SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) _ David Rivers scored a game-high 20 points as 12th-ranked Notre Dame overwhelmed St. Joseph's of Indiana, 79-49, in the season opener for both teams.

Notre Dame freshman Sean Connor hit a basket at the buzzer to give the Irish the final 30-point lead, their largest of the game.

Ken Barlow had 14 points for Notre Dame and Donald Royal and Gary Voce added 10 apiece.

Stan Kappers led the Pumas' scoring with 18, including 15 in the second half. Mark Wingard, last season's high-point man with an average of 13.1, added 13.

The Irish, plagued by poor shooting and turnovers early in the first half, fought to a 39-22 halftime lead. At one stretch late in the half, Notre Dame outscored the Pumas 17-1 aided by five points by Donald Royal.

Kappers gave the Pumas an early 2-0 in the opening minute before Notre Dame returned with eight unanswered points, six from Barlow, to give the Irish a lead they never relinquished.

The Pumas hit only 31 percent from the field in the half, despite a 12- point performance from Wingard.