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Notre Dame overcomes early struggles for win

Notre Dame's first home game since an 89-79 overtime victory over Louisville did not start well.

The No. 9 Irish went 8 for 25 from the floor, had seven turnovers and trailed by as much as 11 to Seton Hall in the first half.

But Notre Dame found away to turn it around on the night the university added former guard Austin Carr to the Purcell Pavilion's ring of honor, and the Irish defeated the Pirates 60-48 Saturday.

"We were sloppy in the first half offensively," guard Ben Hansbrough said. "I think a lot of that was we felt the energy. This is the first time we've been here in a while. We felt the energy, but we found a way to win though."

Notre Dame began its turnaround after falling behind 25-14 with 2:55 to play in the first half.

The Irish closed the first half on a 10-2 run and cut their deficit to 27-24 at the break after back-to-back three-pointers from Hansbrough and Tim Abromaitis.

Abromaitis, who scored a game-high 22 points, hit his three as time ran out in the half.

"It was nice definitely to go into halftime with a three-point deficit, instead of six or nine like it was a minute earlier," Abromaitis said. "(The shot) might have been a little lucky, but it was good for us to see it go down to end the half. I think it helped us kind of forget some of our other shots that we should have made in the first half. I think it was pretty big for us."

Notre Dame (23-5, 12-4 Big East) kept things going in the right direction against Seton Hall (11-17, 5-11) by opening the second half on a 13-3 run to take a 37-30 lead with 14:27.

But the Irish were not able to completely put the Pirates away as Seton Hall twice cut it deficit to one point in the second half.

After the Pirates pulled within 44-43 of the Irish with 7:13 to play, Notre Dame was able to make a final push with a 12-3 run for a 56-46 lead with 2:02 remaining.

"We found a way to get out of there," coach Mike Brey said. "In the second half, we were better defensively and more efficient offensively. In the first half, we didn't do enough stuff defensively, and maybe it's because we missed our shots and hung our heads a little.

"We were very fortunate to be down three at halftime. We finished the half with a little momentum and then we found our identity in the last 20 minutes."

Unhappy coach

Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard helped Notre Dame's 13-3 run in the opening minutes of the second half.

The Pirates coach was called for a technical foul just more than five minutes into the half, and Abromaitis buried a pair of free throws for a 36-30 lead with 14:54 to play.

As far as whey Willard got T'd up, the coach didn't give much up after the game.

"You'd have to ask (referee) Jim Burr about that," said Willard, who was around the three-point line when he was called for the technical. "You'd have to ask him. I didn't give it to myself that's for sure."

That was different

Notre Dame forward Scott Martin pulled of an odd play with 1:08 to play.

When Seton Hall rolled the ball up the floor to preserve time on the clock after a Notre Dame basket, Martin dove for the ball and ended up getting a jump ball called.

And with the arrow pointing in the Irish's favor no less.

"I can honestly say I have not seen anyone do that before," Martin said of the play. "I don't know if he misjudged how far away from him I was or what, but I saw him look up at me and I just sort of dove. I got lucky. I got it."

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