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Men’s Basketball: Team takes two of three over Thanksgiving holiday

Bill Brink | Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Notre Dame went 2-1 over the Thanksgiving holiday, securing a win over Kennesaw State and beating Saint Louis but losing to Northwestern in the Chicago Invitational Challenge.

The Irish (6-2) lost to the Wildcats on the first day of the Challenge but beat Saint Louis the next afternoon.

In the 80-62 win over Kennesaw State on Nov. 24, forward Luke Harangody had 29 points and 15 rebounds — no surprise to Irish coach Mike Brey.

“Sometimes even I go, ‘Yeah, 29 and 15. He did it again,'” Brey said after the game according to Notre Dame’s athletic Web site.

Harangody grabbed his 1,000th career rebound in the second half of the game. Notre Dame out-rebounded the Owls 53-31 in the game.

Junior forward Carleton Scott scored a career-high 11 points and junior forward Tim Abromaitis had 14.

Notre Dame was ranked No. 23 but dropped out of the Top 25 over the weekend.
Notre Dame shot just 32 percent from field goal range in its 72-58 loss to Northwestern on Thanksgiving in the first game of the challenge. Senior guard Ben Hansbrough was 1-for-10 from the floor and 0-for-7 from 3-point range. Harangody scored 21 points but shot 7-for-19 on the night.

“It was just one of those nights where things didn’t go right for me,” Harangody told the athletic Web site.

Northwestern led by 12 in the second half, thanks to a 12-0 scoring run, but the Irish fought back. They worked their way to within two points twice, but both times Wildcats freshman Alex Marcotulli hit a 3-pointer to pull away.

The team shot much better the next day against the Billikens in a 64-52 win. Hansbrough shot 6-of-9 from field goal range and finished with 14 points.

“The backbreaker for us was Hansbrough,” Saint Louis coach Rick Majerus said according to the Web site. “He was posting up our guy and driving our guards.”

Brey said he told Hansbrough to attempt to get to the basket — and to calm down.
“I told him today just relax. Shooters in our program, I don’t ever talk to them when they have a tough night,” Brey said. “I thought he was able to drive it to get him started. He is a driver first and when he can drive, I think it gets him a better rhythm.”

Harangody had 18 points and nine rebounds. Junior forward Tyrone Nash scored six points but pulled down 10 rebounds in the game. Abromaitis made all five of his free throws and scored 12 points.

Notre Dame begins a seven-game home stand tonight when Idaho State visits the Purcell Pavilion. The Bengals (2-4) started 0-3 but have won two of their last three games. They trailed the University of Missouri-Kansas City by nine in the second half Saturday but came back to win 68-65. They took their first lead with 30 seconds left and converted a one-and-one to seal the win.

Senior guard Amorrow Morgan leads the team with 17.7 points per game and junior guard Broderick Gilchrest is behind him with 12.7 per game. The Bengals shoot 43.4 percent from field goal range but less than 30 percent of their 3-pointers hit home.

The game begins at 7:30 p.m.