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No. 17 Notre Dame beats No. 21 Cincinnati 66-60

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No. 17 Notre Dame beats No. 21 Cincinnati 66-60

CINCINNATI (AP) Jerian Grant scored 19 points and No. 17 Notre Dame used its patient offense to get open shots for a 66-60 victory Monday night that extended No. 21 Cincinnati's home-court misery.

Notre Dame (14-1, 2-0 Big East) has won 12 straight for the first time since 2006-07. The 14-1 mark is the best start during coach Mike Brey's 13 seasons.

The Fighting Irish did it their way, passing for open shots on the perimeter and spreading out a defense that has been Cincinnati's strength. Notre Dame shot 50 percent from the field and went 9 of 16 behind the arc.

Cincinnati (13-3, 1-2) wore new, all-black uniforms - Notre Dame wore white - for a home game that took on extra significance. The Bearcats opened the season 12-0, then lost two of their last three games, falling to New Mexico and St. John's at home.

They have lost three straight at home for the first time since 2006-07, coach Mick Cronin's first season picking up the pieces from coach Bob Huggins' ouster.

The school celebrated its impressive start by having President Santa J. Ono get his head shaved on the court afterward. Ono agreed to lose his hair if the Bearcats won 10 in a row, turning the streak into a fundraising opportunity for a charity.

Then, the Bearcats went out in their new uniforms and lost again. Sean Kilpatrick led Cincinnati with 15 points.

The Bearcats extended their man-to-man defense beyond the arc, trying to take away Notre Dame's best feature. They couldn't do it.

The Fighting Irish lead the Big East and rank fifth nationally shooting 59.8 percent from the field. They went 12 of 18 from behind the arc during a 93-74 win over Seton Hall on Saturday, setting a school record for a Big East game. Scott Martin made six of his seven 3-point attempts in that one.

When Cincinnati clamped down on the perimeter, 6-foot-9 forward Jack Cooley got openings inside. He finished with 11 points and eight rebounds

The Bearcats' halfcourt offense has been their biggest problem the last few games. They had another setback when Kilpatrick landed awkwardly and limped off the court midway through the first half, favoring his right foot. JaQuan Parker replaced him and hit consecutive 3s that put Cincinnati ahead 20-11, its biggest lead of the game.

Kilpatrick returned and Notre Dame found its long-range touch. The Fighting Irish made their last six shots from behind the arc in the half - two by Martin - to pull ahead 32-28.

Martin opened the second half with a 3-pointer. The Fighting Irish made five passes before finding Grant open for another 3 that gave Notre Dame its biggest lead at 40-29 with 18 minutes left.

Kilpatrick hit two 3s and made a fastbreak layup off Cashmere Wright's steal during a 13-3 run that evened the game at 47.

Point guard Eric Atkins had a driving bank shot and made an over-the-shoulder pass to Cooley for a layup during a 10-point run that put Notre Dame ahead to stay at 59-49 with 5:42 left. Grant hit a fade-away jumper that kept Notre Dame ahead 64-56 with 1:32 left.

Cronin benched forward Justin Jackson, who had started the first 15 games but failed to score in three of the last five.

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3 reasons why the Caps beat the Sabres

3 reasons why the Caps beat the Sabres

You may think this was an ugly four-game road trip for the Caps, but with a 3-2 win in Buffalo on Monday, Washington managed to earn five out of a possible eight points.

Here is why the Caps beat the Sabres and managed to save the road swing.

A missed high-stick (maybe) from Ovechkin

Ovechkin scored the first goal of the game in the second period as he deflected a high-shot from Christian Djoos down past goalie Chad Johnson. But did the deflection come on a high stick? The play was reviewed and the goal was ultimately upheld. According to the NHL, it was determined that "video review supported the Referee's call on the ice that Alex Ovechkin's stick was at or below the height of the crossbar when he tipped the puck into the Buffalo net."

NBC Sports Washington analyst Alan May broke the play down during the second intermission and made his case for why the NHL actually got the call wrong.

Was that a high stick? I don't know. As compelling an argument as May made, it still looks inconclusive which means the review made the right call. What surprises me is that the referee did not disallow the goal on the initial call.

Whether the review is truly inconclusive or flat out wrong, Washington was fortunate to walk away from this sequence with the goal.

MORE CAPITALS: BIZARRE SEQUENCE LEADS TO CAPS SCORING AND GETTING PENALIZED AT THE SAME TIME

A centimeter of ice

Hockey is a game of inches and it took less than an inch to put Washington up 2-0. When an Evgeny Kuznetsov shot hit off the boards and bounced back to the front of the net, it sparked a scrum next to goalie Chad Johnson. Eventually, John Carlson was able to get a swipe on the puck sending it trickling to the goal line, but Kyle Okposo was there waiting and appeared to kick it out to safety just before it crossed. A review triggered by the Situation Room, however, revealed that the puck had just barely managed to cross the goal line before Okposo got to it.

Here's the view the NHL released after the review:

Philipp Grubauer's third period

After dominating the first 40 minutes of the game and taking a 2-0 lead, Buffalo predictably made a late push in the third period with two goals to pull within one. Washington outshot the Sabres in the first and second periods, but Buffalo reversed that trend in a big way in the third as they outshot the Caps 17-6. Grubauer turned aside 15 of those shots and was impressive after barely being tested in the first two periods.

RELATED: CHECK OUT THE 3 STARS OF THE GAME FROM CAPS-SABRE

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3 stars of the game: Caps knock out the punchless Sabres

3 stars of the game: Caps knock out the punchless Sabres

Coming off an ugly 7-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks, a Buffalo Sabres team missing star Jack Eichel was just what the doctor ordered for the Caps to get back on track. Washington dominated the first two periods and then survived a late surge from Buffalo for the 3-2 win.

After battling to a scoreless first, Alex Ovechkin and John Carlson spotted Washington a 2-0 lead in the second. They then held on in the third period as Buffalo began to tilt the ice in their favor, with Evgeny Kuznetsov scoring the empty-netter to put this game out of reach. Evander Kane would pull Buffalo within one, but with only three seconds left it was too little, too late.

Here are the three stars of the game:

1. Alex Ovechkin: Ovechkin opened up the scoring in the second period as he deflected down an innocent shot from Christian Djoos past Chad Johnson.

Ovechkin also set a physical tone as he battled with defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen all game long. After taking a high elbow from Ristolainen early in the game Ovechkin skated up to Ristolainen prior to the faceoff on his next shift and let him know that it was on. 

2. John Carlson: Carlson had a hand in both of Washington's first two goals. He recorded a secondary assist on Ovechkin's goal as he made a blue line pass to Djoos which Djoos fired on net and Ovechkin deflected. Carlson then managed to hit the puck past the goal line in a scrum next to Johnson. It looked initially like Kyle Okposo had managed to kick out the puck just before it crossed, but Carlson was awarded the goal as a review showed the puck had completely crossed the line.

3. Philipp Grubauer: A Sabres team that ranks last in the NHL in scoring and that was also without its leading scorer did not test Grubauer much in the first two periods. Facing a 2-0 deficit, however, Buffalo made a third period push to try to tie the game, but Grubauer was up to the task as he turned aside 15 of the 17 shots he faced in the final 20 minutes. He finished with 32 total saves on the night.