SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Powered by its best shooting performance of the season, Notre Dame pulled away in the second half Saturday for a 95-70 victory over DePaul.
Pinpoint senior Rex Pflueger poured in a career-high 20 points as the Irish improved to 5-1. His line included 6 of 7 from the field, 4 of 4 on 3-pointers and 4 of 4 at the line.
T.J. Gibbs matched his season high with 18 points for Notre Dame, while freshmen Nate Laszewski and Prentiss Hubb each tallied season bests of 15 points.
The Blue Demons (3-1), playing on the road for the first time this season, were led by Max Strus with 15 points. Jalen Coleman-Lands added 12.
Up 39-36 at halftime, Notre Dame outscored DePaul 32-10 over the first 8:12 of the second half for a 71-46 lead and never saw its advantage dip below 18 the rest of the way.
The Irish finished 33 of 60 (55 percent) from the field, including 13 of 27 (48 percent) from 3-point range. They went into the game hitting just 39 percent from the field overall this season and 28 percent outside the arc. They hadn't made 44 percent of their field goals nor a third of their triples in any previous outing.
DePaul had outrebounded its opponents by double digits in each of its first three games, but Notre Dame won that battle 39-32, helping the Irish to a 14-6 edge in second-chance points.
DePaul: The Demons continue to work on meshing together several veterans from different sources. The team's been getting contributions from three transfers playing at DePaul for the first time in Coleman-Lands (Illinois), Femi Olujobi (North Carolina A&T) and Lyrick Shreiner (Cal State Northridge). Coleman-Lands, a junior, sat out last season after leaving the Illini, while Olujobi and Shreiner, as grad students, were eligible immediately upon coming aboard this year.
Notre Dame: The Irish, who are in a "youth movement," according to coach Mike Brey, got a rousing boost from their most impressive win of the season right as they head into the Power Five portion of their nonconference schedule. After hosting Illinois on Tuesday, they'll play their next three games away from home against Oklahoma (5-1), No. 17 UCLA and No. 24 Purdue.
DePaul: The Demons, who were denied their first 4-0 start in 10 years, host Cleveland State on Wednesday.
Notre Dame: The Irish play the final of seven straight home games to start the season when Illinois visits Tuesday in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
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