Dec. 6, 2009
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP)–Tim Abromaitis scored a career-high 31 points, Luke Harangody added 29 and Notre Dame shot 55 percent to beat Central Florida 90-72 on Sunday.
Abromaitis, making his first start, matched his previous career high in the first half with 17 points, tying the score at 41 with a basket at the buzzer. Harangody, who was on the bench for the final 5:40 of the first half after picking up his third foul, then hit a 15-foot jumper and had a three-point play to spark an 8-0 run to start the second half.
Notre Dame (8-1) extended the lead to 11 points three times before a 9-0 run gave the Irish a 75-55 lead with 7:55 left following a pair of free throws by Abromaitis. The Irish led by as much as 85-61 when Carleton Scott scored inside, and Central Florida (6-2) never again got closer than 17 points.
Abromaitis, who did not play as a sophomore last season, was 10-of-17 shooting from the floor, including 3-of-7 from 3-point range, and was 8-of-9 from the free-throw line.
Keith Clanton led UCF (6-2) with 14 points and seven rebounds and A.J. Rompza and Tyler added 13 points each. Ben Hansbrough added 11 points for the Irish and Harangody and Scott had seven rebounds each.
Notre Dame played the final 13 minutes without point guard Tory Jackson, who twisted his ankle. Coach Mike Brey said he could have played, but decided to rest him with the Irish leading comfortably. Jackson finished with nine assists in 27 minutes of play.
The game was close throughout the first half after the Irish jumped to an 11-4 lead. The Knights quickly responded with a 13-2 run, going ahead 17-13 on a pair of free throws by Clanton. There were 16 lead changes and 11 ties in the half.
Notre Dame vs. UCF
Dec. 6, 2009 | Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center | Notre Dame, Ind.
- This is the first meeting all-time between Notre Dame and UCF. The Irish are now 1-0 against the Knights.
- Notre Dame is now 16-7 against teams from Conference USA.
- The Knights shot 61.5 percent in the first half, a new opponent first-half high in the Mike Brey era.
- Notre Dame extended its streak of games with at least one three-pointer to 348 games.
- The Irish surpassed the 80-point mark for the seventh time this season.
- Junior forward Tim Abromaitis earned his first career start against the Knights.
- Abromaitis set new career highs with 31 points and 10 field goals in 35 minutes against UCF.
- Senior guard Tory Jackson has recorded 12 assists and zero turnovers in his last two games. He’s notched 18 assists to just three turnovers in his last four contests.
- With his 29 points against UCF, senior forward Luke Harangody recorded the 53rd 20+-point performance of his career, tying Troy Murphy for third on Notre Dame’s all-time list.
- Harangody now has 2,054 points for his career and needs just four more to tie David Rivers for fifth on Notre Dame’s all-time scoring list.
- The last time Notre Dame had two 20-point scorers was in the 103-84 Irish victory over Providence on Feb. 21, 2009 (Ryan Ayers 28, Kyle McAlarney 25).