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Notre Dame, which outrebounded Monmouth 42-24, shot 61 percent from the free-throw line.
Dion Nesmith led the Hawks with 13 points.
Brey said it was the first time he had been able to play Cooley and Sherman together for long stretches.
"That really helped us, just being able to pound away with two big guys," Brey said. "This is so important for (Sherman) as we head to Brooklyn. That's a game that kind of makes him believe he's really part of it."
Brey said Sherman has the footwork and agility to play very "crafty," so it's been a challenge to slow down his game.
"We did a good job feeding him," Brey said. "He has the best feel of our big guys to present himself as a receiver in a good spot. "
The Irish travel this weekend to the $1 billion Barclay's Center in Brooklyn on for the championship rounds of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic. Notre Dame will play Saint Joseph's on Saturday, then either Florida State or BYU on Sunday.
Monmouth was outscored 40-20 in the paint, and hit only 2 of 11 from 3-point range. The Irish were 6 of 21 on 3-pointers, with Connaughton hitting three.
The Irish again were lackluster from the free throw line, hitting just 16 of 26 -- a slight improvement from the 18-of-30 effort in their season opener Saturday against Evansville.
Monmouth shot just 39 percent from the field, compared to 53 percent by the Irish.
Monmouth turned the ball over 18 times to Notre Dame's 16, but the Irish turned those into 28 points, while Monmouth converted the Irish turnovers into just 10 points.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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