SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Tyrone Nash and Ben Hansbrough led five scorers in double figures with 13 points each and injured senior Carleton Scott made a surprise return for No. 16 Notre Dame in a 66-58 victory over No. 25 Cincinnati on Wednesday night.
Reserve Sean Kilpatrick scored 16 points, including seven straight with 7 minutes, to play for the Bearcats (16-3, 3-3 Big East). Cincinnati made three 3-pointers late and used an 8-0 run to close the deficit to five points with 1:12 to go.
But Notre Dame (15-4, 4-3) went 7 for 8 from the free throw line the rest of the way.
Out since injuring his hamstring in a Jan. 1 loss at Syracuse, Scott hit both shots he attempted, two 3-pointers.
Hansbrough, who was 1 for 8 from the field, finished 11 for 12 from the free throw line. Tim Abromaitis added 12 points for the Irish.
Yancy Gates had 13 points for Cincinnati.
After shooting less than 20 percent from 3-point range in two straight road losses, the Irish got hot at home against the Bearcats, connecting on 7 of 14 from long range.
Notre Dame started the game 1 for 8 from the field, but hit its next six shots during a stretch where Scott entered for the first time. The Irish used a 15-2 run to take a 10-point lead. Another 8-0 run near the end of the first half helped them to a 14-point halftime lead.
Coming off a rough shooting performance in a loss at Syracuse on Saturday, the Bearcats struggled again, hitting just four of their first 22 shots. Cincinnati finished shooting 38 percent.
Eric Atkins and Scott Martin each had 11 points for the Irish.