Notre Dame’s experience and raucous home crowd were too much for eighth-ranked Kentucky and its heralded freshmen.
Junior guards Eric Atkins and Jerian Grant paced the Fighting Irish to a 64-50 victory Thursday night.
Atkins led the Fighting Irish (7-1) with 16 points, Grant had 13 points and six assists, and Jack Cooley added 13 points and 11 rebounds.
‘‘The way our guards were controlling things, I didn’t have to do a lot of coaching,’’ Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said.
‘‘Those guys were coaching the team. Eric Atkins running things, calling sets. When you have a veteran backcourt doing that, I just don’t want to get in their way too much.’’
Notre Dame outplayed Kentucky (4-2) inside during the first half and held the Wildcats to a season-low 40 percent shooting for the game.
The Irish shot 48 percent, the best anyone has done against Kentucky this season.
Students rushed the floor after the Irish wrapped up their second win over the Wildcats in the past 13 meetings.
Kentucky coach John Calipari said his team was lacking in many areas.
‘‘They beat us to balls. They beat us around the basket. We didn’t compete. We didn’t execute. We didn’t play together. There’s a lot of things we didn’t do,’’ he said.
Julius Mays led Kentucky with 16 points and Nerlens Noel ov Everett, Mass., had 10.
Two of Kentucky’s heralded freshmen struggled. Archie Goodwin, who is averaging 19 points, was 1 of 7 shooting and finished with 3 points and Alex Polythress, who is averaging 18.4 points, had just one basket and was 1 of 3 from the free throw line.
The Irish outrebounded Kentucky, 33-27.
Notre Dame led, 36-25, at halftime. The lead was around 10 points when Cameron Biedscheid, who had 10 points, hit a 3-pointer to ignite a 10-0 run that included a 3-pointer by Grant and another jumper by Biedscheid and gave Notre Dame a 55-35 lead.
Atkins said the victory should help the Irish during the season. ‘‘It just boosts our confidence that we can do it against an elite team,’’ he said.
Florida 82, Marquette 49 — Michael Frazier II scored 17 points and the seventh-ranked Gators (6-0) routed the Golden Eagles in an SEC-Big East Challenge game in Gainesville, Fla.
Vander Blue led Marquette (5-2) with 20 points.
Gonzaga 104, Lewis-Clark State 57 — Freshman Kyle Dranginis scored a career-high 30 points on 12-of-16 shooting and also had seven assists as the No. 12 Bulldogs (7-0) routed the visiting Warriors. The game was an exhibition for Lewis-Clark State, which is in the NAIA.
UConn 61, UNH 53 — Ryan Boatright scored 19 points as the host Huskies (6-1) avoided an upset. Omar Calhoun added 16 points and eight rebounds. The Wildcats (2-4) were led by Chris Pelcher’s 16 points and 12 rebounds.
Brown 69, Sacred Heart 56 — Rafael Maia scored 19 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, and teammate Tucker Halpern scored 17 points to lead the host Bears (3-3) to victory. Brockton native Louis Montes scored 17 points, including 10 of 10 from the free throw line, to lead the Pioneers (3-3).
Hartford 60, Yale 51 — Wes Cole scored 12 points off the bench and Yolonzo Moore II scored 10 to lead the Hawks (3-3) past the Bulldogs in New Haven. Mark Nwakamma, Nate Sikma, and John Peterson each scored 8 points as Harford started the second half on a 25-5 run.
Austin Morgan led Yale (2-6) with 15 points.
. . .
Suspended Missouri guard Michael Dixon has left the team after two sexual assault claims by a female student and a Mizzou graduate. He has been benched all season for No. 13 Missouri (5-1). Dixon also was briefly suspended for violating unspecified team rules in December 2010. That suspension involved a woman who told the Associated Press on Thursday that she declined to press charges after Dixon threatened her. A second female student accused Dixon of sexual assault in a weekend Twitter exchange with former Missouri guard Kim English, now a Detroit Pistons reserve. Boone County prosecutors decided against filing charges.
Notre Dame 72, Central Michigan 63 — Skylar Diggins scored 17 of her 25 points in the first half and the No. 5 Fighting Irish (5-0) pulled away from the Chippewas. Jessica Green scored 19 points for Central Michigan (2-3), which trailed 40-39 at the break in its first home game against a top-five team.
Miami 69, Penn State 65 — Morgan Stroman scored 15 points, leading the Hurricanes (5-1) to an upset of the No. 6 Nittany Lions in Coral Gables, Fla. Suriya McGuire’s layup with 14 seconds remaining broke a 65-65 tie. Maggie Lucas led Penn State (5-1) with a game-high 20 points.
Oklahoma 96, Northwestern State 35 — Junior Aaryn Ellenberg scored 22 points to lead the No. 12 Sooners to a win over the Demons in Norman, Okla. Freshman Nicole Kornet added 19 points for Oklahoma (6-1). Tiandra Williams scored 10 points for Northwestern State (4-2).
UMass 65, Ohio 61 — Freshman guard Rashida Timbilla netted 16 points, grabbed 13 rebounds, and blocked 4 shots to lead the visiting Minutewomen (2-5) to their first road win of the season. Kiyanna Black led the Bobcats (1-4) with 21 points off the bench.
Syracuse 91, Dartmouth 64 — Kayla Alexander scored 27 points, collected 6 rebounds, and blocked 6 shots to lead the Orange (7-0) to a win in Hanover, N.H. Syracuse pulled away with a 20-4 run to start the second half. Abbey Schmidt led the Big Green (1-4) with 18 points.
Army 3, Bentley 2 — R.J. Burns scored a shorthanded goal at 11:24 of the second period to lead the Black Knights to a win over the Falcons. Josh Richards and Andy Starczewski also scored for Army (4-6-1, 4-2-1 Atlantic Hockey). Justin Breton and Brett Switzer scored in the second period for Bentley (6-6-0, 5-4-0).