Updated at: 01/26/2013 12:37 PM
By MARK DIDTLER
(AP) TAMPA, Fla. - Jerian Grant scored 18 points and Tom Knight had 17 as No. 24 Notre Dame beat South Florida 73-65 on Saturday.
Eric Atkins added 13 points and Pat Connaughton contributed 12 for Notre Dame (16-4, 4-3 Big East), which had lost three of four, including a 63-47 loss to Georgetown last Monday.
Notre Dame forward Jack Cooley, who entered averaging 14.8 points, finished with six points and 14 rebounds.
Zach LeDay had 17 points and Anthony Collins added 12 for South Florida (10-9, 1-6).
Notre Dame used a 20-3 run to go ahead 48-40 with 13 minutes to play. Connaughton’s 3-pointer broke a 40-all tie before Knight dunked and Grant connected on a 3 to make it 48-40.
South Florida got within 52-48 midway through the second half on LeDay’s basket. Notre Dame responded by scoring the next six points, a three-point play by Grant and a 3-pointer by Atkins.
Victor Rudd gave South Florida a 37-28 lead with a dunk on the first possession of the second half.
Collins had 10 points as South Florida grabbed a 35-28 halftime lead. The point guard’s three-point play tied it at 28 4 minutes before intermission.
Toarlyn Fitzpatrick hit a long-range jumper, JaVontae Hawkins had a tip-in and Rudd made a jumper that put the Bulls up 35-28 in the final minute of the half.
Notre Dame took a 24-18 lead on Connaughton’s rebound basket with 8 minutes left in the opening half. The Fighting Irish failed to score during the first-half’s final 5 minutes.
The Fighting Irish played without sixth-year forward Scott Martin, who is out indefinitely with a bad left knee.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)