No. 20 Notre Dame Vs. West Virginia: Fighting Irish Cruise To 71-44 Victory Over Mountaineers

Feb. 22, 2012; South Bend, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish guard Jerian Grant (22) goes up for a shot in the second half against the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Purcell Pavilion. Notre Dame won 71-44. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-US PRESSWIRE

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are on a nine-game winning streak after defeating the West Virginia Mountaineers on Wednesday night.

The No. 20 Notre Dame Fighting Irish are still looking up at the Syracuse Orange in the Big East standings, but after Wednesday night's 71-44 victory over the West Virginia Mountaineers, the Irish are riding a nine-game winning streak into the final three contests of the regular season. Jerian Grant led the way to the team's 20th victory by scoring a game-high 20 points. He was 8-of-11 from the field, including 4-of-5 from beyond the arc.

Outside of Grant, Notre Dame received 13 points each from Jack Cooley and Eric Atkins, while Scott Martin chipped in 15 points. The other 10 points scored by the Irish came from the bench. Atkins dished out eight assists, grabbed four rebounds and stole the ball three times for a well-rounded effort to go with his scoring output.

West Virginia kept the game close in the first half, heading into the break down 30-28, but managed to put just 16 points on the board during the second 20 minutes as Notre Dame pulled away. The Mountaineers hit just 31.5 percent of their shots. Kevin Jones led West Virginia with 15 points and eight rebounds. Darryl Bryant also filled out the stat sheet nicely, posting 10 points, four assists, three rebounds and three steals.

Notre Dame goes on the road this Saturday for a contest against the St. John's Red Storm.

For more on these teams, check out Notre Dame blog One Foot Down and West Virginia blog The Smoking Musket. Stick with SB Nation NCAA Basketball for more news and notes as we approach March Madness.

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