Mike Brey

Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey, left, signals to players during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Wake Forest, Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016, in South Bend, Ind. (AP Photo/Robert Franklin)
AP Photo/Robert Franklin

Jackson, Auguste lead No. 25 Notre Dame over Wake 85-62

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) Zach Auguste had 21 points and 12 rebounds and Demetrius Jackson added 14 points in his return to the starting lineup as No. 25 Notre Dame defeated Wake Forest 85-62 on Sunday.

V.J. Beachem added 15 points for the Fighting Irish (15-6, 6-3 Atlantic Coast Conference).

Jackson, who missed a game with a pulled hamstring in a win over Boston College last week, added eight assists and seven rebounds. Notre Dame’s leading scorer missed Thursday’s loss to Syracuse.

Devin Thomas had 19 points and eight rebounds for Wake Forest (10-11, 1-8), which never led. The Demon Deacons have lost six in a row.

Lack of front court depth, rebounding cost No. 9 Duke

Duke players Brandon Ingram (14), Luke Kennard (5) and Matt Jones (13) walk off the court following an NCAA college basketball game against Notre Dame at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, N.C., Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016. Notre Dame beat Duke 95-91. (AP Photo/Ben McKeown)
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With their lack of depth, No. 9 Duke is bound to have some issues to navigate on the defensive end of the floor. With just one dependable big man in Marshall Plumlee with Amile Jefferson still out with a foot injury, there’s only so much the Blue Devils can do when faced with a productive big man. Against Notre Dame that “big” man was 6-foot-5 power forward Bonzie Colson, who came off the bench and put forth the best performance of his career in a 95-91 win at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Colson scored a career-high 31 points, shooting 12-for-19 from the field, and also grabbing 11 rebounds. Colson was effective setting screens for the Notre Dame guards, most notably Demetrius Jackson, and either rolling to the basket or popping out for perimeter shot opportunities. But where both he and Zach Auguste, who finished with nine points (would have been more if not for his issues finishing around the basket) and 14 rebounds, hurt Duke the most was on the offensive glass.

Eight of Colson’s 11 rebounds came on the offensive end, and the Notre Dame front court tandem combined to grab 12 of the team’s 16 offensive rebounds. Those were converted into 18 second chance points, a key reason why Notre Dame attempted 16 more field goals. And for a team that lacks depth as Duke does, that extra time spent defending can add up by game’s end.

So what can Duke do at this point, with the timetable for Jefferson’s return still being undefined? Most likely, they’ll have to ask for even more from already productive players such as Brandon Ingram and Grayson Allen.

In theory a coach would like to be able to look down the bench and grab another big man capable of helping out for a few minutes here and there. But neither Chase Jeter nor Sean Obi have shown themselves capable of doing so to this point in the season. That leaves Mike Krzyzewski stuck between a rock and a hard place when it comes to his rotation. Plumlee finished with eight points, nine rebounds and two blocks, doing a good job of making many of Auguste’s attempts around the basket difficult, and Luke Kennard chipped in with eight rebounds in addition to his career-high 30 points.

But with just one bonafide big man, closing out possessions and defending ball screens will be tough for Duke, which has looked to mix in some zone in recent games. If Duke is to remain part of the ACC race until Jefferson returns, the guards will have to contribute even more on the glass. And even if that does happen, it may not be enough as Duke doesn’t have a big man capable of defending ball screens at Jefferson’s level.

No. 5 Virginia beats Notre Dame 77-66 for 11th straight win

Virginia guard Malcolm Brogdon (15) drives past Notre Dame forward V.J. Beachem (3) during an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Jan. 2, 2016,  in Charlottesville, Va. Virginia won 77-66. (AP Photo/Andrew Shurtleff)
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) Pound it inside to the big men. Wait for the defense to sage, and then beat them over the top.

Virginia had both formulas working Saturday night as they shot 57 percent and used a 21-4 first-half run to cruise to their 11th consecutive victory, leaving Fighting Irish coach Mike Brey in a complimentary mood.

“Today was kind of men among boys,” he said after the Cavaliers’ 77-66 victory that wasn’t nearly that close. “Any time we tried to make a little bit of a run and get some hope, they kind of squelched it.”

Anthony Gill scored seven of his 14 first-half points during the big early run, and Malcolm Brogdon opened the second half with a pair of 3-pointers from the same spot. Virginia had one first-half 3-pointer.

“I was surprised they didn’t close out,” Brogdon said of his first 3 at the 19:17 mark, when the defense suddenly seemed to be daring the Cavaliers’ leading scorer to shoot. “I had a wide open look. I kind of hesitated a little bit and then just let it go because they were sagging and they backed off a little bit.”

Less than a minute later, Brogdon bagged another one from the same spot.

Brogdon led Virginia (12-1, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) with 24 points, Gill had 21 and Mike Tobey had his second straight big game off the bench with 15 points and six rebounds. The 7-foot senior, coming off a career-high 16 points in a victory against Oakland, made 5 of 9 shots and added two blocks and an assist.

In the four games before Virginia beat Oakland, Tobey totaled six points and seven rebounds.

“That’s what we’re going to need from him throughout the season,” Gill said. “He’s a great player, has a soft touch around the basket and takes up a lot of space on defense. When his mind is right, he can be a really effective player for the team and help us get to the next level.”

Demetrius Jackson led the Fighting Irish (9-4, 0-1) with 18 points. Steve Vasturia and Bonzie Colson each added 14, and Brey said he was thrilled to be finished with the Cavaliers, at least in the regular season.

“They’re so secure with who they are and they never waver,” he said. “I use the phrase – their game is tight on both ends. They’re the tightest in the league and maybe in the country on both ends of the floor.”

The Cavaliers’ 12th straight victory at home came as Virginia launched its bid to become the first team since Duke from 1997-2000 to win three consecutive outright ACC championships.

Virginia made it look easy once the Irish stopped making contested shots.

Notre Dame made its first four shots, all by different players, and then missed 10 of 12 as Virginia turned an 8-4 deficit into a 25-12 lead. The Cavaliers built their lead as high as 13 points three times in the first half.

It was 36-24 at halftime, and the closest the Irish came thereafter was 36-26 on Colson’s basket to open the second half. Brogdon scored Virginia’s first eight points, including the two early 3-pointers, then fed London Perrantes for another 3 in the right corner for a 47-30 lead, the Cavaliers’ biggest to that point.

Later, two free throws and a three-point play by Tobey, who was coming off a career-best 16 points against Oakland, and a free throw by Gill capped 10-2 burst that pushed the margin to a game-high 59-40.

QUOTABLE:

“Tobey and Gill, they’re just really good, man. They’re just men. They’re men. When do they graduate?” – Notre Dame coach Mike Brey.

TIP-INS:

Notre Dame: Coach Mike Brey fell to 0-7 in his career against Virginia. … The Cavaliers were the first ranked opponent the Irish have played this season.

Virginia: Coach Tony Bennett improved to 5-0 against Notre Dame is his career, including an NCAA tournament victory in 2008 while at Washington State. … Brogdon (16.2 ppg) started the day having missed all 13 of his 2-point shots in his last two games, and 17 of 18 in his last three. He ended the drought with a driving left hand layup at the 13:22 mark of the first half.

UP NEXT:

Notre Dame: is at Boston College on Thursday night.

Virginia: is at Virginia Tech on Monday night.

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The AP college basketball page: http://www.collegebasketball.ap.org