Hansbrough leads Notre Dame to win over SycamoresDec 1, 2010 - 4:41 AM South Bend, IN (Sports Network) - Ben Hansbrough posted 24 points and five assists as 25th-ranked Notre Dame downed Indiana State, 81-72, at Joyce Center.
Tyrone Nash scored 16 points with seven rebounds and Scott Martin added 15 and five boards for the Fighting Irish (8-0), who face a huge test against nationally-ranked Kentucky in Lexington on December 8.
"Tomorrow's an off day, but we'll come back in Thursday. I don't know if we'll get a full practice in, but we'll definitely shoot around and maybe get a lift in," said Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey of the plan for his team during the long layoff. "Friday we'll get a good practice in for an hour and 45 or maybe two hours. Saturday, then, is an off day, to help space the week out. Then Sunday we'll come back in and get to work, since we've got a big week for us."
Tim Abromaitis clocked in with 13 points and Carleton Scott had 11 for Notre Dame.
Dwayne Lathan recorded team-high 22 points for the Sycamores (3-4), who had won two in a row. Jake Kelly contributed 17 points with four assists and Carl Richard scored 14 in defeat.
Myles Walker's deuce with just over six minutes left in the first half lifted ISU to a 30-27 advantage, but a Nash jumper and two free throws kicked off an 11-3 run which saw the Irish lead 38-33 at the break. Martin ended the burst with a jumper.
A Hansbrough trey gave Notre Dame a 46-35 advantage with just over two minutes played in the second half, and though Indiana State closed within seven shortly after, an 11-4 run for the Irish ensued, ending with a Nash lay-in for a 59-45 game with 11:27 remaining.
The Sycamores could only move within eight from that point, upon a Lathan layup with 1:14 to go which made it 74-66. However, Hansbrough sank all four of his free-throw attempts down the stretch and Nash added two of his own to secure the victory.
"We needed to get more stops tonight. We have to play at two speeds," said Indiana State head coach Greg Lansing. "We want to push the ball in transition, but against a set defense we have to be more patient. At times we also became a little too quick and just needed to slow the game down. I feel like we just had a letdown on defense tonight."
Indiana State led 7-4 early on, and Kelly's trey made it 16-12 for ISU less than six minutes in. Notre Dame's 7-0 run put it ahead 19-16 roughly two minutes later on two from the line by Scott, and both sides took turns with the lead until the Irish's late first-half surge.
Notre Dame has won both meetings between the schools, but this was the first matchup since the 1947-48 season...The Fighting Irish were a sizzling 60 percent from the floor in the second half and shot 53.8 percent (28-of-52) for the game...ND won the battle on the glass, 36-27...Richard led all players with three steals.
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