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Men’s Basketball: Harangody and Hansbrough lead Notre Dame to victory

Bill Brink | Monday, November 9, 2009

Friday’s exhibition game lacked eye-catching stats, but had the big plays — last-second tip-ins and alley-oops — and, most importantly, resulted in a win.

Senior forward Luke Harangody had 17 points and 11 rebounds during Notre Dame’s 75-54 win over Quincy, Notre Dame’s last exhibition game before it opens regular-season play in a week.

Senior guard Ben Hansbrough scored 14 points and led the team with 34 minutes. He struggled to make shots to start the game, but got better as time went on.

“I told him, just slow down a little bit,” Irish coach Mike Brey said. “Those are great shots, keep taking them.”

Harangody said he felt the team moved the ball better than during its last game, a 70-54 win over Lewis at the Joyce Center on Nov. 1.

“We were a lot more balanced tonight. We were moving the ball out there,” he said.

The Irish had 18 assists and 10 turnovers, a stat Brey was happy about.

“I think we were a little better with our decision making and a little slower in our offense and that helped us,” Brey said.

Senior guard Tory Jackson and junior forward Tyrone Nash each had 11 points.

Senior forward Billy Baptist led the Hawks with 14 points and junior center Justin Brock added 11. Junior guard Tyler Burke went 3-of-9 from 3-point range and finished with nine points.

The Irish and Hawks traded leads until junior forward Tim Abromaitis drew a foul as he sank a layup, and he pushed the Irish lead to 15-11 with 11:49 left in the half when he made the free throw.

Notre Dame scored eight straight points, the final four in transition and off of turnovers, during a two-minute stretch in the first half. Abromaitis capped the run with a layup after a Hansbrough steal to make the score 28-17 with 7:03 left.

Hayes made a 3, but then Notre Dame put together another run, this time 10 points, to take a 38-20 lead with 2:40 left in the half.

The Irish started the second half just as hot, and Hansbrough’s 3-pointer with 16:35 left gave Notre Dame a 20-point lead.

“I was going through a shooting slump, but coach Brey was very good at telling me, ‘Hey keep shooting you’ll make the next one,'” Hansbrough said.

The 33 3-pointers the Irish took were a lot, Hansbrough said, but most of them were open looks.

“I would say 80 percent of those are just from penetrating and kicking, wide open looks,” he said. “You can’t tell them to turn it down.”

Harangody decided to heave it up often Friday night, and his third 3-pointer gave Notre Dame a 52-31 lead with 14:12 left.

The Hawks pulled within 16 with help from Burke’s 3-pointer, but Hansbrough scored four points in less than a minute and helped push the Irish ahead by 21 with 6:15 left.

With 4:20 remaining, Jackson found junior forward Carleton Scott for a transition alley-oop that revitalized the Joyce Center and gave Notre Dame a 69-47 lead.

Freshman forward Jack Cooley threw back a layup that went in as time expired, capping the success of the night for Notre Dame.

Harangody said the Irish looked like a completely different team than the one that showed up on Nov. 1, but the team knows they still have work to do before the season starts.

“I still think we’re a better ball movement team than we’ve shown,” Hansbrough said.