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Notre Dame hits 11 3s, beats Providence 93-78

Dec 31, 2009 - 4:20 AM By TOM COYNE AP Sports Writer

SOUTH BEND, Ind.(AP) -- Jonathan Peoples scored a career-high 23 points and Tim Abromaitis added 22 to lead Notre Dame to a 93-78 victory over Providence on Wednesday night.

People and Abromaitis hit five 3-pointers each for the Fighting Irish (12-2, 1-0 Big East), who shot 50 percent from 3-point range.

Notre Dame used a 13-0 run early in the game to go ahead 15-4 and finished the half on a 13-1 run to open a 53-32 lead. The Irish made 56 percent of their shots in the half compared to 32 for the Friars (8-5, 0-1).

Providence opened the second half on an 13-1 run, cutting the lead to 54-45 when Sharaud Curry hit a jumper. But Abromaitis hit a 3 to restore the double-digit lead.

A 3-pointer by Abromaitis midway through the half gave the Irish a 67-53 lead and the Friars never got closer than 10 again.

Jamine Peterson led Providence with 24 points, while Curry had 23 and Marshon Brooks had 12.

Coach Mike Brey won his 200th game in 10 seasons at Notre Dame (200-103). Overall, Brey is 299-155.

Peoples, a senior who never hit more than two 3-pointers in a game, was 5-for-5 from 3-point range in the first half and had 17 points at intermission. His previous career high was 14 points against Providence in a 103-84 victory last season. All of his points in the second half came from the free-throw line as he didn't attempt a shot from outside and finished 6-for-7 from outside.

Notre Dame had a slight edge inside, outscoring the Friars in the paint 38-34. But just like last season, when the Irish hit 13 3-pointers in beating Providence, the Irish did their most damage from the outside in beating the Friars for a seventh straight time.

After missing their first five 3-pointers, Abromaitis got the Irish going when he hit from the outside 4:35 into the game. Peoples hit his first 3 with 11:29 left in the first half, then hit his second 38 seconds later. Moments later, he sandwiched a pair of 3s around a 3-pointer by Abromaitis.

He hit his final 3 of the half with 3:33 left. He hit his first 2-point basket when he and Abromaitis passed the ball back and forth without a bounce, scoring on a layup.

Luke Harangody got his school-record 57th career double-double, breaking the mark of LaPhonso Ellis (1988-92) with 19 points and 13 rebounds. But he struggled with his shot, going 6-for-21 from the field. Tory Jackson added 11 points and seven assists and Ben Hansbrough had 10 points.

Providence fell to 7-24 in Big East openers, while the Irish improved to 9-6.