Sunday, January 14, 2007

The One That Didn't Get Away

After a double technical foul and a couple quick turnovers, a once unassailable lead fell to 10 with 3:21 remaining. Notre Dame seemed to stall in front of 10,000 angry supporters against a much weaker opponent. Over the next few minutes, the Irish came together and pulled out a gutsy 88-76 win over Seton Hall.

The big individual matchup of the game pitted freshman point guards Tory Jackson and Eugene Harvey. Harvey got the better stat line, but Jackson got the win. Tory only scored 4, but grabbed 4 rebounds and dished out 5 assists. He also turned the ball over 3 times with 2 steals.

Russell Carter shot 8 for 13, including 4 threes. He scored 24, with ten rebounds. Rob Kurz scored 15 points with 6 rebounds.

In his first collegiate start, Luke Harangody played fairly well. He had a little trouble shooting down low, but still racked up 12 points. He also only logged 4 boards in 23 minutes.

Colin Falls filled out the starting lineup, but forgot to bring his jump shot with him to the arena (partly due to his struggle with the flu). He missed his first attempt, and never was a factor. He shot 1-7, with four points, but sat most of the 2nd half.

Zach Hillesland had a great afternoon off the bench. Logging a career-high 26 minutes, the sophomore scored 12, with 9 rebounds and 5 assists. He showed impressive ballhandling ability, driving the length of the floor a few times and also finding open shooters.

Ryan Ayers displayed a little shooting touch of his own. He made both 3-pointers he attempted and gave out two assists. Really nice to see him have a good game. If the young man can shoot, I'd like to see him take more chances when he gets playing time.

Jonathan Peoples might give Mike Brey a really hard decision to make next season when deciding the point guard situation. He did turn over the ball four times, but otherwise seemed in control of the game. Peoples shot well, with nine points, and looks like a very solid backup point guard for the future. Jackson and Peoples teamed up in the backcourt for several minutes in the second half. A taste of things to come? We shall see.

Benched Luke Zeller played two minutes. I hate to see him struggle so much, but the Irish looked better down low with him on the bench.

Overall, great game with a little slip-up towards the end. The Irish seemed to be fully in control and got to 3-1 in Big East play without much trouble. It was nice to see the guys come together after a couple rough patches and fix problems in-game.

The last time Notre Dame started 15-2 was during the 1978-79 season (24-6 finish). Wednesday is an opportunity to add to that record. Go Irish. Hopefully more of the same ahead.

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