Notre Dame improves to 8-0, beats North Carolina A&T 107-53

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) V.J. Beachem scored 19 points and Notre Dame matched its best start under coach Mike Brey with a 107-53 win over North Carolina A&T on Sunday night.

Beachem was 7 of 14 from the floor. Matt Ryan knocked down five 3-pointers to finish with 17 points, and Matt Farrell added 15 points for the Irish (8-0), who scored over 100 points for the first time this season, and at least 91 points for the third straight game.

Bonzie Colson had 10 points and 11 rebounds for his fifth straight double-double for Notre Dame, which had seven players score in double figures. Steve Vasturia added 13 points.

Eliel Gonzalez led North Carolina A&T with a season-high 18 points. After opening the season with a win, the Aggies (1-7) have lost seven straight. Sam Hunt finished with 17 points.

Coming in as the second best free-throw shooting team in the nation, Notre Dame continued its hot streak from the line by going a perfect 14 of 14.

Beachem started 1 of 7 and scored just three first-half points, but his alley-oop dunk from Farrell with about five minutes to play put the Irish ahead by 44 points. Notre Dame blew the game open early in the second half with a 12-1 run.

Gonzalez's 3-pointer early in the first half tied the game for NC A&T, but Notre Dame went on a 14-2 run over the next three minutes to open up a 23-11 lead with 12 minutes to play before halftime. The Irish led by as much as 21 in the first half and went into the break with a 16-point advantage.

BIG PICTURE

North Carolina A&T: If the Aggies want to snap their losing streak, they'll have to do better on the glass. After NC A&T got beat on the boards, 47-25 against North Dakota State on Friday, Notre Dame owned a 44-31 rebounding advantage.

Notre Dame: The Irish also opened the 2010-11 season with eight straight wins. That team went 27-7, finished second in the Big East, and featured the Big East player of the year in Ben Hansbrough, but was upset in the third round of the NCAA Tournament by Florida State.

UP NEXT

North Carolina A&T: Starting with this game in South Bend, the Aggies are on the road for six of their next seven contests, including a trip to face Massachusetts in Amherst on Dec. 13.

Notre Dame: The Irish face Indiana-Purdue Fort Wayne on Tuesday, but they better not overlook IPFW before gearing up for their first major test of the season Saturday at No. 2 Villanova, which will likely be No. 1 after Kentucky's loss to UCLA. The Mastodons already has a top-five win this year, beating then-No. 3 Indiana in Bloomington, 71-68 on Nov. 22.