Blacksburg, VA (SportsNetwork.com) - Pat Connaughton made five of Notre Dame's 12 3-pointers and the eighth-ranked Fighting Irish cruised to an 85-60 road victory over Virginia Tech on Thursday.
Connaughton finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds in the wire-to-wire win for the Irish (18-2, 6-1 ACC), whose only loss in the last 15 games came against No. 2 Virginia.
"I'm really pleased with our effort tonight on both ends of the floor. I thought overall we were really good defensively in both halves," Irish coach Mike Brey said.
Jerian Grant totaled 18 points, seven rebounds and six assists, Zach Auguste added 16 points and eight boards, and Demetrius Jackson scored 12 in the rout.
The Hokies (8-10, 0-5) have been trending the opposite way and dropped their sixth straight overall, though the last three came against ranked opponents.
Ahmed Hill's 13 points paced Virginia Tech in the absence of leading scorer Justin Bibbs, who sat out a second straight game due to a concussion.
"Specific to Notre Dame, offensively they are just so potent. It's hard to figure out where your help can come from," Virginia Tech coach Buzz Williams said.
Auguste was not in the starting lineup the previous two games due to an academic issue that has presumably been resolved. The 6-foot-10 forward wasted little time getting involved in his return with six points in the first four minutes, including a dunk that provided Notre Dame with a 12-4 lead.
The margin grew to a dozen, 27-15, following a Grant 3-pointer, and it was a 38-28 difference at halftime.
Jackson drained a pair from the long range in the first three minutes of the second half to keep the Irish in front by double digits, and Grant fueled an 8-0 run that extended the lead to 55-34.
Grant assisted on a Connaughton 3-pointer, converted a three-point play and fed Auguste for a layup after picking Jalen Hudson's pocket at midcourt.
The closest the Hokies got from there was 16 and the largest they trailed was 27.
Notre Dame is off to its best 20-game start since its 1973-74 team opened 19-1 ... The Irish, who came in second nationally in field goal percentage (.528) connected on 49.2 percent from the field... Notre Dame held a 43-29 rebounding advantage and posted a 3.2 assist-to-turnover ratio (19-to-6) ... Both teams play Sunday as Notre Dame visits NC State and Virginia Tech hosts Virginia.