South Bend, IN (SportsNetwork.com) - Pat Connaughton recorded his second straight double-double and No. 16 Notre Dame crushed Northern Illinois, 91-66, on Monday.
Connaughton, two days after posting 19 points and 14 rebounds in a rout of Purdue, poured in 21 points behind five 3-pointers and grabbed 10 boards in the Fighting Irish's eighth consecutive win.
All five Notre Dame (12-1) starters scored in double figures, with Zach Auguste and Demetrius Jackson each checking in with 16 points, and Jerian Grant and Steve Vasturia adding 11 and 10, respectively.
"There's a lot of ways we can put numbers on the board," Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey said. "That's something that's really encouraging as we near ACC season."
Darrell Bowie's 15 points paced Northern Illinois (4-5), which fell for the fourth time in five games.
The Irish came in as the nation's best shooting team (55.3 percent) and showed why by hitting an impressive 63 percent from the field in the first half.
Although they never led, the Huskies pulled even at 21-21 on Michael Orris' 3- pointer less than 10 minutes in.
Vasturia answered with a corner 3, and Notre Dame's subsequent 12-4 run created some space.
Grant drilled Notre Dame's sixth 3-pointer of the half in the closing seconds, and the Irish took a 48-35 cushion into the locker room.
The closest NIU got in the second half was a dozen, as a 14-1 spurt, capped by a Jackson dunk, gave the Irish an insurmountable 84-52 cushion with under six minutes to go.
"They're tough to guard, and I thought we battled them for a half. The opportunity was great, but Notre Dame is just that good right now," NIU head coach Mark Montgomery said.
NIU was outrebounding its opponents by nearly 10 boards per game coming in, but Notre Dame had a 37-28 edge on the glass ... NIU's last win against a ranked opponent came on Feb. 3, 1973 against No. 19 Oral Roberts ... Notre Dame shot 58.9 percent from the field and made 12 3-pointers.