Jan. 8, 2011
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NOTRE DAME, Ind. (AP) - Justin Brownlee scored in double-figures for the sixth-straight game with a 17-point effort, but Ben Hansbrough scored 26 to lead No. 14/15 Notre Dame to a 76-61 victory against St. John's. The loss ended St. John's (10-4, 3-1) five-game winning-streak and marked the Red Storm's first BIG EAST loss of the season.
Tim Abromaitis and Scott Martin added 12 each for the Irish (14-2, 3-1), which improved to 11-0 at home and delighted the Joyce Center crowd that turned out despite a storm that dumped nearly 3 feet of snow on the South Bend area.
"We missed some point-blank shots early, which were deflating plays, and then took some quick, ill-advised shots and made some turnovers. Put that together and that gives Notre Dame a big lead with the way they play at home, controlling the tempo," said head coach Steve Lavin. "Now, the focus is staying on the path to improvement, watch film, keep putting 'hammer to rock,' and prepare for another high-level BIG EAST opponent in Syracuse."
Brownlee led St. John's with 17 points and also added a team-high seven rebounds. But unlike the last five games, when four players averaged double-figures, only one teammate reached that mark. Dwayne Polee II, the lone other player in double-figures, chipped in 12 points for St. John's, which shot just 38.2 percent (21-of-55), its second-lowest shooting percentage of the season.
St. John's showed glimpses of the team that began BIG EAST conference play with its winning streak,, taking two-straight on the road and knocking off a ranked team, Georgetown, for the first time in two years. Notre Dame, however, quickly squelched any hope the Red Storm had of extending the run as Hansbrough made three 3-pointers in less than three minutes to give Notre Dame an 18-7 lead with 11:45 left in the opening half.
Brownlee got St. John's within single digits on a hook shot, but Eric Atkins responded with the shot of the night. With the shot clock ticking down, Notre Dame couldn't get an open look around the basket and the ball got kicked out to Atkins, who coolly drained a 3 as the buzzer sounded.
Brownlee immediately answered with a 3 of his own to pull St. John's to within 29-20 with 6:11 left before the Irish finished the half on a 15-5 run and took a 44-25 lead into halftime.
Paris Horne added nine points for St. John's, while D.J. Kennedy and Dwight Hardy added eight apiece.
St. John's returns home to host No. 4/4 Syracuse for a 7 p.m. contest on Jan. 12 at Madison Square Garden.