HARTFORD, CT - JANUARY 29: Jack Cooley #45 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish celebrates the win as Ryan Boatright #11 of the Connecticut Huskies walks off the court on January 29, 2012 at the XL Center in Hartford, Connecticut. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish defeated the Connecticut Huskies 50-48. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Irish Secure Another Impressive Victory With Dominant Performance Against Marquette

Notre Dame comes home after a successful road trip.

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3 Total Updates since February 4, 2012
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Notre Dame Vs. Marquette Score Update: Irish Pick Up Another Signature Victory

In a college basketball season that has been lacking great stories, the play of Notre Dame is one of the few surprises so far. The Irish continued their remarkable rise up the Big East standings with a dominant 76-59 victory over No. 15 Marquette. With the win, the Irish moved within a 1/2 game of second place in the conference.

The Irish won this game thanks to an excellent defensive effort. Marquette shot only 39.1% from the field as a team and hit only two shots from behind the arc. On the other end of the court, Notre Dame continued to produce with great efficiency, shooting 50% as a team and hitting 11/23 from beyond the arc. Freshman guard Pat Connaughton was simply brilliant, scoring a team-high 23 points on 9/12 shooting and grabbing 11 rebounds. Eric Atkins added 18 points and dished out five assists in the victory.

In the loss, Marquette received a strong performance from Vander Blue, who scored 12 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Darius Johnson-Odom added 12 points, while Junior Cadougan scored 11 points and dished out a team-high five assists.

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For more in-depth coverage of this matchup, head over to Notre Dame blog One Foot Down and Big East Coast Bias. For more from around college hoops, visit SB Nation's NCAA basketball news hub.

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Notre Dame Vs. Marquette Score Update: Irish Hold Small Lead At Half

When Notre Dame lost senior Tim Abromaitis to a season-ending injury earlier this season, many fans assumed that the Irish would have a difficult time even competing in the rugged Big East. However, the Irish have proven to be capable of knocking off any team in the conference, and could be in line for another upset. as they lead Marquette, 30-26, at the half.

The Irish have remained competitive due to a commitment on the defensive end of the court. This approach has remained again the Golden Eagles, as Marquette shot only 36.7% from the field as a team in the opening 20 minutes. On the offensive end, Pat Connaughton led the way with a team-high eight points on 3/4 shooting from the field. Scott Martin chipped in six points, two rebounds and two assists for the Irish.

Darius Johnson-Odom was the only guy who was able to find any rhythm in the opening half for Marquette. Johnson-Odom netted a team-high 10 points on 4/6 shooting from the field. However, the rest of the starters combined to shoot only 4/16 against the impressive Irish defense.

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For more in-depth coverage of this matchup, head over to Notre Dame blog One Foot Down and Big East Coast Bias. For more from around college hoops, visit SB Nation's NCAA basketball news hub.

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Notre Dame Vs. Marquette Preview: Irish Go For 4th Win In A Row

Notre Dame comes home after a successful road trip.

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