Notre Dame’s Three Point Barrage a Special Shooting Night

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Tim Abromaitis hit a career-high nine 3-pointers and he and Hansbrough scored 30 points each as the eighth-ranked Irish routed No. 19 Villanova 93-72 on Monday night. The victory ensured a double bye in the Big East tournament for Notre Dame and wrapped up a 17-0 season at home, the only Big East team to go unbeaten on its home court this season. Abromaitis’ nine 3-pointers were one shy of the school record set by Kyle McAlarney against North Carolina in 2008.

Notre Dame (24-5, 13-4) finished 20 for 32 on 3-pointers. The Irish, shooting 37.7 percent from 3-point range this season, were 11 for 19 in the first half, including 4 of 6 from Hansbrough, to build a 47-27 lead.

Ben Hansbrough

“I did not expect it, but we’ve been kind of take what the [defense] gives you. We made a bunch early and then we didn’t make some. I debated telling them to slow down, but we were getting great looks. We’ve got guys that can shoot the ball, but overall I think it was just take what the defense gives you. As long as you continue to make them, you’ve got to keep taking them and tonight we kept making them,” Brey said of the 32 three-point attempts.

The previous high for three point field goals was 19 against South Dakota on Dec. 2, 2008. The 20 treys also matched a BIG EAST record. West Virginia made 20 against Marquette on Jan. 14, 2006. Notre Dame’s 20 made three-pointers marked the sixth time this season – and first in BIG EAST play – that the Irish have hit 10 or more treys in a game. The Irish have won all six on those contests.

“Yeah I was telling [Tim Abromaitis] after the game, ‘Did me and you hit 16 threes combined? What?’ Yeah, I guess that’s a decent shooting night. I think that was just part of our mental preparation and just our guys getting in the gym and working on their shots by themselves. We seized the opportunities when the were there,” Hansbrough said of the three point aerial assault.

cored 30-plus points for the second time this season. He had a career-high 32 points last Wednesday at Providence. Hansbrough has a career-high 12-game double-figure scoring streak. That’s the longest double-digit scoring streak for the Irish this season. Hansbrough has scored in double-digits a team-high 27 times this season (out of 29 games). Tonight was his team-best 13th 20-plus point game of the season. His three-straight 20-plus point games matches a career-best mark from earlier this season.

Notre Dame’s 11 made three-pointers in the first half tied the most-ever for an Irish team in one half of a BIG EAST game. During the 2008-09 season, the Irish made 11 three-pointers in the first half of the Pittsburgh and Providence contests. The Fighting Irish connected on 11 treys during the second half of the St. John’s contest during the 2003-04 campaign.

“They were kind of swarming on defense a little bit, so we were able to stay patient and swing the ball, reverse it and get open looks and knock them down,” Abro said about how wide open they were getting all night.

He registered his first 30-point performance of the season and the third of his career. Abromaitis has scored in double-figures in seven of the past eight games and 24 times overall this season.

Notre Dame has posted a 93-40 record over the past four seasons. The 93 wins ties the program record for most victories in a four-year span. It matches the win total from 2006-10 (93-43). The past four seasons also has produced the most regular-season BIG EAST victories (45-26) in school history.

By the way, here’s the ND intro video:

 

Written by Paul M. Banks, President and CEO of The Sports Bank.net, a Midwest webzine. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, the Tribune’s blog network, Walter Football, Yardbarker Network, and Fox Sports

He does a weekly radio segment on Chicagoland Sports Radio.com and Cleveland.com

You can follow him on Twitter @thesportsbank

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