Notre Dame used some hot three point shooting and some solid defense to smother the dominate the #8 Kentucky Wildcats and pull off a 64-40 upset win at the Joyce Center. Kentucky had no answer in the first half for Eric Atkins, who took advantage of the Wildcats unsettled point guard play in the first half as the Irish took a 36-25 halftime lead. Atkins hit 7-11 shots for 16 points to lead Notre Dame. Jack Cooley had 13 points and 11 rebounds and held his own against Kentucky’s talented freshman. Jerian Grant had 13 points and knocked down 3-4 treys.
The turning point of the game came early when Kentucky’s Alex Poythress got his second foul of the game with Kentucky leading 12-6 and Notre Dame closed out the half on a 29-13 run with Poythress on the bench. Julius Mays hit 4-7 three pointers to keep the game somewhat respectable and finished with 16 points for Kentucky. The 5o points scored was Kentucky’s lowest since 2006 and this was the first time Kentucky lost to an unranked, non conference opponent on the road by at least 14 points since 12/28/2002 when they lost at Louisville. Notre Dame improves to 7-1 with the win while Kentucky falls to 4-2.