Nov. 6, 2010
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – A superb shooting performance from Ben Hansbrough propelled Notre Dame to a 72-47 triumph over Catholic University in the team’s final exhibition tune-up Saturday evening in Purcell Pavilion.
Hansbrough poured in a game-high 30 points on 64.7 percent shooting (11-for-17) for the Irish, bringing his scoring average to 21.5 points per game in Notre Dame’s two exhibition contests this season. The senior captain also drained six three-pointers on the evening – including five in the first half – and grabbed five rebounds in 31 minutes of action.
Tim Abromaitis added 13 points and a game-high six assists for Notre Dame, while Scott Martin contributed 10 points and nine rebounds in 30 minutes of work.
The Irish moved the ball throughout the contest and distributed 18 assists on 27 field goals. The home team also put forth a strong defensive effort against the Cardinals, limiting Catholic to a 33.3 percent (18-of-54) shooting mark from the field.
Carleton Scott paced the Irish on the defensive end of the floor, posting four blocks to go along with seven points and nine boards.
Catholic gave Notre Dame all it could handle in the early stages, as the two teams played to a 10-10 tie through the first 4:38. At that point, the Irish took control defensively by holding the Cardinals without a field goal over the next 3:30. Notre Dame put together a 10-0 run during the stretch, including two three-pointers from Hansbrough to build a 20-10 lead with 12:18 left in the first half.
A three-pointer by Shawn Holmes helped Catholic cut the Irish lead to 26-18, but Hansbrough answered with a triple of his own to begin another stretch of 10-straight points for Notre Dame, which was capped when Martin found a cutting Abromaitis under the hoop for a two-handed dunk. The run increased the Irish lead to 35-18 with 2:14 left in the stanza.
Hansbrough’s fifth three-pointer of the half drew a roar from the crowd of 6,525 and gave the Irish their largest lead of the half at 39-20.
Hansbrough shot a sizzling 83.3 percent from beyond the arc in the first 20 minutes of action and paced Notre Dame with 19 points at the break. His hot shooting helped the Irish maintain a 53.8 field goal percentage (14-for-26) and a 39-22 lead heading into the second half.
Tyrone Nash scored the first six points of the second half for Notre Dame, which extended its advantage to 21 points (45-24) at the 16:16 mark. The Cardinals moved within 16 on a three-pointer by Nate Koenig, but that was as close as Catholic would get for the rest of the contest the Irish put together their third 10-0 run of the contest to push the lead back to 26 (58-32) with 9:34 remaining.
A three-pointer from the corner pocket by Abromaitis courtesy of an assist from Nash gave the Irish a 64-38 cushion with 7:19 to play, and a slashing lay-in by Hansbrough made it a 30-point advantage at 68-38, the largest lead of the game for the Irish.
Nash finished the game with a line of eight points, three rebounds and four assists while converting on a number of forceful drives to the basket in the second half. The Irish held a 28-12 advantage in points in the paint for the game and scored 16 points off the Cardinals’ 13 turnovers.
Notre Dame opens its 2010-11 regular-season schedule with a home contest against Georgia Southern at 8:30 p.m. (ET) on Friday (Nov. 12).