Rutgers 69

(12-11, 3-8 Big East)

(9) Notre Dame 76

(19-4, 8-3 Big East)

    Coverage: FULLCT/ESPN3

    12:00 PM ET, February 6, 2011

    Purcell Pavilion, South Bend, Indiana

    1 2 T
    RUTG 33 3669
    #9ND 37 3976

    Top Performers

    Rutgers: J. Mitchell 24 Pts, 7 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Stl

    Notre Dame: B. Hansbrough 25 Pts, 6 Reb, 5 Ast, 1 Stl

    Rutgers-Notre Dame Preview


    Notre Dame coach Mike Brey thought his team was energetic in its previous game despite a lengthy layoff. He's probably hoping to get a similar response during a busy seven days in the Big East.

    The ninth-ranked Fighting Irish welcome Rutgers to the Joyce Center on Sunday for their first of three games this week.

    Notre Dame (18-4, 7-3) got nine days off following an upset of then-No. 2 Pitt on Jan. 24 and spent two of those at a hotel while trying to avoid a major blizzard in the Chicago area. The Irish did practice twice before easily handling DePaul 83-58 on Thursday night.

    In his team's fourth straight win, Ben Hansbrough scored 24 points while making 7 of 12 shots. He has averaged 23.7 points on 61.0 percent shooting over the past three games.

    "I thought the layoff helped us. We got energized," coach Mike Brey said. "I thought we handled all those distractions well. I thought we were excited to play again."

    The chance to help Brey match his best start in 11 seasons at the school might have Notre Dame equally enthused. The Irish won 19 of 23 to open 2002-03.

    Returning home could have the same effect, as Notre Dame is 13-0 there.

    "It'll be great to get back home and feel the energy," Brey said. "This group is chasing down a goal of being regular season champions."

    The Irish, tied for second in the conference, will try to get its busy stretch off to a strong start by beating a Rutgers team that prevailed 74-73 in last season's matchup in New Jersey.

    After Sunday's game, Notre Dame hosts No. 15 Louisville on Wednesday night and play the first of three straight road contests Saturday against South Florida.

    "We can't take a day off on anybody in this league," forward Tyrone Nash said. "We have to come on and treat Rutgers like it's Pitt or Syracuse. Any letdown we have they can take advantage and beat us."

    The Scarlet Knights (12-10, 3-7) enter this matchup as one of the Big East's worst scoring teams (66.4 ppg). They've averaged 58.0 points during a season high-tying three consecutive defeats but have been competitive in the last two of those games, losing by a combined five points.

    After falling 65-62 to Pitt on Jan. 29, the Scarlet Knights gave up a layup with four seconds left in Wednesday night's 58-56 loss at St. John's.

    "I told them I liked their fight, but eventually they are going to have to stop getting in their own way and allow themselves to be successful," said first-year coach Mike Rice, whose team dropped to 2-6 on the road.

    Jonathan Mitchell, Rice's only player averaging in double figures (13.6 ppg), had 21 points and hit a season-high four 3-pointers while making 8 of 9 shots. The senior forward is averaging 17.4 points and shooting 58.5 percent over the past five games.

    He had 12 points in last season's win over Notre Dame. Dane Miller and James Beatty also scored in double figures in that game.

    Notre Dame had a five-game overall winning streak against Rutgers snapped last season, but leads the all-time series 16-12 and has won six in a row at home over the Scarlet Knights.


    School Info

    Conference Big Ten ACC
    Nickname Scarlet Knights Fighting Irish
    Type Public Private

    2010-11 Season

    » Feb 6, 2011 @ND 76, RUTG 69Recap