South Bend, Ind. • Seton Hall knew it was in for a challenge trying to slow Jack Cooley and Eric Atkins against No. 21 Notre Dame. When Scott Martin began hitting 3s over the Pirates' zone defense, they had no chance.
Martin had a season-high 22 points on a career-high six 3-pointers to lead the Irish to a 93-74 victory Saturday.
"That was great to see," Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said. "That's a weapon that is a new kind of a weapon for us that we're really going to need to count on through the rest of the Big East."
Cooley added 19 points and 13 rebounds, and Atkins had 17 points and 10 assists as the Irish (13-1, 1-0 Big East) won their 11th straight, their second-longest winning streak in 13 seasons under Brey. The loss ended a seven-game winning streak for Seton Hall (12-3, 1-1).
It was the best game of the season for Martin, whose previous high was 14 points with four 3-pointers in a victory over Brown. Martin, a sixth-year senior, said he focused on improving his outside shooting during the offseason with the help of his younger brother, Andy.
"He came over and hung out with me this summer, worked me out, and I was able to get some shots up," Martin said. "We worked on the jumper. He ironed it out. We discussed all of the little mechanics. No big changes, just little things. He did a lot of rebounding for me."
Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard noticed the difference.
"He's got a much more fluid release," Willard said. "Plus he's just a very smart basketball player. He doesn't get in trouble. He really complements Cooley really well."
The Irish, playing their first game in 15 days, struggled defensively at times as the Pirates drove inside for baskets, but they finally got going late in the first half. The Irish opened a 35-25 lead with 3 minutes, 40 seconds 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 Fuquan Edwin and a 3-pointer by Haralds Karlis. But a late run by the Irish opened the 44-36 halftime lead.