Notre Dame took a 35-27 lead into halftime over No. 12 Pittsburgh in Purcell Pavilion.
With forward Luke Harangody still sidelined with a bone bruise on his right knee, the Irish did what they had to do to have a chance against Pitt.
Notre Dame played aggressive man-to-man defense, really sticking to their guys and rotating quickly to keep the Panthers out of sync on offense. Pitt went 5 for 15 in the opening 10 minutes.
The Irish's only hiccup on defense to start the game was when they tried a 2-3 zone, which the Panthers made them pay for with a three-pointer from Ashton Gibbs.
Pitt hit 12 of 29 from the floor in the first half and only went 2 of 10 on three-pointers.
On offense, the Irish hit 4 of 5 three-pointers to take a 20-12 lead with 11:04 to play forcing the Panthers to call a timeout about 30 seconds before the second media timeout.
Notre Dame finished the half hitting 6 of 8 three-pointers and going 12 of 23 from the floor.
Tim Abromaitis is leading the way with 10 points, and Ben Hansbrough has put on a show in the first half scoring nine points, dishing out three assists and grabbing four rebounds – two on defense and two on offense.
A 75 percent clip from behind the arc will be hard to keep up for the Irish, but if they can continue to stay dangerous from the outside and continue the strong man-to-man defense from the first half, they may have a chance tonight.