SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Ben Hansbrough scored 25 points and Carleton Scott had 12 points and 11 rebounds to lead No. 9 Notre Dame to its fifth straight win, 76-69 victory over Rutgers on Sunday.
The Irish (19-4, 8-3) reclaimed sole possession of second place in the Big East behind No. 4 Pittsburgh and will host No. 15 Louisville on Wednesday.
Scott Martin had 14 points for Notre Dame and Tim Abromaitis added 10.
Jonathan Mitchell scored 24 points for Rutgers (12-11, 3-8) while Dane Miller added 11.
Notre Dame was 27 of 34 from the free throw line and scored only two field goals over the last 8 minutes. Rutgers was 8 of 12 from the line.
Notre Dame pulled away from a 7-7 tie with a 17-6 run that included five straight points and a nice assist by Hansbrough. The Irish stretched the lead to 25-15 before a 3-pointer by the Scarlet Knights' James Beatty started a 7-0 run and got Rutgers within 25-22.
Notre Dame led 37-33 at halftime with Hansbrough scoring 10 points.
The teams battled evenly in the second half before two free throws by Martin started an 8-2 run that made it 51-43 with 12:36 to play. Consecutive 3-pointers by Rutgers made it a two-point game before a layup by Hansbrough sparked an 11-2 run that gave the Irish a 62-51 lead.