Friday, December 22, 2006

Irish Continue Winning Ways

First, there were two big games in the Top 25 last night. In one Duke beat a reeling Gonzaga team at home 61-54. The loss makes Notre Dame a lock for the Top 25 in both polls. Also, in double OT, Pittsburgh lost to #14 Oklahoma State. Aaron Gray is making a strong case for Big east player of the year, leading the Panthers in 5 categories.

Notre Dame beat Army 87-44. I couldn't be in attendence last night, so I'll have to rely a bit on some secondary sources.

Colin Falls came back last night, with a tremendous impact. The senior captain scored 24 points, going 6-8 from 3-point range, in only 18 minutes on the floor. He finished the game making 9 of 11 shots, with two rebounds. That's a tremendous achievement for a guy coming off of an injury.

Russell Carter was pretty solid, scoring 12 while playing only 25 minutes. He did have a rather cold night shooting, at 36%, but could afford to take a back seat.

Kyle McAlarney put up very good stats at the point. For all of my harping on his skill running the offense, he needed to put up some stats to make up for the recent poor shooting lines. He scored 9 points, but added eight assists to only one turnover on the night. K-Mac rarely forces shots, as evidenced in making half of his four attempts last night from long range.

Rob Kurz as as solid as ever, 9 points/7 rebounds in just over a half of playing time. Zeller's performance was hurt by 4 fouls and never really found a rhythm. If Harangody keeps up the good play, the former Indiana Mr. Basketball may start some games on the bench.

Speaking of Bamm-Bamm, Mr. Harangody got himself another double-double. What a great performance by the freshman. 10/12 in eighteen minutes! Sprinkle in four assists and you get a complete night.

Ayers, Jackson, and Hillesland also saw good floor time off the bench. Ayers scored 7, making three-quarters of his shots. Hillesland scored 6 with 5 rebounds. He's another guy who could eat into LZ's minutes, playing a very athletic power forward. Tory Jackson enjoyed an all-around performance, 3 points, 5 assists, 4 rebounds. He was also the defensive player of the game, stealing the ball three times.

Overall, a very good pounding. We needed this after the struggle against Portland. It also could turn into a surprisingly solid RPI win if the Black Knights play well in conference. Army is 9-3 and much improved over a year ago. They could very well make a run to the NIT this season.

That's all. No games until next Thursday. Christmas unofficially begins today for many of the working population. Enjoy the time off!

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