Jermaine Dixon, left, lays the ball in the basket as Notre Dame guard Jonathan Peoples defends in the first half.
Feb. 24, 2010
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) -Notre Dame slowed it down against No. 12 Pittsburgh and turned the game into a runaway.
Playing a more deliberate style because Luke Harangody was out a third straight game with a bone bruise on his right knee, the Fighting Irish were 10 of 18 from 3-point range to end the Panthers' five-game winning streak with a 68-53 victory Wednesday night.
The Panthers (21-7, 10-5 Big East), who hadn't given up more than nine 3-pointers in a game this season, were just 4 of 18 from behind the arc.
"It seemed like we had wide open 3s and they had guarded 3s. Theirs went down and ours didn't," Pittsburgh coach Jamie Dixon said. "Our defense wasn't good enough. That was clear."
Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said patience was the key for the Irish (18-10, 7-8).
"We got great shots at the end of long possessions," Brey said.
Tim Abromaitis scored 17 points, Ben Hansbrough had 15 points and nine rebounds and Tory Jackson had 14 points and seven assists for the Irish. Abromaitis and Jackson were both 3 of 5 from 3-point range.
"I think just being patient on offense was a key for us," Abromaitis said. "There were a lot of possessions that went down to single digits on the shot clock and we waited until we had the best look we could possibly get."
The Irish took command with a 19-3 run that started with a fallaway jumper at the halftime buzzer by Jackson that gave Notre Dame a 35-27 lead. Carleton Scott then made back-to-back 3-pointers early in the second half, followed by another 3-pointer by Jackson. Hansbrough followed with a three-point play, scoring on a reverse layup and a free throw after he was fouled by Dixon. Another 3-pointer by Abromaitis gave the Irish a 52-30 lead.
Notre Dame extended the lead to 58-34 when Abromaitis made a pair of free throws with 9:05 left. The Panthers didn't get closer than 19 until the final minute.
"We got beat in pretty much every aspect," Jamie Dixon said. "This is one game, one loss, but right now it feels like a number of losses."
The Panthers, who matched a season high with 21 offensive rebounds in their upset of Villanova on Sunday, were outrebounded 34-25 by the Irish even though they were without Harangody, their leading rebounder at 10 a game.
"I don't know if anybody has ever lost like this, with four turnovers in a game. It's tough to lose by 15 and have only four turnovers," Dixon said.
Dixon said the Panthers need to put the loss behind them.
"It was one loss," he said. "That's how we look at it."