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Men’s Basketball: No losing streak for squad

Chris Khorey | Wednesday, November 15, 2006

One day after a heartbreaking loss to Butler, Notre Dame took out its frustration on a helpless Lafayette squad 92-60 in the consolation round of the NIT Season Tip-Off in Indianapolis Tuesday.

“We had to redeem ourselves from last night’s loss,” Irish guard Russell Carter said. “We identified our mistakes and corrected them tonight.”

Notre Dame (2-1) lost to the Bulldogs 71-69 Monday after Carter missed a desperation 3-pointer with 2.8 seconds left.

Tusday, the senior vindicated himself, leading the Irish with 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting. He credited his high shooting percentage to the number of open looks he had at the basket.

“It was just the shots I always take,” he said. “I got a couple of steals and a bunch of open looks and my shots just fell.”

Several of Carter’s opportunities came off passes from point guard Kyle McAlarney, who only scored three points but dished out 12 assists.

“He’s our point guard,” Carter said. “That’s what he does.”

Carter said improved teamwork led to the better result Tuesday.

“Everyone was really unselfish offensively and defensively,” he said. “When we do that we’re a tough team to beat.”

The senior also added that Notre Dame’s summer conditioning paid off, allowing the Irish to bounce back just 24 hours after their first loss of the season.

“Playing on back-to-back days wasn’t a problem,” he said. “I’m happy that we had another game after last night’s loss.”

The Irish led for most of the contest, taking a 46-30 lead into the locker room, but they pulled away in the second half. Notre Dame opened up a 60-38 lead in the first few minutes after the break and led by as much as 36 before Irish coach Mike Brey pulled his starters.

The Leopards did not get an offensive rebound or score any points off turnovers until the closing minutes of the game. Guard Matt Betley, who scored 10 points on 4-of-7 shooting, led them offensively.

Notre Dame freshman forward Luke Harangody scored in double figures for the third straight contest, pouring in 18 points on 7-of-12 shooting from the field. Junior forward Rob Kurz had one of his best nights in an Irish uniform, scoring 18 points and grabbing eight rebounds.

Kurz and Harangody split time in the post with sophomore Luke Zeller, who scored eight points. All three got 20 minutes of playing time.

Point guard Tory Jackson scored 10 points in relief of McAlarney, his first collegiate double-figure game.

In total, 11 players saw the floor for the Irish, including four freshmen – Jackson, Harangody, guard Joe Harden and guard Jonathan Peoples.

Notre Dame will be back in action Sunday at 4 p.m. against The Citadel at the Joyce Center.