Men’s Basketball: Cold shooting leads to loss
Fran Tolan | Monday, January 19, 2009
Notre Dame’s cold shooting mirrored the frigid temperatures outside of Syracuse’s Carrier Dome Saturday as the Orange beat the Irish 93-74.
The Irish shot just 35.5 percent from the field as their three-game win streak against Syracuse came to an end.
No. 8 Syracuse improved to 17-2 overall and 5-1 in Big East play in front of over 30,000 fans. The No. 12 Irish dropped to 12-5 and 3-3 in conference action after losing their second straight game to a ranked opponent.
Syracuse forward Arinze Onuaku scored 19 points and, perhaps more importantly, held Irish forward Luke Harangody to 9-of-28 field goal shooting. Harangody finished with 25 points and 16 rebounds but said he was disappointed with his performance.
“This one’s on me,” Harangody told the Associated Press. “I’ve reached the time in my career where I need to step up and 9-for-28 from the field is unacceptable. I can’t lay a goose egg like that, especially on the road.”
Onuaku said Orange coach Jim Boeheim challenged the Syracuse big men to slow down Harangody, the reigning Big East player of the year.
“Coach told us to stay down and make him take tough shots,” Onuaku said to the Associated Press. “He’s such a great player that you have to make him work hard and think about it. You just try to put a hand in his face to discourage the shot.”
Irish guard Kyle McAlarney had 24 points, including seven 3-pointers, and almost led his team on a comeback from a 16-point second-half deficit. The senior sharpshooter drained a trey with 4:05 left in the game to cut the Orange lead to 74-69. But that was as close as the Irish would get.
Syracuse guard Jonny Flynn scored four points in just over a minute to lead his team on a run that slammed the door on Notre Dame.
“We were trying to get back in the game,” McAlarney said. “You fight so hard to get back in that position, and when you get to that point, it’s hard to switch gears a little bit. We did a good job of trying to, but they just kept running on us, kept pushing on us and made some big shots down the stretch.”
The Orange closed the game by draining eight consecutive free throws as the Irish constantly fouled to stop the clock.
Six Orange players scored in double figures whereas only Harangody, McAlarney and forward Ryan Ayers topped 10 points for Notre Dame.
Flynn hit a 3-pointer early in the first half to give Syracuse a 15-12 advantage and the Orange did not trail for the rest of the contest.
The Irish have now lost nine of their last 10 road games against ranked opponents. But they will return to the Joyce Center next Saturday to take on No. 4 Connecticut and lay their 45-game home win streak on the line.