‘Amazing night’: ND wins Brey’s home ending

SOUTH BEND, Ind.– Marcus Hammond and Cormac Ryan each scored 20 points as Notre Dame won longtime coach Mike Brey’s final house game with an 88-81 victory over No. 25 Pittsburgh on Wednesday night.Nate Laszewski and Trey Wertz each added 14 points as the Battling Irish (11-19, 3-16 Atlantic Coast Conference) snapped a seven-game losing streak.Brey, who is stepping down at season’s end and received warm ovations from the crowd prior to and after the game, improved to 315-76 at Purcell Pavilion over 23 years as Notre Dame coach.”What an amazing night,”Brey stated over the general public address.

“We defended pretty much the entire game. I believed we were excellent defensively. … It was neat for our elders to end up like that.”Jamarius Burton, Nelly Cummings and Nike Sibande all scored 19 points, and Blake Hinson included 15

points and 13 rebounds for the Panthers( 21-9, 14-5), who got in with wins in 8 of their last nine games. Pitt was playing its first game considering that moving into the AP Top 25 for the first time in seven years.

Mike Brey celebrates Notre Dame’s win over Pitt on Wednesday. He’s stepping down as the team’s coach at season’s end after 23 years at the school. AP Photo/Michael Caterina

“Primarily, congrats to Notre Dame,” Panther coach Jeff Capel stated. “They were excellent. I knew they would come out and be actually inspired and emotional [with 5 grad gamers in their starting lineup], and clearly being the last game here for coach Brey.”

Pitt, the conference leader going in, had a possibility to clinch a minimum of a tie for its first ACC title across its ten years in the league, but struggled with its shooting.The Panthers finished 7 of 22 on 3-pointers and 20 of 36 at the line, while the Irish closed 10 of 27 and 26 of 31. “There’s a lot of things we didn’t succeed,” Capel stated, “however I enjoy the fight that we had.”

Notre Dame led by a high of 61-41 at 11:49 remaining, after scoring the last 11 points of the very first half for a 42-28 benefit at the break. Late-rallying Pitt got no closer than 84-79 at 38 seconds remaining.

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