SOUTH BEND, IND – Hot-shooting Notre Dame defeated No. 12 Pitt, 68-53, on Wednesday night to gain a much-needed win and keep alive NCAA Tournament at-large hopes that had reached life support.
Pitt (21-7, 10-5), looking to improve its seeding for the upcoming Big East and NCAA tournaments, saw its five-game winning streak snapped with one of its most lopsided Big East regular-season losses under seventh-year coach Jamie Dixon.
Notre Dame (18-10, 7-8), playing in third consecutive game without injured All-American senior forward Luke Harangody (bruised knee), used its perimeter shooting performance to end its two-game losing streak.
The Fighting Irish made 10 3-pointers on 18 attempts against Pitt’s top-rated Big East defense.
Pitt was just as cold, shooting 4 for 18 from 3-point range in its third-worst scoring performance of the season.
Jermaine Dixon had 13 and Ashton Gibbs 11 for Pitt, which lost for the 13th time in its past 18 trips to South Bend.
Pitt turned the ball over a season-low four times, but the Panthers were outrebounded, 34-25, by a hungry Notre Dame squad.
Redshirt sophomore forward Tim Abromatis, who has taken over the scoring burden since Harangody’s injury, scored 17 points to lead four Notre Dame players in double figures. Ben Hansbrough added 15 points and nine rebounds, while Tory Jackson had 14 points and seven assists and Tyrone Nash 13 points.
Notre Dame blew open a tight game by going on a 17-3 run to open the second half.