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Irish handle Walker, hold off UConn

Notre Dame guard Ben Hansbrough, left, racing Connecticut guard Shabazz Napier for a loose ball during the second half, had 21 points and helped hold Huskies star Kemba Walker to 19.

Associated Press

Notre Dame guard Ben Hansbrough, left, racing Connecticut guard Shabazz Napier for a loose ball during the second half, had 21 points and helped hold Huskies star Kemba Walker to 19.

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Ben Hansbrough's assignment was to slow the NCAA's leading scorer and make sure UConn's Kemba Walker didn't take over the game.

Mission accomplished.

Hansbrough led Notre Dame with 21 points Tuesday night and helped hold Walker to 19 — shy of his head-turning 26.7 average — as the 14th-ranked Irish stayed unbeaten at home by holding off the eighth-ranked Huskies 73-70.

Walker had his streak of 11 games with at least 20 points stopped.

"He's one of the best guards in the country. That's a great challenge for me. When I see somebody as talented as him, I see that as a challenge," said Hansbrough, who helped to force Walker into 8-for-23 shooting, including 0-for-5 on 3-pointers.

"He's a great competitor. It was a fun night to play against him."

Walker said the Irish didn't do anything differently against him defensively. It wasn't as much Hansbrough as it was his shot just not falling.

"I think I got every shot I wanted. I just missed," Walker said. "I'm not saying he didn't do a good job on me; he did. The whole team did a great job. I got shots I usually make. I just couldn't hit them. … I just missed some easy ones that I was making all season. That's it. It happens."

Tim Abromaitis, who missed three free throws in the final 19 seconds, added 19 points for the Irish (13-2, 2-1 Big East), who were without starting forward Carleton Scott because of a hamstring injury. Notre Dame is 10-0 at home this season.

Alex Oriakhi, UConn's second-leading scorer at 11.3 points per game, was held scoreless for the Huskies (11-2, 1-2).

NO. 2 OHIO ST. 73, IOWA 68: Freshman Jared Sullinger had 24 points and 12 rebounds, and the visiting Buckeyes (15-0, 2-0 Big Ten) rallied.

NO. 5 PITT 83, PROVIDENCE 79: Gary McGhee scored all of his 13 in the second half, grabbing a key rebound and making two free throws with 18 seconds left as the visiting Panthers (14-1, 2-0 Big East) held off the Friars.

NO. 12 TEXAS 79, ARKANSAS 46: Jordan Hamilton had 16 points to lead four players in double figures for the host Longhorns (12-2), who had their biggest blowout in the schools' 153 meetings.

RUTGERS: Freshman guard Austin Carroll will miss as long as six weeks with a knee injury suffered Sunday. He will have surgery on his left knee Thursday.


NO. 3 DUKE 54, NO. 10 KENTUCKY 48: Jasmine Thomas had 24 points and hit four free throws in the final 14.7 seconds to seal the win for the host Blue Devils (14-0), who held the Wildcats (11-2) to their fewest points this season.

NO. 7 TEXAS A&M 105, LA.-MONROE 57: Danielle Adams had 32 points, and the host Aggies (12-1) wrapped up their nonconference schedule with their sixth straight win.

NO. 15 GEORGETOWN 80, NO. 23 SYRACUSE 62: Monica McNutt scored a career-high 27 and Sugar Rodgers had 24 points and 10 rebounds for the host Hoyas (13-3, 1-1 Big East), who won their sixth straight game and forced the Orange (12-2, 0-1) into a season-high 31 turnovers.

NO. 17 IOWA ST. 80, NORTH DAKOTA ST. 51: Anna Prins scored 16 of her career-high 22 in the first half, and the host Cyclones (12-2) opened the second half with a 22-3 run.

LOUISVILLE 84, NO. 18 ST. JOHN'S 73: Monique Reid had 24 points and Becky Burke 21 for the host Cardinals, who forced the Red Storm (12-3, 1-1 Big East) into a season-high 23 turnovers.

Irish handle Walker, hold off UConn 01/04/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, January 4, 2011 11:57pm]
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