Fighting Irish Athletics | December 4, 2014
Notre Dame coach Mike Brey believes he's got the best backcourt in the nation, and after Wednesday night, he might not get much of an argument from Michigan State counterpart Tom Izzo.
Jerian Grant and Demetrius Jackson had career nights to help the Fighting Irish defeat the No. 19 Spartans 79-78 in overtime in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
Grant had a career-high 27 points and six assists, and Jackson added a career-best 22 points in the first meeting between the schools in 35 years.
Jackson's three-point play 2:19 into overtime put the Fighting Irish (7-1) ahead by five. His free throw with 5 seconds left ended up being the winning margin after Denzel Valentine's 3-pointer in the final second.
Jackson scored six of Notre Dame's 10 points in overtime. Grant had a three-point play and a 3-pointer down the stretch to nearly win it in regulation for the Irish.
"I love my guards," Brey said. "I think I have the best backcourt in the country. Not a lot of people talk about them, but if you watched us tonight, it would be hard to argue against it."
Valentine finished with 22 points and Branden Dawson had 16 points and a career-high 18 rebounds for Michigan State (5-3).