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Abromaitis, Hansbrough star as Irish crush 'Nova

Mar 1, 2011 - 4:48 AM South Bend, IN (Sports Network) - Tim Abromaitis and Ben Hansbrough couldn't miss, each scoring 30 points on a special record-setting senior night in South Bend, as eighth-ranked Notre Dame blitzed slumping 19th-ranked Villanova, 93-72.

The sharp-shooters became the first Notre Dame tandem to each score 30-plus points since Colin Falls and Chris Quinn on February 18, 2006 against Seton Hall. Hansbrough and Abromaitis made a combined 16-of-23 three-pointers, Hansbrough tied a career-best with seven treys and the Fighting Irish drained a school-record 20 threes on the game.

"I think I was so overwhelmed with the joy and the moments of this being my last time to play with these guys (at home)," said Hansbrough. "I was very emotional before the game. I told these guys before the game, 'Do it for us.' I think that really carried over into our play out there tonight."

Tyrone Nash added 11 points and 11 rebounds, Hansbrough dished out 10 assists and Carleton Scott donated 10 points for Notre Dame (24-5, 13-4), which won its third straight and for the 10th time in 11 games. The Fighting Irish also clinched a double-bye in the upcoming Big East tournament.

Corey Fisher scored 22 points, Antonio Pena added 12 and Maalik Wayns totaled 11 points and eight assists for Villanova (21-9, 9-8), which lost its third successive game and for the fifth time in seven games.

"That was impressive," Villanova head coach Jay Wright said of Notre Dame's execution. "That's all that I can say about that. We have to go home and relax and think about that. That kid (Hansbrough) just dominated the game. He did a great job against Fisher. He defended; he controlled temp. He made shots. He got everyone else shots. I was just very, very impressed with them."

Notre Dame started strong, finding its shooters in stride behind the arc. The Fighting Irish made five of their first seven shots, including four triples, the last by Abromaitis for a 14-4 lead.

By the time Eric Atkins stepped into another three for the home team, the Fighting Irish sported a 22-9 edge. The wave of long-distance shots continued as Abromaitis and Hansbrough stroked triples, the latter for a 29-15 lead, and the wing scorer Abromaitis again found a seam and connected from long distance for a 33-16 margin near the five-minute mark.

In total, Notre Dame made 11-of-19 three-point shots in the first 20 minutes against a Villanova defense that ranks in the top 15 nationally against the three-pointer. Hansbrough and Abromaitis each drained four triples, and Notre Dame held a 47-27 lead at the half.

The second half featured more of the same, as Scott's triple nearly eight minutes in opened a staggering 29-point edge, 63-34. Fisher had a strong 17- point second half for the Wildcats, but it was overshadowed by Notre Dame's scorching long-range shooting. Hansbrough's three a minute later made the score 68-36, and the rout was one.

Game Notes

Hansbrough tied a career high with 10 assists...Nash's 11 rebounds were also a career best...Abromaitis' nine three-pointers were a career high...The Fighting Irish finished the season a perfect 17-0 at the Purcell Pavilion, the only undefeated team in the league at home...Notre Dame senior walk-on Tom Kopko scored on a driving bucket to loud cheers with 34.3 seconds to play. Kopko's claim to fame is his family were once neighbors with now-President of the United States Barack Obama.