Notre Dame routs Binghamton 82-39
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) Zach Auguste scored 19 points to lead Notre Dame in an 82-39 victory against Binghamton, and head coach Mike Brey clocked his 400th career victory on Friday night.
Pat Connaughton scored his 1,000th career point for the Irish and finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds.
The game also marked the return of Jerian Grant, Notre Dame’s leading scorer last season before an academic suspension cut his year short in late December. Grant filled the score sheet with 14 points, six rebounds, five assists, and five steals.
Nick Madray scored nine points to lead Binghamton, which shot 26.5 percent from the field (13 of 49) and committed 19 turnovers.
Connaughton – a two-sport star who was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles and played in their farm system over the summer – reached his scoring milestone when he hit his second consecutive 3-point field goal with 16:10 to play to push the Irish advantage to 28 points.
Grant, who lost 20 games last season to his suspension, including Notre Dame’s entire ACC schedule, didn’t appear to miss a beat in his return. A preseason All-ACC selection for the second consecutive season, Grant’s three early steals highlighted a long first-half run for the Irish.
After Madray knocked down Binghamton’s first shot of the game, the Bearcats went 0 for 11 from the field and turned it over seven times.
Notre Dame outscored Binghamton 24-2 over that 10-minute stretch until Reed knocked down the Bearcats’ second field goal, a jumper with 9:02 left in the first half. With 4:05 to go before halftime, Grant dropped off a pretty pass through traffic to Auguste for a two-handed slam that gave the Irish a 22-point lead, their largest of the half.
On the defensive end, Steve Vasturia clamped down on Binghamton’s leading scorer, Jordan Reed, much of the night. Reed, who led the Bearcats with 15.4 points and 8.9 rebounds per game last season, scored just six points on 2-of-9 shooting.
Notre Dame: The Irish improved to 15-0 in season openers under coach Mike Brey. The last time they lost an opener was 76-65 against Miami of Ohio in 1998. Notre Dame will play 11 games in the next 30 days.
Binghamton: The Bearcats lost their fourth-straight season opener. Binghamton went 7-23 last season and has averaged fewer than seven wins per season after going 23-9 and qualifying for the NCAA tournament in 2008-09.
Notre Dame hosts Navy on Sunday.
Binghamton travels to Providence on Monday.