SOUTH BEND, Indiana (Ticker) -- Matt Carroll scored 25 points to help No. 9 Notre Dame get back on track after a sluggish start for a 68-57 Big East Conference victory over Rutgers.
Carroll hit a 3-pointer with 5:18 left in the second half to cap a 14-2 run that gave the Fighting Irish (14-2, 2-1 Big East West) a 59-49 lead. Carroll scored six points during the spurt.
"This is my last year and I'd like to play 40 minutes every night," said Carroll, a senior. "I'm not going to be able to come back and play Rutgers at home ever again, so I was willing to give it everything I had tonight."
Carroll had 19 points in the second half to lead Notre Dame. He shot 5-of-9 from 3-point range.
"He's just more confident," Notre Dame guard Chris Thomas said. "He knows that this is his last year and he wants to go out on top. With him playing like that, with a free mind and the green light whenever he wants, you have a guy who can get his shot at any time and you have to use that to your advantage."
Rutgers (8-6, 0-2) led 36-35 at halftime after using an early 15-2 burst to take a 22-15 edge. Freshman Calvin Wooten scored all nine of his points during the Scarlet Knights' surge to help give the Fighting Irish their first halftime deficit of the season.
"Rutgers gave us everything we could handle," Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said. "I thought it would be like that. We're happy just to get to 2-1 in the Big East."
Notre Dame re-captured the lead at the beginning of the second half before Rutgers moved ahead for the final time at 47-45 on Herve Lamizana's layup with 12:24 left. Lamizana led the Scarlet Knights with 14 points.
"I thought our kids played well enough to have a chance to win a ballgame," Rutgers coach Gary Waters said. "They did not finish it because Notre Dame did what it had to do to finish it and that is why they are in the top 10."
The Fighting Irish have won all 10 of their home games this season and have won back-to-back games since falling 72-55 at No. 3 Pittsburgh on January 6.
Notre Dame center Jordan Cornette had eight points, seven rebounds and eight blocked shots.
"He was fabulous," Brey said. "That's the one thing he can do, defend and rebound."
Thomas scored 16 of his 19 points in the first half for Notre Dame. The sophomore missed all 14 shots in a loss at Rutgers last season.
Ricky Shields scored 13 points and Kareem Wright added 11 for Rutgers, which has won just twice against ranked teams on the road since 1976. The Scarlet Knights shot just under 39 percent (24-of-62).
The Fighting Irish made 22-of-23 foul shots, including a 10-of-11 performance by Thomas. Carroll made all six attempts.