No. 23 Notre Dame beats Villanova 74-70 in OT

DAN GELSTON AP Basketball Writer Published:

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Pat Connaughton scored 21 points, Jack Cooley had 18 points and 13 rebounds, and No. 23 Notre Dame erased a 20-point deficit in a 74-70 overtime victory over Villanova on Saturday night.

Eric Atkins scored 17 points to help the Fighting Irish (19-8, 11-3 Big East) win their eighth straight game. The Irish made nine of their 12 3-pointers after halftime to send Villanova to its fifth loss in six games.

The Wildcats (11-15, 4-10) got a second chance after squandering the massive lead on Maurice Sutton's tying bucket late in regulation. They didn't have enough in OT.

Jerian Grant put the Irish ahead 68-65 on a 3-pointer with 1:28 left and Connaughton hit his seventh 3 with 45.9 seconds to go for a six-point lead.

The Irish survived 38-percent shooting from the floor for one of their toughest wins of the season.