College Basketball: Notre Dame Uses 22-0 Surge to Dominate South Florida

Connor KillorenSenior Analyst IFebruary 12, 2011

LOUISVILLE, KY - DECEMBER 08:  Jack Cooley #45 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish grabs a rebound during the game against the Kentucky Wildcats in the 2010 DIRECTV SEC/BIG EAST Invitational at Freedom Hall on December 8, 2010 in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Road games have seemingly been the biggest challenge for the Notre Dame Basketball team in the Mike Brey era.

Today's game was certainly the opposite of a challenge, as the Irish used a 22-0 spurt on their way to a 78-55 victory over the Bulls of South Florida.

The game was never in question as Brey's squad led by double figures for the entire 40 minutes.

Leading the way for Notre Dame was reserve forward Jack Cooley, who scored 18 points along with eight rebounds in 16 minutes of action. This was Cooley's third straight game in double figures.

Cooley was able to step up due to an unusually quiet performance from senior captain Ben Hansbrough, who had 12 points and eight assists. Carleton Scott had a typical double-double game with 13 points and 11 rebounds.

The Bulls were lead by Sean Noriega who had 23 points on 6-10 three-point shooting.

The most positive thing to take from today's game is the Irish can win games without Hansbrough erupting for 20 or more points, which has seemingly been the case during the past five games.

Notre Dame has won seven straight conference games, which is the team's longest conference winning streak within the same season since 2000-01 when they won eight consecutive league games.

The win also brings Notre Dame to a 21-4 record overall, 10-3 in Big East play.

The Irish are sitting one game behind league-leader Pittsburgh, who plays at Villanova tonight without star player Ashton Gibbs.

Notre Dame will most likely be following that game closely, hoping for a Pitt loss that would put them in a tie for first place in the conference.

Notre Dame will be in action again next Saturday at West Virginia (1:00 p.m. EST, CBS).