Men’s Basketball: Century mark
Mike Gotimer | Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Senior guard Ben Hansbrough remained red-hot for the Irish as Notre Dame downed Chicago State 102-62 Wednesday at the Purcell Pavilion.
Hansbrough entered the game shooting 60 percent from 3-point range and continued to drain buckets from the outside, knocking down a career-high six shots from beyond the arc and leading Notre Dame with 22 points.
“[Irish coach Mike] Brey’s done a great job slowing down my tempo a little bit and letting the game come to me,” Hansbrough said. “Everybody’s just doing a great job of finding me and I’ve been lucky enough to make a couple shots.”
Hansbrough was one of five Irish players in double figures on the night. In addition, fourth-year forward Tim Abromaitis and senior forwards Carleton Scott and Tyrone Nash registered double-doubles for the Irish. Scott led the Irish with 11 rebounds while Abromaitis and Nash each grabbed 10 in Notre Dame’s 59-rebound effort. Abromaitis and Nash were each also three assists shy of triple double, as their seven assists apiece set new career highs.
“My teammates make it easy for me,” Nash said. “I’m not able to get to get seven assists without my teammates getting in open spots and knocking down shots. With our versatility out there on the court it just makes my job a whole lot easier and fun.”
While Irish eventually cruised to a 50-point victory, the Cougars hung with the Irish for the first ten minutes of the contest. Chicago State had a five point lead just over 2:30 into the game and a 3-pointer by Cougars senior guard Jonathan Montgomery tied the game at 24 with 10:38 remaining in the opening half.
Notre Dame responded with 9:44 remaining in the first half when Nash scored off an offensive rebound to give the Irish a two-point cushion, but Cougars senior guard Christian Wall drained two free throws to tie the game again at 26.
After Wall converted his free-throw attempts, freshman guard Eric Atkins hit a jumper to give Notre Dame a lead it wouldn’t relinquish, and the Irish went on a 26-5 run to end the half.
Atkins finished with 12 points and 5 assists, both career highs.
“What helped us was that we went zone,” Brey said. “I think that changed their tempo a little bit. They were in a rhythm running their man offense, and guys were just playing loose and firing, even guys that in the scouting report don’t have good percentages. But then we went zone, and that changed their rhythm for when they shot.”
With all five starters scoring in double figures, the Irish showed just how dangerous they could be as the season progresses.
“Two guys almost had triple doubles, and it just [shows] you the versatility of our team,” Nash said. “I feel bad for everybody that has to prepare for us because they have to guard us, and if you take one option away, you still have four other options to take care of so it’s hard.”
After playing three games in six days, the Irish will be off until Monday when they face Maine at Purcell Pavilion.