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Men’s Basketball: Irish extinguish Flames with ease

Michael Bryan | Monday, November 23, 2009

Senior Luke Harangody had a season-high 32 points including all ten free throws he attempted to lead Notre Dame over Liberty 91-72 Sunday night at Purcell Pavilion.

The Flames kept the game close early, and trailed by only nine points at halftime. The Irish offense ran through Harangody, who had 20 in the first period and was able to draw contact and fouls underneath.

Harangody was 10-for-14 from the field in the game.

“The thing about Tory [Jackson] and Luke is they’re great role models for the young guys in our program,” Irish coach Mike Brey said. “They play every game the same way, and every practice the same way, and some of our less experienced guys can learn a lot from that.”

Notre Dame made only six three-pointers in the game, using their size advantage in the post to get to the line and score. Tyrone Nash also had his best offensive performance of the young season, scoring 12 points.

Brey said that he was pleased with Nash’s scoring effort, but wanted to see more.
Senior guard Tory Jackson scored nine and junior forward Tim Abromaitis scored 12 off the bench for the Irish, who also out-rebounded the Flames 36-21.

“I’m really happy with Tim where he’s at,” Brey said. “I told him the other day its like we have six starters, he’s really confident and he should be.”

The Irish put together a 9-0 run to begin pulling away early in the second half, led by three straight buckets by Harangody. Liberty then trailed 56-40 and the Notre Dame lead was never seriously threatened.

The Notre Dame lead then rose as high as 28, as two Tory Jackson free throws made the score 77-49.

Senior guard Jonathan Peoples had eight points and three assists, and junior Ben Hansbrough had a relatively quiet day with six points while dealing with a lingering ankle injury.

Liberty had five players score in double figures but none tallying any higher than 13 points. Forward Patrick Konan had 10 points for the Flames and did not miss a shot from the floor, but fouled out guarding Harangody.

The Irish had just ten turnovers despite a deep rotation and aggressive defense.
“When you play a lot of different guys, and a lot of guys are touching it like that, its good [to have just ten turnovers],” Brey said.  “A lot of different guys had the ball in their hands tonight and we only had ten.”

Brey said ultimately his team’s success will depend on their performance on the defensive end.

“We’re going to score the ball and we’re good with the ball; can we get back and defend it and keep the penetration out of our paint?” Brey said. “When we slow that down a bit, we’ve got a chance every night.”