Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Hansbrough, Irish Burn #2 Pitt

College Hoops Player of the Day for Monday, January 24, 2011

On a day in which the Pitt Panthers rose to the #2 team in the national polls, the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame invaded the Peterson Events Center and spoiled the fun with a slowdown offense and a big night from senior guard Ben Hansbrough.

What Notre Dame did with its aptly-named Burn offense - which relates to "burning the clock" - was to slow down the pace and use up 25 of the 35 seconds on the shot clock before going into their offense. The tactic worked well enough to keep the Irish within five points (28-23) at the half, after which they turned loose their point guard.

Hansbrough scored 15 of his game-high 19 points in the second half, as Notre Dame assumed the lead and kept the Panthers at bay. He scored 13 of the last 18 points for the Irish, mostly on drives to the hoop from the top of the key. The slowdown offense and Hansbrough's deft ball-handling resulted in a huge, 56-51, road win for the 16th-ranked Irish and the end of a 20-game home winning streak for Pitt.

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