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Martin's 3-pointers lead No. 21 Irish to 93-74 win

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Martin's 3-pointers lead No. 21 Irish to 93-74 win

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) Scott Martin had a season-high 22 points on a career-high six 3-pointers and Jack Cooley added 19 points and 13 rebounds to lead No. 21 Notre Dame to a 93-74 victory over Seton Hall on Saturday, the 11th straight win for the Irish.

The winning streak is the second-longest for the Irish (13-1, 1-0 Big East) in 13 seasons under coach Mike Brey. The loss ended a seven-game winning streak for Seton Hall (12-3, 1-1).

Seton Hall, playing with only eight scholarship players available because of injuries, kept the game close until the Irish finished the first half on a 7-2 spurt, then opened the second half with a 16-4 run to move ahead 60-41.

Fuquan Edwin and Aaron Cosby had 21 points each for the Pirates and Gene Teague had 17 points and nine rebounds.

Eric Atkins added 17 points and 10 assists for the Irish.

The Irish, playing their first game in 15 days, struggled defensively at times as the Pirates drove inside for baskets, but finally got going late in the first half. The Irish opened a 35-25 lead with 3:40 left in the first half on a three-point play by Cooley to cap a 10-2 run. The Pirates quickly cut the lead to 37-34 with three baskets inside, including a fastbreak by Edwin, and a 3-pointer by Haralds Karlis. But a late run by the Irish opened the 44-36 halftime lead.

Martin started the second half with two quick 3-pointers sandwiched around a 15-foot jumper by Jerian Grant, who had 13 points. Another 3-pointer by Martin 3 minutes into the second half gave the Irish a 58-41 lead. Pat Connaughton then scored on a rebound of his own missed shot to make it 60-41. The Irish later stretched the lead to 66-43 with another 3 by Martin, who was 6 of 7 from 3-point range.

Seton Hall didn't get any closer the rest of the way and the Irish later extended the lead to 24 points.

With most Irish fans focused on Monday night's BCS title game between top-ranked Notre Dame and No. 2 Alabama and students off campus for the holiday break, a crowd of only 8,523 showed as the Irish won for the 46th time in their last 47 home games.

Seton Hall backup center Kevin Johnson returned after missing two games after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery to repair a slightly torn meniscus, but played only 5 minutes.

The Irish will have a chance to match their longest winning streak under Brey when they play at No. 14 Cincinnati on Monday. The previous 12-game winning streak was during 2006-07.

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GM Brian MacLellan: Capitals are close to re-signing John Carlson

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GM Brian MacLellan: Capitals are close to re-signing John Carlson

DALLAS—The Caps are “really close” to signing star defenseman John Carlson to a long-term extension, GM Brian MacLellan said Friday night.

“We’re getting closer,” MacLellan said following the first round of the NHL Draft. “Hopefully we can get it done here over the next few days. We’re really close.”

Earlier in the day, the Caps cleared significant space under the salary cap ceiling by trading Philipp Grubauer and Brooks Orpik to Colorado for a second round draft pick (47th overall). 

That space will now be used to lock up Carlson, who could become the best defenseman on the open market if he were to reach it.

MacLellan met with Carlson’s agent, Rick Curran, here on Thursday night.

MacLellan did not divulge any figures, but it’s expected that Carlson’s new contract could come in at eight years and $8 million per—or perhaps a bit more. 

He earned $4 million last season.

Carlson had a career year in 2017-18 and was critical during the Caps' run to the Stanley Cup. He led all defensemen in the regular season with 68 points (15 goals, 53 assists). The 28-year-old also skated a career-high 24:47 per game.

MacLellan has long said that re-signing Carlson was the Caps’ top priority this offseason. And now it looks like that could happen within days, assuming the talks do not hit any snags.

“We’re going to do our best to sign John,” MacLellan said. “We’ve said it all along. We waited until the end of the year. We’ve had discussions. We’re close and hopefully we can close the deal here over the next 24 hours.”

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Capitals go to the WHL again, select defenseman Alex Alexeyev with first-round pick

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Capitals go to the WHL again, select defenseman Alex Alexeyev with first-round pick

The last time the Washington Capitals had a first-round draft pick, they selected a WHL defenseman. They did not go off script on Friday.

With the last pick of the first round, selecting for the first time as defending Stanley Cup champions, the Capitals selected Alexander Alexeyev, a left-shooting, two-way defenseman from St. Petersburg.

Alexeyev, 18, certainly boasts NHL size at 6' 4", 196 pounds. He currently plays for Red Deer in the WHL, a junior league that has become a major pipeline for the Capitals. In his second season with Red Deer, he tallied 37 points in 45 games.

The NHL Central Scouting's rankings list Alexeyev as the 22nd best North American skater of the draft. TSN projects him to be a top-four, two-way defenseman.

Analyst Craig Button described Alexeyev as a "Smart, effective defenceman who moves the puck, plays with a calm and doesn't make things complicated for himself."

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