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Men’s Basketball: McAlarney drops 25 as Notre Dame blows out Colgate

Chris Hine | Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Colgate hit four straight 3-pointers to keep the score close at 29-23 with 5:19 to play in the opening frame Monday night, but then Kyle McAlarney caught fire and burned any chance of a Colgate upset.

The junior guard, who finished with a game-high 25 points, drained four straight 3-pointers of his own to lift Notre Dame to a 46-33 halftime lead on its way to a 94-63 win over Colgate.

“It’s almost like I know the shot’s going in before I get the ball,” McAlarney said. “There were a couple where I was just itching to get the ball because I knew as soon as I got it, it was going in.”

McAlarney came out of the locker room and picked up where he left off in the first half, hitting his first two 3’s during a 13-5 Notre Dame run to start the second half that put the Irish up 59-40 with 15:53 to play.

“It’s the best feeling in the world, especially on your home court, when things are really clicking,” McAlarney said.

Then the Irish clamped down on defense, allowing just two Raiders field goals over the next 10:40. During that stretch, Notre Dame outscored Colgate 29-11 and put the game out of reach.

“I liked our offensive efficiency, and I liked that it came from some different areas tonight,” Irish coach Mike Brey said.

McAlarney’s 7-for-10 night from 3-point land led Notre Dame’s 13-for-28 performance beyond the arc. Junior forward Luke Zeller also played a prominent role in Notre Dame’s 3-point fest. Zeller knocked down four of his five 3-point attempts and finished the night with 14 points.

Even though Notre Dame’s perimeter shooting lifted the Irish to a blowout victory, its success from outside may not have been possible without the play of forwards Rob Kurz and Luke Harangody, who drew defenders to the low post to facilitate Notre Dame’s shooting.

“From the start of the game we really wanted to establish the low post, and we wanted to get some looks for Kyle and the other guys,” Kurz said. “We kept rolling, and I think we were really efficient offensively. That’s why we were able to score so many points.

Kurz keyed the Irish inside with another quiet, but solid performance of 20 points and 10 rebounds.

“That’s just a typical Rob Kurz game,” junior forward Luke Harangody said. “He goes out, brings his lunch pail every game and he gets a double-double.”

Harangody ended his three-game streak of 20-point performances, finishing with 11 points and seven rebounds.

The Irish went on a 7-0 run between the first two media timeouts to take a 16-6 lead thanks to an offense that featured a little bit of everything – a kick-out three by Zeller from Kurz, a transition lay-up by Kurz on a timely pass from junior forward Zach Hillesland and an inside bucket from a penetrating McAlarney.

Colgate was able to exploit holes both in Notre Dame’s man-to-man and 2-3 zone defense to shoot 46 percent in the first half, but shot only 36 percent in the second half against Notre Dame’s tightened defense.

Forward Kyle Roemer led Colgate with 13 points. Sophomore guard Tory Jackson added seven assists for Notre Dame

Notre Dame 87,

Youngstown State 75

Notre Dame led the entire game in its two games before Saturday, but lost both in the final two minutes. Against Youngstown State, however, the story was different. The Irish built a 79-53 lead with 7:06 to play and held off a late run from the Penguins to snap their two-game losing streak.

Harangody netted 25 points and McAlarney scored 23 points to give the Irish their first win in three contests Saturday night. McAlarney shot 5-for-10 from beyond the arc.

Youngstown State had four players finish in double figures, but struggled to stop Notre Dame. Youngstown State closed Notre Dame’s lead to 83-71 with 1:46 left but missed shots down the stretch that could have made the game closer.