Make your foul shots.
Gigantic win for the team that will add confidence and help a ton in the seeding. This was a Sweet 16 or Elite 8-type matchup. Congrats to Coach Brey and the guys. Now step to the line and practice those free throws!
Luke Harangody's halfcourt sling to beat the shot clock in the second half proved to make a difference between a win and a loss. Of course, making those eleven extra shots from the line (including at least three one-and-one opportunities) would have put this game away much earlier.
All aspects of the Irish attack were working against one of the toughest defenses in the land. A.J. Abrams was pretty well held in check until the final minute. Harangody and McAlarney came to play and were boosted by another gutsy game by Tory. Jackson is truly one of the most fun players to watch, but he'll give you a heart attack with that shot selection (50% from the floor is certainly an impressive clip for the young man).
More on Tory, he added 7 assists and 5 rebounds to the 16 points. He has been a complete player so far in Maui. Let's hope he brings it with him to the mainland. Was 2-4 from the line, along the trendline for the team.
Kyle McAlarney scorched the nets all night, with 19 points. Was 7-11 shooting and made some good ballhandling decisions, including a nice drive and pass to get Harangody to the line. Played solid defense against Abrams most of the game, though the Texas sharpshooter did show him up in the box score.
Ryan Ayers did a solid job contributing from the perimeter. 6 points, 2 rebounds. He does a lot on defense that does not show up in the stats with his long reach and quick reflexes. Did cool off a bit in the second half.
Zach Hillesland would be remembered for his nervous barely-hit-the-rim foul shooting if we lost this game. That's a shame because he played very well before those awful shots. 8 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists. That's about right from him.
Luke Harangody was everything you need from an All-American in a big game. 29 points, 11 rebounds. Stepped up his game down the stretch, though he did miss two free throws in the last five seconds.
The bench was not relied upon a lot tonight. They will be needed against the high octane Tar Heels. Luke Zeller disappeared a bit with only 3 points and 2 rebounds. Peoples and Nash didn't score.
Last time the Irish beat Texas on a neutral floor, the team finished in the Sweet 16. That is the bar for this year's squad to hurdle. Great, great win. We should play #1 Carolina tomorrow and have an opportunity to see how we match up with them.
Win or lose, a lot has already been accomplished in Maui. Tomorrow should be a lot of fun to see how Harangody plays Hansbrough and how our overall lineup fares against the clear top squad in the nation.
Congrats once again boys. Time to watch the second half of the double header and see how UNC fares against a fast and fun (if not fundamentally sound) Oregon team.