Flip the Script

The new-look Irish scratched their way back into NCAA consideration with a huge upset at No. 11 Georgetown.

This time, A plus B did not equal C.

Notre Dame's recent formula in Big East road games was to come out in attack mode early; move the ball efficiently; challenge on the defensive end, and play the favored opponent to a standstill over the first 20, sometimes 30-35 minutes.

Then Part B would materialize, as the Irish would go into a shell and blow a winnable road game in the nation's toughest conference.

Saturday at the Verizon Center, and for the third time in as many games, Notre Dame committed to 40 minutes of determined, focused basketball, burying the heavily favored Hoyas, 78-64.

It was Notre Dame's fourth win in its last 17 Big East road games.

The Irish were led by a career effort from forward Carleton Scott. Making just his third start, the redshirt-junior scored a career-high 17 points, 12 in the first half including a pair of authoritative dunks after corralling a teammate's miss.

Scott hit 7 of 8 shots from the field, a total that included a 3-4 effort from beyond the arc.

Ben Hansbrough led all scorers with 21 points, 19 of which came in the second stanza. Hansbrough accounted for the visitors' first 12 points in a 3:20 span of the second half, hitting two running hook layups, a pair of three-pointers, and finally assisting on a cross-court pass to Scott that gave the Irish an 11-point lead, 43-32 with 16:40 remaining.

The Hoyas responded later in the contest with an 8-0 run to cut the margin to four, 50-46, with 8:40 remaining. The determined Irish refused to fold, 15 of the game's next 18 points as senior guard Tory Jackson, Hansbrough and Scott each hit three-point buckets while cold-shooting forward Tim Abromaitis drained a trio of free throws after being fouled on a three-point attempt.

Abromaitis, who connected on just 1-9 shots from long range, extended the Irish lead to an insurmountable 16, 65-49, with just over four minutes remaining.

The junior from Uniondale, Connecticut finished with 19 points thanks to a 7-19 effort from the floor.

Georgetown was led by sophomore center Greg Monroe who scored nine of his 15 points in the second half.

Hoyas guard Austin Freeman was held to five points on just five field goal attempts. Freeman did not start for the first time this season due to an apparent illness.

It was Notre Dame's second consecutive win over a ranked opponent, the first such occurrence for Mike Brey's troops since early December of 2006.

Jackson added nine points and five steals for the Irish, who moved to .500 with an 8-8 mark in Big East play. Tyrone Nash added eight points, six rebounds and four assists.

The game marked the 100th career conference victory for Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey (his 10th season at the helm). Brey ranks sixth all-time with ex-Villanova head coach Rollie Massimino (123 wins in 12 seasons) and ex-St. John's icon Lou Carnesseca (139 in 13) as the only coaches conceivably within reach.

Current Syracuse head coach Jim Boehiem is the conference's all-time leader with an astounding 369 wins in 31 seasons at the helm.

Notre Dame's next contest is Wednesday, March 3 vs. the red-hot UConn Huskies. Tip-off is set for 7 pm on ESPN.

Note: IrishEyes will have more on Saturday's upset victory in its player-by-player breakdown on Monday morning.


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