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Notre Dame edges IU in Crossroads Classic

INDIANAPOLIS – Notre Dame led the entire way en route to a 79-72 win over Indiana in the Crossroads Classic on Saturday.

Despite the lack of lead changes, the game had plenty of ebbs and flows.

Notre Dame (8-3) held a 13-point lead with 6:20 to go in the first half after starting the game shooting 57.1 percent from the floor.

But IU (8-3) started hitting shots of its own, led by 16 first-half points from senior forward Will Sheehey, and IU cut the deficit to two with 38 seconds left with a Hanner Mosquera-Perea dunk off a scoop pass from Jeremy Hollowell.

Notre Dame senior guard Jerian Grant, who went 0-for-5 in a 73-69 loss to North Dakota State in South Bend just a game earlier, buried a 3-pointer with three seconds left, and the Irish went into halftime with a 47-42 lead. He finished with a game-high 23 points.

Notre Dame scored 1.19 points per possession in the first half on 51.5 percent shooting, and IU went 50 percent from the floor for 1.11 points per trip.

Those numbers cooled in the second half.

IU shot 4-of-15 in the opening eight minutes as Notre Dame built an eight-point lead, but managed to break the drought with a Yogi Ferrell 3-pointer just after the 12-minute mark.

Despite the back-and-forth swings throughout the game, the Hoosiers could not control momentum long enough to flip the scoreline. IU couldn't string positive possessions together, and Notre Dame managed to answer each run with one of its own.

Senior center Garrick Sherman had 16 points, started with six straight makes and didn't miss a filed goal until 6:42 remained in the game.

Notre Dame had a five-point lead with 2:55 left in the game, and Ferrell came up with another 3-pointer to cut the deficit to two with 2:27 remaining.

The Hoosiers finally got a stop following a bucket, but couldn't come away with a score, and IU allowed an easy layup by Eric Atkins on the other end to give the Irish a four-point edge with just over a minute to go.

IU forced a steal and got the ball out in transition on the next Notre Dame possession, but Sheehey – who tied a career high with 22 points – missed a wide-open 3-pointer at the top of the key with just under a minute remaining.

The Irish managed to create just enough distance and ice the game with free throws.

The Journal Gazette's Assistant Sports Editor Tony Krausz covers The University of Notre Dame. Krausz, a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism and a native of St. Louis, has been assistant sports editor since October 2005. Prior to joining the JG, he worked at two papers in Mississippi covering high school and college athletics.