South Bend, IN (SportsNetwork.com) - Jerian Grant powered No. 10 Notre Dame to a thorough 88-75 victory over Wake Forest with another All American-like performance.
Grant, a National Player of the Year candidate, totaled 24 points, 10 assists and five steals for the Fighting Irish (23-4, 11-3 ACC), who remained in sole possession of second place in the ACC.
Steve Vasturia made four of Notre Dame's 11 3-pointers and finished with 12 points, Pat Connaughton chipped in with 13 points, V.J. Beachem netted 10 and Zach Auguste added 12 despite being in foul trouble.
Devin Thomas carried Wake Forest (12-15, 4-10) with 26 points and 11 rebounds.
A fast-paced, high-scoring first half saw neither team lead by more than four.
Grant beat the buzzer with a tough drive to the basket, and it was a sign of things to come after the break.
"We finished the half on a pretty good rhythm and we started the second half on a pretty good rhythm," Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey said.
Grant and Vasturia each hit 3-pointers during an 8-0 run over the first two minutes of the second half, giving the Irish a 51-41 lead, and a lengthy 19-4 stretch sealed Wake Forest's fate.
Over those five minutes, Grant scored four points and added four assists, including a gorgeous left-handed feed through traffic that hit Austin Torres in stride for a dunk. A Vasturia 3-pointer, off a Grant steal and assist, pushed the margin to 70-51, and the closest the Demon Deacons got from there was eight.
"Mike [Brey] has them playing at a very high clip right now and we didn't make enough plays to win the game," Wake Forest head coach Danny Manning said.
This is Notre Dame's best 27-game start since the 1973-74 team opened the season 25-2 ... Wake Forest fell to 0-5 against ranked opponents ... Notre Dame made all but one of its 28 free throws ... Wake Forest turned it over 14 times.