SOUTH BEND, Ind. John Mooney had a career-high 28 points and added 16 rebounds and Notre Dame opened a 17-point lead early and held on to beat Marshall 74-64 Friday night in the Men Against Breast Cancer Invitational.
T.J. Gibbs added 15 points for the Irish. Taevion Kinsey lead the pesky Thundering Herd (1-2) with 16 points, 11 rebounds and five assists, Jarrod West scored 14 and Iran Bennett added 10
The Irish (3-1) appeared several times to be on the verge of taking control, but the Thundering Herd kept narrowing the lead. Notre Dame managed to open an 11-point halftime lead, then the Thundering Herd (1-2) closed to 40-32 when Jarrod West hit a 3-pointer to open the second half.
Mooney answered with a quick layup and a 3-pointer and Notre Dame went ahead 45-32. T.J. Gibbs had a highlight reel play, deflecting a pass by Iran Bennett, leaping out of bounds to get it and passing it to Prentiss Hubb. Hubb made an alley-oop pass to Juwan Durham to give the Irish a 47-34 lead. But Marshall used an 10-0 run to cut the lead to 49-46 on a jumper by Kinsey.
After the teams traded baskets, Mooney hit a 3 to give the Irish a 54-48 lead. Moments later, Dane Goodwin had a layup and free throw to put the Irish up 57-50. A dunk by Mooney and a layup by Rex Pflueger gave the Irish a 63-52 lead with just under five minutes left and the Irish led comfortably the rest of the way.
The Irish jumped to an early 25-8 lead by hitting 8 of their first 15 shots, including 4 of 9 3-pointers, while the Thundering Herd were just 3 of 13 from the floor. A pair of layups by West and a 3-pointer by Marko Sarenac ignited a 12-2 run by the Thundering Herd as the Irish missed eight straight shots.
Marshall narrowed the lead to 31-27 on a rebound by Cam Brooks-Harris off a missed free throw. The Irish took advantage of three straight Marshall turnovers and went on a 9-2 run to open a 40-29 lead at halftime.
Marshall: The Thundering Herd bounced back from a blowout loss to Toledo to give the Irish a tough game.
Notre Dame: The Irish were hot and cold shooting early but still earned their third straight victory at home after opening the season with a 76-65 loss at Atlantic Coast Conference foe North Carolina.
Marshall: Hosts Charleston on Tuesday.
Notre Dame: Hosts Presbyterian on Monday.