Atkins Leads Irish to Victory Over Delta Devils

Sophomore point guard scores 27 points in season opener

By, Andrew Bartolini

Going into the 2011-12 campaign, the Irish seemingly had a lot more questions than answers.  After their season opener against Mississippi Valley State, Eric Atkins definitely answered one of those questions.

The sophomore point guard netted a career-high 27 points on a nearly perfect night
shooting the ball.  Atkins was 6 of 7 from the field, 3 of 3 from three-point land and 12 of 12 from the foul line against the Delta Devils.  With the graduation of Ben Hansbrough, the Irish were searching for an additional scorer this season to complement senior co-captains Scott Martin and Tim Abromaitis, who was recently named to both the Naismith and Wooden Preseason Watch Lists. Atkins filled that need on Saturday afternoon.

“I thought Eric [Atkins] was a man and he sensed what he needed to do,” said head
coach Mike Brey.  “I thought overall we were pretty good defensively. We were
searching for that offensive rhythm at times, which worried me and I think he [realized] that he had to to do some things for us and he did. I thought just his overall demeanor was really a key for us and that maybe is a benefit of having Abromaitis out.  He has to do that for us this week even more so to speed up that kind of leadership demeanor when we get into league play.”

Martin added 15 points and 5 boards for the Irish in his first action of the year after he sat out both of the exhibition games with a minor ankle injury.  Sophomore Jerian Grant, who did not play last season to preserve a year of eligibility, rounded out Notre Dame’s trio of double-digit scorers as he totaled 11 points on 4 of 7 shooting. Grant’s ability to consistently help fill the point-scoring hole created by the departure of Hansbrough, Carleton Scott and Ty Nash could answer another one of the Irish’s questions this year.
The Irish will try to extend their current 20-game win streak at Purcell Pavilion on
Monday night when they host Detroit in their first game of the CBE Classic. The
contest can be seen on ESPNU and is slated to tip at 9:00 p.m.
Tickets for the Championship Rounds of the Progressive CBE Classic at Sprint Center in Kansas City can be purchased by calling 800-745-3000 or at ticketmaster.com.
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Posted on November 14, 2011, in CBE Classic. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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