of-8 from the 3-point line, as the Irish shot 46% and outrebounded the Panthers 40-34. Notre Dame led by as much as 19 points late in the second half.

Justin Champagnie had 20 points, Xavier Johnson 17 and Trey McGowens 15 for the Panthers (14-9, 5-7).

Prentiss Hubb’s second 3-pointer of the first half, with one second remaining, gave Notre Dame a 42-33 halftime lead. Gibbs had 11 points, Laszewski contributed nine off the bench and Mooney had eight for the Irish, who shot 50% (14 of 28) from the floor despite enduring a 4:20 drought.

The Irish built the lead to 11 early in the second half. After Pitt drew within 49-44, the Irish went on a 9-0 run over 1:52 with a three-point play by Hubb, two free throws by Goodwin, a dunk by Laszewski and a basket by Goodwin to make it 58-44.

Champagnie ended a 3:13 scoring drought for Pitt, but the Irish led 60-46. After Mooney completed his double-double with his 10th rebound, a Gibbs 3-pointer from the corner gave the Irish a 65-48 lead.

BIG PICTURE

Pittsburgh: The Panthers were looking for their second road victory in the ACC but came up empty. After winning at North Carolina 73-65 in early January, Pitt has now dropped road contests at Miami, Syracuse, Duke and Notre Dame. A pair of lengthy scoring droughts – 4:21 in the first half and 3:13 in the second – doomed the Panthers.

Notre Dame: The Irish, who entered the game averaging just 9.7 turnovers a game, committed eight in the first half but cleaned things up in the second half, making just four more and finishing with 12. It was the fifth game of 80 or more points for Mike Brey’s Irish, who entered the game averaging 78.2 points per game in the ACC, second only to Duke.

UP NEXT

Pittsburgh: Saturday versus Georgia Tech in the first of two straight home games.

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