SOUTH BEND, Ind. — As hot as Jerian Grant has been offensively of late, his defense was just as key Monday night against Bryant.
Grant hit a late 3-pointer and scored 23 points to help Notre Dame scrap out a win over the Bulldogs, 70-59 in the second round of the Gotham Classic at Purcell Pavilion.
Two days after pumping in 25 and knocking down two late jumpers to hold off Delaware, Grant drilled a 3 from the left corner with 1:28 to play, then blocked a Dyami Starks shot on the other end.
Grant harassed Starks for much of the game on defense, holding the Bulldogs' leading scorer to just 12 points, 11 under his average (23.4) coming in.
"I thought Jerian Grant, the game that he had guarding Starks, and then doing what he did offensively is fabulous," said Notre Dame coach Mike Brey.
Grant also had team highs with nine assists and four steals, and played all but two minutes.
"That takes a lot of energy, and a lot of concentration, and he never let (Starks) get going," Brey said.
Pat Connaughton had 17 points and 11 rebounds for the Irish (7-2) and Garrick Sherman chipped in 14 points and 13 boards.
Alex Francis scored 17 points and Joe O'Shea finished with 13 for Bryant (6-4).
With Notre Dame up by 6 with 4:07 to go, Bryant's Corey Maynard was called for an intentional foul on Demetrius Jackson, but the Irish only managed one free throw out of the sequence.
Maynard then hit a 3-pointer on the other end to cut Notre Dame's lead to four points.
But as the clock wound down under two minutes, Eric Atkins eventually found Grant in the corner to knock down his only field goal of the second half after five straight misses.
"That was a big shot he hit in front of our bench at the end of (the shot) clock, just like he did Saturday, to make us feel like we can get out of here with a win tonight," Brey said.