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Hazell eyes are smiling

Michael Bryan | Friday, February 12, 2010

The Irish continued their struggles away from home Thursday, falling at Seton Hall 90-87 for their fifth loss in six away games this season.

Pirates (13-9, 4-7 Big East) guard Jeremy Hazell tore apart the Notre Dame defense, sinking 12 of his 16 field goal attempts for 35 points. The Irish (17-8, 6-6 Big East) played the final four minutes without senior forward Luke Harangody, who suffered an apparent ankle injury coming down after a rebound.

Notre Dame had two looks at forcing overtime in the final seconds, with junior forwards Tim Abromaitis and Carleton Scott both missing 3-point attempts just before time expired.
Senior point guard Tory Jackson posted a season-high 25 points to lead the Irish and added six assists.

After a back-and-forth opening five minutes, the Pirates took an early 15-10 lead. Notre Dame quickly responded, going on a 10-0 run to take a five-point lead.
In the closing minutes of the first half, Hazell and Seton Hall caught the Irish and began to build a lead. Five points from Hazell in the final minute gave the Pirates a 49-39 lead heading into halftime.

After the break Notre Dame slowly began to chip away at the Pirates lead. A  Harangody 3 with 11 minutes remaining tied the contest again at 63-63.
Seton Hall kept firing away from distance, taking back the lead with consecutive 3-pointers from Hazell and senior guard Eugene Harvey.

Hazell’s fifth 3 of the game then gave Seton Hall a nine-point lead with just over six minutes remaining.

The Irish would not quit despite the deficit, even after Harangody went out with the injury. Attacking the Pirate defense, free throws by Abromaitis, Joey Brooks and Tyrone Nash brought Notre Dame back within a point at 83-82 with less than two minutes to go.

Missed free throws down the stretch gave Notre Dame several opportunities to tie or take the lead, but the Irish couldn’t convert from the field. Notre Dame missed three field-goal attempts in the final 30 seconds.

Harangody and Nash each had 13 points and six rebounds in the loss. Abromaitis shot just 2 of 7 from the field but made all 12 of his free throw attempts to finish with 18 points.

Despite shooting 54 percent from the field and 52 percent from 3-point range, the Irish were still out-gunned by the Pirates. Seton Hall shot 55 percent overall and 63 percent on 3-point shots.

Notre Dame will next face St. John’s Sunday at Purcell Pavilion, needing a win to continue to stay in the NCAA Tournament conversation. Tip-off will be at 7:30 p.m.