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Men’s Basketball: Abromaitis steps up his game

Laura Myers | Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Through Notre Dame’s first three games, senior forward Tim Abromaitis made four shots from beyond the arc.

He doubled his season total Monday in a 26-point effort to lead the Irish to a 97-72 win over Maine. Abromaitis was 8-for-9 shooting, including 4-of-5 from 3-point range.

“Abro’s such an even keel, demeanor-wise,” Irish coach Mike Brey said. “He probably more than anybody can deal with riding it out.”

The Irish (4-0) went on a 14-0 run early in the first half on eight points from Abromaitis and six from senior forward Carleton Scott to make the score 25-9 after seven minutes.

“That was an awesome display for a while there of shooting 3s,” Black Bears coach Ted Woodward said. “That was pretty impressive.”

In the first half, Notre Dame made eight of 11 3-point attempts for a mark of 72.7 percent, and made 59.1 percent of its total shots.

“We were really smart about getting a great shot,” Brey said. “Not forcing anything, and taking what the defense gives us. The first 20 minutes were very methodical.”

Guard Gerald McLemore led the scoring for the Black Bears (2-2) with 16 points.

Six players finished the game scoring in double-digits for Notre Dame. Senior guard Scott Martin scored 15 points, senior forward Tyrone Nash and sophomore forward Jack Cooley scored 13 and Scott and senior guard Ben Hansbrough each scored 11.

“It’s a pretty offensive group,” Brey said. “It’s older guys, they’re highly skilled. They’ve been in our system and in our program three or four years, and they’ve been in college four or five years. It’s a huge advantage.”

Nash also grabbed 11 rebounds for his second double-double in a row. He had 10 rebounds and 11 points against Chicago State on Nov. 17.

Eleven of Nash’s 13 points came from the foul line, as he made 11-of-12 free throws. His performance at the line is a big improvement, Brey said.

“He was afraid of the line, didn’t want to go there his early years,” Brey said. “But he’s come a long way of working on his game.”

Notre Dame shot 25-of-27 free throws in the game, compared to Maine’s total of five free throws in nine attempts.

The Irish will now travel to Orlando to take part in the Old

Spice Classic over the weekend. They will face Georgia Thursday in their first game of the tournament. Other participating schools include No. 21 Temple, California, Boston College, Texas A&M, Wisconsin and Manhattan.

Brey said he looked forward to the chance at winning a championship early in the season.

“This nucleus, this locker room gets the chance to bring a trophy home,” he said.

The game against Georgia begins at 7 p.m. Thursday at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando.