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Hansbrough helps Notre Dame hold off Rutgers

Feb 6, 2011 - 8:34 PM South Bend, IN (Sports Network) - Ben Hansbrough had 25 points, Scott Martin scored 14, and ninth-ranked Notre Dame fended off Rutgers, 76-69, at the Joyce Center.

Hansbrough added six rebounds and five assists for the Fighting Irish (19-4, 8-3 Big East), who extended their winning streak to five games. Carleton Scott posted a double-double of 12 points and 11 boards in the victory.

"It was a hard game for us," said Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey. "It was good for our group because I think we're going to be in a lot of games like this the rest of the way."

Jonathan Mitchell notched 24 points and seven rebounds for the Scarlet Knights (12-11, 3-8), who have dropped four games in a row.

"We have to play with a little more purpose on the defensive side," said Rutgers head coach Mike Rice. "When we have wide-open shots, we have to shoot a better percentage. To beat a ranked team, you're going to have to make your open shots, and we didn't do that today."

Tyrone Nash hit a layup to give Notre Dame a 25-15 lead with 9:31 to play in the first half. Rutgers later trimmed its deficit to two, but a Hansbrough jumper put the home team up 37-33 at the break.

The Scarlet Knights continued to hang around, closing within 51-49 on Austin Carroll's three-pointer with 11 minutes remaining. Notre Dame responded with an 11-2 burst that expanded its lead to 62-51. Hansbrough sank two free throws to cap the surge with 5:27 left.

Rutgers made another run and trailed by only three inside the final minute. Hansbrough, though, sealed the win at the foul line.

Game Notes

Notre Dame improved to 14-0 at home this season...Tim Abromaitis had 10 points and eight rebounds for the Fighting Irish...Hansbrough converted 11-of-13 free throws...Dane Miller scored 11 points in the loss.